Instructional design improves engagement in online courses
- A new survey of online education leaders from Quality Matters and Eduventures Research indicates that instructional design (ID) support can be a major part of how well online learners interact with each other in digital classrooms, as reported in Campus Technology. Courses where ID professionals were mandated to support classroom created a nearly 30% increase in student-to-student engagement against classroom where instructional design personnel were not used or not a mandated resource in the learning experience.
- According to Campus Technology, only 31% of 182 surveyed chief online officers said their campuses required instructional design input in online offerings, and that most ID help was requested for large online programs and mostly used at for-profit institutions in comparison to four-year and two-year institutions.
- Common reasons participants gave for not including ID in were a lack of resources and to preserve faculty independence in teaching and learning.
While schools may want to preserve faculty autonomy in designing curriculum, students understanding and retaining that curriculum is the most important part of their jobs. And if they are able to achieve that through flipped classroom models where students help each other to learn and retain concepts, there might be room for even the best professor to learn something from instructional designers.
But departments may also be able to take it a step further. Schools which offer students feedback surveys on how innovative, knowledgeable and engaging their professors can be, might be able to add feedback on how likely they were to engage with fellow students. In both digital and traditional classrooms, this is a signal of teaching and learning being evenly applied, and students being inspired to help each other succeed.
Additionally, it could be an ideal way to help market online degree programs with a point of emphasis on the networking and partnerships which can mirror the experience of a traditional classroom. This is an important element to working adults, military members and other learners who enroll in online course out of necessity, and not choice.