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Random Thoughts on Instructional Design

Dances with Faculty: Empowering Success in the Online Environment

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Presenter: Lawrence Ragan, Director, Instructional Design/Development, Pennsylvania State University

Using his organization as a backdrop Larry conduced an interactive workshop which explored relationships between faculty and the Instructional Technologists and Instructional Designers that support them. He not only shared best practices and lessons learned from his institution but encouraged the audience to share their experiences.

Some of the nuggets that I walk away from the session with were:

  • The creative ways in which some institutions were using technology savvy students to create content modules and technology tools for faculty.
  • The importance of matching the technology level of sample project/products with the skill levels of the faculty member. Doing this can help them see the possibilities of implementing similar types of technology into their courses.
  • When working with limited resources it is important to categorize faculty into quadrants based on their desire to implement multimedia into their learning environments. By supporting the early adaptors on as needed basis and developing tactical plans for the other faculty, annual goals and strategies could be set for transitioning individuals from one quadrant to another.
  • Developing mini road shows – demonstrating multimedia tools developed by faculty, support services and tools available, can increase faculty interest in the integration of multimedia into their learning environments.

Larry concluded the session by sharing research conducted at Pennsylvania State University on effective workload strategies utilized by online educators. The report titled “Effective Workload Management Strategies for the Online Environment” can be viewed online at

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2005 by in Educause2005.
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