How can we use data to inform design and deployment of online courses?

Date & Time

Aug 5th at 2:45 PM until 3:30 PM




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Since the rise of distance teaching and learning, the use of data has been central to the conversation of improving outcomes, driving retention, and better supporting the work we do across all areas of higher education. Yet, like in many industries, making data actionable to see real improvement has fallen far short of promises. The data readily available for online courses tends to be too high level (e.g., enrollment rates), too focused (e.g., student evaluations), too ambiguous (e.g. learning analytics), or too anecdotal (e.g., student focus groups). How do we gather relevant, actionable data at scale? How might we leverage that data to make informed decisions? In the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, we have developed a documentation ecosystem to tackle this issue. The central component of the ecosystem is the “courseography,” a database of more than 150 courses across all of our programs. The courseography includes staffing details, course objectives, course assessments, media assets, external tool information, and scope and sequence documentation. Data have already helped document accessibility of course media, usage rates of technology tools, and comparison of student workload expectations across courses and programs. With over 3,000 individual records in the courseography and growing, the potential for additional insights from the data is significant. In this session, we will explore additional ways to utilize data to make actionable decisions about course design and deployment. What types of insights around student achievement or student perceptions on key design elements such as teaching presence can be determined based on a review of course components? Can we derive any understanding of optimal group sizes for different types of assessments, courses, or student populations? The presenters will share their own experience designing and implementing a documentation ecosystem—specifically the courseography—including the highlights and struggles of that process, then engage session participants in structured discussion and interactive exercises to consider what approaches to data accumulation and usage would be appropriate in their own contexts. As such, the session will focus on actionable insights into collecting and using data to improve decision making in real world contexts related to administration, design, and deployment of online courses. VIEW THIS SESSION [Mediasite player]