Course Consultations

Overview

At the request of a program director or instructor, IRC Instructional Designers can conduct reviews of online courses.

Instructional designers rely heavily on the standards articulated by the Quality Matters organization when they conduct these reviews, but of course, adapt these reviews to the specific questions or concerns raised by the Program Director and/or the faculty member.   Most generally, the review includes assessments of:

  • the clarity of course and unit level learning outcomes
  • the alignment between student activities and the learning outcomes
  • clarity of instructions
  • the opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with students, the instructor, and the course content

These reviews are not designed to assess the appropriateness nor the rigor of course content.   Program Directors should consult subject-matter experts to review the appropriateness and relevance of the course topics, textbooks and other academic resources.

Before the Review

To ensure the most effective review possible, the Program Director and the faculty member should ensure the following before the review begins:

The faculty member knows the review is taking place, and has had the opportunity to ask the Instructional Designer questions about the review process. The faculty member can also suggest particular aspects of the course for the ID to review.

The faculty member has had time to review the Quality Matters rubric.

The course-level outcomes are specified and there are module/unit objectives for each of the course module/units.  (The lack of course-level outcomes and module/unit-level objectives is among the most frequently missed standards.)

During the Review

The Instructional Designers will be in contact with the faculty member and the Program Director as needed during the review.

Reviews may take up to three weeks to complete.

After the Review

The Instructional Designers will deliver a written report to the faculty member and the Program Director.

While the IRC can make recommendations for improvement, it is up to the Program Director to communicate what changes are expected of the faculty member.

If necessary, the Program Director can complement this review with a content review, designed to assess the appropriateness and rigor of course content.