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EPD - Instructional Support and Course Development Partnership Information

This document details the partnership between EPD Learning Design and Technologies team, Program Directors, faculty, and/or instructors for course design, development, and delivery of online courses.


Engineering Professional Development (EPD) has a long history of providing high quality online learning, and a unified development process to support faculty in the design and development of high-quality online courses. This document details the partnership for course design, development, delivery, and program support available from EPD and the Learning Design and Technologies (LDT) team. View the InterPro Course Design & Development Toolbox for more details regarding our process and support resources.

Estimates of Time and Effort

Depending on the starting point, and whether we are adapting an existing face-to-face course, or designing a new course, it typically takes four to eight months to design and develop a high-quality online course. This translates to the following indicated effort:
  • Instructor Time: 40-100 hours
  • LDT Time: 50-150 hours
Getting an early start is very helpful to work this time into busy faculty schedules, particularly for a new course or a course needing significant re-design.

General Design Guidelines

In general, a high-quality EPD course with online components will offer:
  • Flexibility – The course allows for off-campus learners to fully participate and interact with instructors and fellow learners
  • Convenience – The learner can study anytime and anywhere
  • Clarity – The learner can easily navigate the course; design is simple and consistent across all EPD's offerings
  • Universal Design – The course meets general accessibility standards
  • Quality – The learner receives high quality instruction, content, learning experience, and technical support

Course Materials

Course Design Map – The course map provides a blueprint to identify learning objectives, activities, and assessments that are in alignment with program and instructor curriculum goals and objectives. EPD LDT provides support with writing learning objectives and designing learning activities and assessments to support the learning objectives.

Core Course Files – Templates are provided for course syllabus/overview, module overview, PowerPoint presentations, and assignment instruction. These documents are provided via UW Madison Box shared working folders to provide efficient workflows. EPD LDT will provide general feedback, logistical review of course files, and consult on best practices for delivering course files within the Learning Management System (LMS).

Supporting Course Materials – EPD LDT will provide assistance and consultation to Program Directors and instructors regarding best practices for delivering additional course materials such as readings, recorded video lectures, digital media, and other reference material within the LMS.

Creating Recorded Mini Lectures – If the instructor chooses to create recorded presentations or lectures as part of their course, EPD LDT recommends using Camtasia software and will provide the software as well as training and technical support for the creation of video recordings. EPD LDT will also aid in the processing, production, and delivery of the video recordings. Ideally all recording and production will be completed prior to the course start date.

Active Learning Activities and Assessments

Live Web Conferencing and Discussion Forums – Two primary elements of student engagement are synchronous (live) web conferences and asynchronous discussion forums. Quality online courses should use a mix of these tools to encourage engagement and interaction within the course. Blackboard Ultra is the supported web conferencing tool. The Canvas LMS has two options for discussion forums depending on the course goals.

Assessments – Project-, problem-, and case-based assignments that can be applied to a variety of disciplines are strongly encouraged for courses with adult learners. Use of low-stakes quizzes as checks for understanding and formative assessments can be useful, while high-stakes tests and quizzes should be avoided. EPD LDT will provide consultation on best practices for assignment design and assessment strategies based on the instructor's course goals.

Grading Tools – Rubrics and assignment guidelines are best practices used to provide learners with important metacognitive queues for achieving learning objectives. Instructors are encouraged to create rubrics or other grading tools to set clear expectations for the evaluation of a learner's work.

Technical Support

Digital Tools Orientation – Prior to the course start, near the point of need, EPD LDT will provide training to instructors on the various tools used for their course, to include UW Madison Box, Canvas LMS, Camtasia, and Blackboard Ultra web conferencing, etc. 

Ongoing Technical Support – EPD LDT will also provide multiple pathways of instructor and learner technical support throughout the duration of the course. The LMS homepage has a Help & Support link that provides all pertinent contact information and quick links to our online support structure. Program Directors and/or instructors can simply direct learners to these resources, which will free up their time to focus on teaching.

Course Production Timeline

Once an instructor has been identified for a course, they will meet with EPD LDT to discuss the course. EPD LDT will provide access to UW Madison Box shared working folders and templates, schedule technology and support meetings, as needed, and establish key target dates for course production.

In general, the ideal time frame is for course planning to begin six to ten months and course development to begin two to six months in advance of the course launch date. All course materials need to be completed around six weeks prior to the course start.

Keywords:LDT, course design, development, resources   Doc ID:80970
Owner:Katie L.Group:Engineering Professional Development - Department Resources
Created:2018-03-16 13:44 CDTUpdated:2020-02-18 17:23 CDT
Sites:Engineering Professional Development - Department Resources
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