Educational Theories,  Teaching & Learning

Lessons from Vegas: Rapid Course Design with Project-Based Learning 

Reading Time: 2 minutes

While I was in Vegas, another session I attended focused on instructional design. A group of designers from Utah Tech University faced the daunting task of developing or redesigning 175 courses as part of 14 new online programs. And they had to finish it in nine months. Oh, and did I mention there were only four designers? Because there were only four designers. It was clear they would need some help. Their solution was to equip their faculty with the skills and tools needed to design courses. For their instructional method, they decided to employ project-based learning.  

As an aside: project-based learning is an excellent teaching practice that can allow you to do some neat things in your instruction. We will talk about it in further detail on this blog soon. Anyway, back to the session.  

The team created a 12-week, designer-led online course for the faculty to work on developing/redesigning these courses. The first six weeks covered designing; the last half focused on developing. Afterward, there was time for review and revision for these newly developed/redesigned courses to ensure the courses aligned with the university’s online course standards. Throughout these phases, the designers provided content related to backward design (hey that’s another good idea for a blog post!), online teaching, and Canvas skills. The faculty collaborated on the development and design of these courses, and the Utah Tech designers supported along the way. 

This process is commonly referred to as rapid course design. One could argue that twelve weeks is not necessarily “rapid,” but I digress. When I shared about this session with my colleagues at CTL, we began to brainstorm: How rapid could one design a course? 48 hours? 24 hours? Less than a day? If CTL created a rapid course design workshop, what would we prioritize? What would be the goal? What would the participants walk away with? Maybe a fully designed course that they could pitch whenever they want to?  


Want to never miss a post? Subscribe here!

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to receive email notification of new posts.

Leave a Reply