CourseTune Introduces the Guild: A collaborative initiative that comes with a data pledge
By Diane Weaver
June 11, 2020
Littlepeople Colors

There’s a lot of trust-building that goes into creating quality solutions for educators. There are layers of data that go into planning, designing, approving, reviewing, evaluating and improving learning—especially at scale—that require attention to the nuances around the types of data, sharing and privacy. Important to note, we are not talking about student data here.  

Essential to building that trust is clarity and transparency around what data is collected, how is it collected, where is it stored, and how it is used. The key here is transparency around an organization’s intentions. (Here is a link to our Coursetune Inc. policies.)

As we at CourseTune dream up different ways to make things tremendously easier for educators, one thing is clear: We have an incredible user group who are ready and willing to collaborate on these initiatives, and we have a way for people to opt-in to participating in an anonymous, disaggregated fashion.

Important to note, chances are, your syllabi are already publicly available. Check out these six million over here on Open Syllabus. (Why can’t we just use that? Let’s talk about it, over a coffee.)

Introducing The Guild

Individual instructors using CoursePlan can opt-in to the Guild. Being a Guild member brings you savings for your wallet and welcome camaraderie, united in sprinting toward quality teaching and learning.

What kinds of things can we do together? We’ll paint a picture here for you.

Imagine this, you teach math and you are planning for your fall HyFlex College Algebra course. You know you want students to be able to “Solve a quadratic equation.” What if we could suggest learning objectives similar to this one to help you with nuance, level, and assessment choices. From the combined data of thousands of users, we could take your objective and surface up learning objectives often associated with this one, like “Solve a quadratic equation by factoring.” or “Solve a quadratic equation using by using the quadratic formula.” or “Solve a quadratic equation using a graph and zeros.” These might be objectives you had not originally considered, but seeing them might help you to make a more careful plan for what students will (and will not) learn in your course.

Most learning objectives are not poetry, they are like the steps in a recipe. They should be somewhat precise, and be easy to understand whether you are the student or the adjunct instructor teaching the course.

We want to help everyone to do this work of high quality course design without having to recreate this wheel every time.

CoursePlan Guild members can contribute into a repository the learning design elements that are recreated by faculty within the same subject areas and generally considered part of a cannon, not intellectual property.

Coursetune Inc. will use this repository to inform and contribute to research, to help others with course design, and to improve design analysis tools. Join The Guild.

Our pledge to you

Coursetune Inc. pledges to involve representation from CoursePlan Guild members and instructional design leaders when making decisions about research and sharing insights.

Coursetune Inc. pledges to anonymize and disaggregate the data in a way that no personally identifiable information will be associated with the learning design elements.

Coursetune Inc. pledges to protect the data against mining. We will not sell your data or your courses. We will not share full courses with other Guild members.

Coursetune Inc. pledges to focus efforts on helping educators design courses that improve student outcomes. The software we design inherently organizes the data as you plan curriculum. The Guild repository of well-labeled data such as learning objectives, course objectives, and activities properties will drive the effort toward that goal.

Because this much is clear, good planning and curricular design does lead to better student outcomes. 

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