Building Learner-Centered Courses
Welcome to our community hub and resource space – a website created for instructors who are developing and teaching courses at the University of Idaho. This site’s content is open to anyone, and we welcome your suggestions and ideas. Developing a course for online delivery can be a daunting prospect. The following considerations may help aid your design process:
- Communication and community building are essential for both traditional and online learning environments. Until recently, online education has been viewed as a kind of digitized correspondence course but with very little correspondence. We know that participatory learning results in learners gaining a deeper and longer-lasting understanding of course material, so designing learning environments that afford social interactions and group inquiry is something we take seriously.
- Starting with the end result in mind is the best way to make sure students learn what faculty want them to learn. We ask faculty to start with the question, “If the students really learned to critically interact with the material and concepts of this course, what would that look like?” The answer to this becomes the assessment criteria for the course. The next question becomes the basis for learning design, “What can students produce to demonstrate they have learned what I want them to learn?”
- A learner-centered approach is the most effective way of tapping into student engagement around a subject. Giving students a chance to articulate their own learning goals, finding out what they already know, and designing learning activities that allow them to explore their individual interests is critical to designing learning that “sticks.”
We understand that your course is your creation. In order to support your process, we use Quality Matters to guide our online course review criteria. Using the Quality Matters Rubric can assist instructors in reviewing their online courses with an eye towards learner-centered environments. View the research on why thousands of colleges worldwide are using Quality Matters to improve course design and positively impact student outcomes.
We have two instructional designers on staff who are happy to meet with you to discuss any topics related to teaching and learning:
Phone: (208) 885-7138
Phone: (208) 885-6838
If you have any questions or need help getting started with your courses, you may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.