Mind the Gap! Built-in Guidance for Designing Courses
By Kristin Powers
October 18, 2021
mind the gap

If you’ve ever been on the Tube in the UK, you’ll be familiar with the phrase that is repeated over the loudspeaker every time the doors open, “Mind the Gap.” As a precautionary measure, the female voice alerts as you cross the threshold between train and platform. Wouldn’t it be nice if your course design could alert you when things aren’t aligning and essential things might be falling through?

We’ve built Coursetune to intuitively guide and nudge course designers towards quality and clarity in the organization of their courses. Coursetune’s visual gaps, assessments design, and Learning Design report let you know how to rebalance your course for better course design. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways you can “mind the gap” in your course design and make sure you are aligned for student outcomes.

Visualizing Missed Connections

Coursetune’s patented visual organization displays the crucial alignment across course elements: from learning objective to course outcome to assessments. When viewing a course that has the elements documented, you can assess what is missing visually– there will be a gap where things are missing. The red arrow points to a gap when a specific learning objective has no assessments or activities connected to it.

Courestune's Visual Interface

Finding Homes for Orphaned LOs

Learning objectives, or LOs, are the most critical element of a course graph. LOs connect course learning objectives and assessments to standards or benchmarks. They are essential elements in the outer ring of the course graph. When you distribute LOs in the individual delivery bundles, like weeks, chapters, or modules, the story of what’s being taught when becomes clear. Occasionally, LOs end up orphaned on one of the two design layers of the course graph, the Bundle Layer or the C-Layer. This visual nudge prompts the designer to give them a home in an element on that layer. In the image, the Orphaned LOs in red are an alert to organize them and ensure you’ve addressed all learning objectives. Relocating learning objectives supports the goal of balanced course design. The visual nudge is part of Coursetune’s design which integrates instructional design into the interface. 

I can honestly say without the Coursetune platform  the project would not have moved forward, much less come to fruition on such a quick timeline.” Amanda Lattin, Professor, Aromatherapy Program Chair, American College of Health Sciences from her Coursetune Camp 2020 presentation on how Coursetune became their all-in-one instructional design mapping and training tool. Watch the video here.

College Algebra

Reporting for Continuous Improvement

We know not every team has access to instructional designers, so we’ve built in some guidance for quality instructional design. Our Course Learning Design Report is a recent addition that can answer the following questions about a course:

  • Do all the LOs have activities or assessments?
  • How balanced is the course design?
  • What is the pace of the course design?
  • Are any LOs missing an activity?
  • What is the distribution of LO’s in a course?
  • How does the course scaffold?
  • Where can I see the course scaffolding?
  • Are there any duplicate LOs?
  • Are there any orphaned LOs?
  • What should I do with too many LOs?

The Learning Design Report gives helpful guidance to balance the design our your course. This report is handy over many phases of the curriculum design lifecycle- from prototyping to accreditation.

Course Learning Design Report

Being able to have a tool where they [faculty] can easily navigate through, in a way that’s meaningful and apparent, as opposed to the more abstract ways that we’ve gone through. It actually makes the process easier for people.” Dr. Andrew Feldstein, Assistant Provost for Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies, Fort Hays State University. Dr. Andrew Feldstein and Dr. Linda A, Fort Hays’ Instructional Designer, recently presented at Coursetune about the instructional design benefits of creating new programs with faculty with Coursetune. Watch the video here.

Activities and Properties Report

Coursetune’s innovative visual design and advanced reporting make it easy to mind the gaps and stay in the flow of continuous improvement. Here’s what some of our community are saying about the unexpected benefits of using Coursetune:

“Coursetune is also going to help us provide for a cadre of more than 250 professional instructors located worldwide. Many of whom have never set foot on the eSchool campus or talked to person to person, other than via zoom, with another member of our faculty. Coursetune’s gonna help us evaluate more than 200 monthly courses, 2,400 seminars or so a year to ensure continuous improvement of our courseware on a regular schedule. Now all of that is a tall order, but we actually think that Coursetune is up to the task.” Michael Hower, Lt Col, USAF (Ret.), Strategic Advisor at Air University/ASU Partnership from his presentation of strategic planning for successful implementation and how it leads to professional development in instructional design at Coursetune Camp 2021. Watch the video here

 

“Everybody’s able to understand Coursetune easily. It’s allowed faculty to have some terrific conversations about what they teach. Now they can see what they teach in a much more visual way. It was interesting in our training; the faculty hadn’t thought about how to write a learning objective. So going through that process helped them flesh out what they do, which is the purpose of why we did this.” David Long, Assistant Head of School for Academics, The Galloway School, shared in his presentation at Coursetune Camp 2021 about how their K-12 school’s culture and vocabulary changed with a focus on the elements of learning design from using Coursetune. Watch the video here.

Our library is full of educational and inspirational videos. Check out the video library here.

Ready to get some guidance on your instructional design?

Coursetune delivers one place to design, manage, and plan your curriculum. Our unique, patented, visual curriculum maps equip you with a common platform. One that helps faculty, staff, and leadership focus on the big picture while revealing how learning objectives, competencies, and standards impact student outcomes. Coursetune supplies you with the communication and workflow tools that promote collaboration and unlock innovation across your institution.

Set up some time for a demo or discussion. Or click the help button on the lower-left, and chat with us.

 

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