university of north carolina teaching and learning with technology collaborative
Monday May 19 
instructional technology retreat
   

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Course management systems/Content Development

Facilitators: Dr. Chuck Bennett, UNC-A, Tom Jackson, UNC Pembroke, James Bossert, UNC TLT Collaborative

Tuesday, May 30, 2-2:45pm: Review and information capture.

Notes from the Session

Information Capture Form Results from the Session

We are seeing increasing use of off-the-shelf course management systems across the UNC system, both for supplementary materials for classroom and video courses, and for online courses. These systems: facilitate the development and delivery of on-line course content; provide common solutions for course-related communications between faculty and students; encourage common design and consistent learning environments; provide learning management functions such as activity tracking and integration with student records; and simplify professional development and support.

Some timely issues:

    New partnerships and alliances in the marketplace.

    Importance of maintaining common solutions between strategies for support of e-learning and support of on-line course development associated with online courses.

    Increased interest on many campuses for common solutions between campuses and programs (we will provide a summary review of systems currently being used across UNC)

The Collaborative is facilitating a workgroup to develop and apply common evaluation criteria to course management systems:

    Marketplace realities - viability and sustainability
    Measurements of learning effectiveness and faculty/student satisfaction
    Ease of use/adoption by teaching faculty
    Feature sets and functionalities - standard measures of strengths and weaknesses
    Suitability for different disciplines and learner styles
    Support for students using the environment
    Assessment of instructional technology support needs
    Integration with student data systems
    Migration issues
    Technical requirements, systems support and associated issues
    Appropriate measurements of cost that incorporates all the measurements above

We have a common interest to explore more cooperative ways to evaluate and implement common course development solutions. Resource-sharing might take many forms:

    Cooperative workgroups to develop and maintain common evaluation criteria
    Common workshops, training content, and online support associated with faculty training in the use of course management software
    Cost savings and joint negotiation with vendors, exploration of partnerships
    Best practices (course design and support for faculty and students)
    Shared learning content between programs and institutions
    Standard course management solutions
    Common hosting solutions and strategies

Wednesday, May 31, 1- 2:15pm: A group session to discuss ways in which we can work together on developing evaluation criteria for course management systems and implementing these.

Course Management Session Notes

    Review and modify the list of evaluation criteria outlined above for course management systems. Additional issues and concerns.

    Comments concerning the systems currently used across UNC. What other systems are being used?

    Benefits/concerns associated various system-wide approaches. Where are the greatest opportunities and interest in collaboration?

    How might the TLT Collaborative provide value? Can you help us to identify and share best practices, conferences, tools, and services in the area of course design development? Are there specific cooperative projects that the Collaborative might to facilitate (research, training materials, workshop design, shared classes and workshops, help desks, shared production services)?

Wednesday, May 31, 2:30-3:45pm: A group session to discuss course design and development issues.

Course Development Session Notes

Related to course managements systems is the general issue of design and development of course materials. As we move from assisting a small number of technology-minded faculty to the mainstream of faculty, and from individual interest in online learning to programmatic priorities, we share a number of questions and issues, to name a few:

    How to prioritize our support services for an increasing demand for course content development support?
    How to assess the cost of course content development
    Outsourcing versus in-house strategies for course development
    Quality control - evaluating content, usability testing, etc.
    Course development teams - what are the needed skill sets?
    Choosing between purchasing/licensing content versus developing content
    When to help faculty develop their own content and when to provide development services?

    Can you identify ways in which the TLT Collaborative might foster cooperative work and support for professional staff in this area?

    Can you identify effective resources and best practices, conferences, tools, etc., that can be referenced on the Web site?

    Do you have suggestions for cooperative projects and services in support of online course development?

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