EdX Instructional Design

Example of drag-and-drop skeletal feature identification
Online Instructional Design Consultations

Laura O’Brien and David O’Steen worked with 6 faculty during 2014-2015 from a variety of departments to help create online courses as well as individual digital assessments on the edX platform. They provided advice on the most effective online presentation of instructional content, including readings, grammar concepts, audio, and video (lecture, conversation/interview, filmed classroom discussion, annotated with text or sketches, etc.).

With the faculty they created interactive exercises--graded and ungraded--from fixed response problems such as multiple choice or drag-and-drop problems (identifying map locations, skeletal features, grammar elements, and sentence constructions) to open response problems such as self- and peer-assessment using instructor-provided rubrics. Most assessments provide immediate, automatic feedback.

As with the design of any course, online or face-to-face, the goals of the faculty member have driven the tools used. The transition from a brick-and-mortar classroom to an online setting requires careful consideration of the goals of the faculty member balanced with the strengths and limitations of the tools available. To encourage collaborative student work, students have used tools such as wikis to create a course bibliography and glossary. Laura and David advised on the best practices for communicating with students without a face-to-face meeting, including successfully engaging students in forum discussions, and regular communications to students to provide encouragement and feedback on their efforts as a group, rather than individually.

Projects included online assessments for on-campus course CLCV 104, online intensive Italian language summer class for students entering Wellesley and high-school seniors, and WellesleyX courses ANTH207x (image above), HIST229x, SOC108x, and ENG112x.

Faculty: Adam Van Arsdale (Anthropology), Guy Rogers (History), Yu Jin Ko (English), Smitha Radhakrishnan (Sociology), Daniela Bartalesi-Graf (Italian Studies), Bryan Burns (Classical Studies)

LTS Staff: David O'Steen and Laura O'Brien
Keywords: online learning, online instruction, instructional design, edX, MOOCs