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Online Course Design Institute

K-State has created the Online Course Design Institute to support instructors as they transition new courses to the online modality as part of the response to COVID-19.

The Online Course Design Institute was developed as a partnership between Global Campus, the Teaching and Learning Center, Information Technology Services, and the Polytechnic Campus as well as other campus leaders. The Institute replaces K-State Online Essentials, previously offered to Global Campus faculty.

Questions about this program can be directed to Katie Linder, executive director for program development at Global Campus.

The Online Course Design Institute includes a comprehensive checklist to guide the course design process and is customizable to each instructor's experience and comfort level with teaching online. Program elements also include:

  • a self-paced set of materials for instructors who want to work through course design steps on their own (housed in Canvas)
  • a cohort-based series of activities to be completed over four weeks (with repeated options throughout the summer) based on the Canvas site materials for instructors looking for more structure
  • a set of synchronous virtual workshops and conversations on a range of topics that those designing an online course can choose to engage in; these will be recorded for instructors to view at a later point as well
  • continued one-on-one support through the automated calendaring system that launched in late March

You are welcome to join the current offering of the OCDI at any time. Please register to access the materials.


What benefits can participants expect to receive from this program?

The Online Course Design Institute is organized around 6 goals and 32 accompanying learning objectives, so participants will walk away being able to demonstrate that range of competencies. Other benefits include engaging with colleagues across disciplines, receiving feedback on course design elements from instructional designers and peers, and receiving access to a guided pathway for course design using research-based principles. All elements included in the course are purposeful and build on one another, and participants will also see a range of methods demonstrated throughout the program that they can include in their own course designs.


Who is the primary audience for this program?

This program fits a range of audiences since its primary focus is walking instructors through the course design process using the Backward Design method. Participants new to online teaching will certainly benefit, but even experienced instructors should walk away with new ideas. This program is meant to offer a step-by-step guide for course design, so instructors who are feeling overwhelmed by the idea of designing an online course from scratch will also benefit from this “guided tour” of online course design. The program facilitators also expect to modify the program to add additional resources based on faculty needs and requests as we gather participant feedback. 


What is the overall expected time commitment for the program?

The program runs in two different iterations: self-paced and through a four-week cohort models. The overall time commitment for the program will depend on how deeply each participant wants to engage in the process. There are a series of worksheets to complete, five 1-hour live events that participants can attend, a variety of training videos to watch, and some program engagement activities such as discussion boards and journal entries. None of these activities are “mandatory” so participants can engage at whatever level they are comfortable with or have time for.


For the cohort model, how much time can participants expect to spend on a weekly basis?

For the cohort model, participants should anticipate at least 3-5 hours of engagement each week, depending on how deeply they want to go into the course design activities. The time commitment will also depend on whether the instructor is building a course from scratch, or if they are transitioning a course that they have previously taught (i.e. they have a syllabus, ideas for assignments, assignment rubrics already created, etc.).


What differentiates this course from the previous Online Essentials course?

The Online Course Design Institute program was designed from the ground up using a new set of goals and learning objectives that are different from the content offered in Online Essentials. The program is based on a Backward Design course building model that walks participants through drafting course goals and learning objectives, course mapping, and assignment and assessment design. Additionally, the program offers training and demonstrations on a range of online tools that can be utilized to engage students in virtual learning environments..