Leveraging eLearning Innovation in Course Transformation

Fisher College of Business is in the process of transforming courses for delivery in a hybrid or online setting. Hybrid courses blend face-to-face interaction, such as in-class discussions, active group work, and live lectures, with educational technologies and online content. Following a model developed by Fisher’s Office of Information Technology Services, in partnership with the Office of the CIO’s Digital Union and the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT), the benefits of technology are leveraged to better engage students and improve learning outcomes.

"As the practice of business evolves, so must our efforts to engage students in meaningful ways," said Fisher College of Business Dean Christine A. Poon. "Technology allows business to move at the speed of light. We are employing these same advances to create distance learning programs that provide increased flexibility while maintaining our high standards."

This model is based on best practices for delivering distance courses effectively and consistently, ensuring that courses retain high quality standards.  The process is taking place in a cohort model, which allows faculty to work with instructional designers and collaborate with each other to transform their courses from a traditional format to a format that can be delivered for distance learners.  As part of this process, the instructors model the hybrid experience, employing the technology that will be used for delivery in order for faculty to become acclimated and learn some best practices for its use.

David Blum, Chief Information Officer for the Fisher College of Business, saw an opportunity to develop a standard, repeatable process for online and hybrid course design leveraging aspects of the Digital Union’s Taking Your Course Online workshop and UCAT’s Course Design Institute, along with their own instructional design approach.  "We are focused on transforming the learning environment from a place and time bound experience and moving from an expert delivery to a more learner-centered approach that emphasizes collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while also allowing for deeper engagement with learning materials."

Kathryn Plank, UCAT associate director and adjunct associate professor, said, "For the past two years, UCAT has been offering Course Design Institutes to provide faculty with the tools, the time, and the collegial support to design or re-design a course.  We were excited to collaborate with Fisher and the Digital Union to adapt our approach, which focuses on student learning outcomes, to the creation of hybrid courses.  Although the delivery methods of these new courses will be different, they are still designed to facilitate high levels of student learning."

Six instructors have been selected to take part in the pilot covering five courses in the graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as an Executive Education certificate program, to be delivered during the 2011-2012 academic year.  These courses cover diverse content areas, such as innovation, negotiations, logistics and finance.

This effort advances the mission of the participating organizations to support curriculum redesign and related faculty and staff development in the effective use of technology in teaching and learning at Ohio State.  The Digital Union and UCAT advocate for effective use of technology in teaching and learning and advancing the innovative use of technology in the classroom and the online environment.

If you have questions or would like more information about the project or course offerings, contact David Blum at blum.76@osu.edu.  To learn more about the Course Design Institutes, contact Kathryn Plank at plank.28@osu.edu.

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