Friday, July 17, 2009

Data-driven Design Evolution

Instructional Designers at FACT support all the instructors from the departments to which they have been assigned. Because the instructor is the Subject Matter Expert and the course facilitator (SME/F), they are involved in all of the ADDIE phases. We have created the Data-driven Design Evolution to guide the process of creating original course designs, and course redesigns, in this unique context.

Here is an excerpt from a chapter that my colleagues and I have in publication:

"An ongoing relationship between an ID and a SME/F may lead to an evolution of the course design. Ideally this evolution would be the result of evidence derived from course data that led to changes in the SME/F's pedagogical beliefs. We have created the term “data-driven design evolution” to describe this process. We propose a three-stage model in which the course design shifts from “SME/F-driven” towards “learner-driven”.

In Stage I, there is an insufficient quality of course data to justify changes to the course design decisions/revisions based on learner feedback. This occurs in courses which have yet to be delivered, but it may also be the result of an insufficient quantity of course data. The ID creates a course design based on instructional alignment between the SME/F's pedagogical beliefs and assumptions about learners.

In Stage II, the quality of the course data is high enough to identify learner characteristics that can replace the SME/F's assumptions. The ID provides the SME/F with evidence based on course data that demonstrates instructional alignment or misalignment. When the evidence produces a shift in the SME/F’s pedagogical beliefs, the ID recommends changes to the course design that will increase instructional alignment, and implements the approved changes.

In Stage III, the increase in the quality of the course data has led to a fundamental shift in the SME/F's pedagogical beliefs. He or she has become willing to learner feedback drive design changes to the course. The ID assists the SME/F in interpreting the learner feedback from the latest cohort of learners by using the entire set of course data to control for anomalies. The ID recommends changes and implements the approved changes."


Joeckel III, G.L.; Jeon, T.; Gardner, J. (2009). Instructional Challenges in Higher Education Online Courses Delivered Through A Learning Management System By Subject Matter Experts. In H. Song (Ed.), Distance Learning Technology, Current Instruction, and the Future of Education: Applications of Today, Practices of Tomorrow, Idea Group Publishing, New York. Chapter accepted for publication.

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