As institutions ask faculty to adjust curriculum during times of crisis, it is important to provide the support that faculty need to do the work efficiently and thoughtfully. Instructional designers can be especially helpful because they not only have a leg-up on informed practice, but they also know how to help faculty map contextual challenges to solutions that are aligned with the learning outcomes and pedagogical goals of their courses. Instructional designers can help facilitate learning communities to make curricular crisis response more efficient, and they can work one-on-one with faculty to consider the idiosyncratic relationships among discipline, modality, and teaching style.
As you ask faculty to adjust their curricula or switch modalities, ask: “What support are faculty given to assist them in their work, and what can we do to assure that those with expertise in instructional design are available and empowered to advise?” Try as possible to funnel resources accordingly.
- What ongoing leadership does your campus have to cultivate and coordinate instructional design teams who can assist individual faculty and support design-oriented learning communities?
- What is the relationship between instructional designers at your college and Academic Affairs? Are those who govern the mission of the institution talking with instructional designers to align institutional plans with faculty development and curriculum creation or revision?
- Do you feel pressure to outsource curriculum design, and if so, what are the reasons that you could/would not resource your faculty and staff to do this work?
- What university governance protocols should be followed during this time of crisis as the institution seeks to revise certain policies or structures? Do these protocols involve all affected stakeholders?
Examples & Resources
- This article explains some of the potential downsides to outsourcing instructional design, and offers many MOU examples at the end of the piece.
- ID-ER Network was organized to link IDs with faculty in need of support.
- This piece is about how COVID foregrounds the need for instructional design.
- This is a helpful accounting of the tensions at Eastern Oregon State as faculty and administrators clashed over the outsourcing of curriculum to Pearson, with additional info about data privacy and other related issues.
- Here are some universities you might look to as models for how a well-supported and well-integrated ID team might function:
- Central Florida University’s “Center for Distributed Learning”
- The University of Oklahoma’s “Center for Faculty Excellence”
- Georgia State University’s “Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning”
- California State University Channel Islands’ “Teaching and Learning Innovations”
- Coventry University’s “Disruptive Media Learning Lab“
- “The Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship” at Georgetown University
- Portland State University’s “Office of Academic Innovation”
- If you know of another college or university shop that has a great model for ID, or if you have a resource to share to help us understand the importance of instructional design in curriculum develelopment (particularly during times of crisis), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.