Finding Course Design Flaws
In the rural part of North Central Pennsylvania where I live, a lot of families have owned the same farmland for generations. Houses are handed down, with each new family adjusting the home to their needs—adding a porch here, a back bedroom there, an attachment between the house and garage. The houses look cobbled together rather than designed. I got to thinking that might be the way some of our courses look. They’re passed along, new material gets added, and current content mostly stays. Sometimes there’s a new approach or another objective, but these additions all get attached to the basic course structure. With the prevalence of online learning, a larger presence of instructional designers, and a greater need for course consistency, we’re starting to see what well-designed courses look like and recognizing that many of the courses we teach don’t look that way.