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During my first week as an Academic Technology Scholar the course included a lot of key topics and ideas that can be used when working with faculty. The aspect that stuck out to me is the concept of backward design and ensuring transparency for the students. Understanding the end goal as a student is important so you can envision the necessary steps along the way to help you get to the final point in your learning. Recognizing that with online learning some of the educational norms that students are used to with in-person classes are no longer as present. These norms differ when the class is online, remembering that the student is no longer physically present in the class is important when designing and organizing your online class. It is important to set expectations (how to communicate, how to participate in the class, how they will be graded, etc.) clearly to the students at the beginning so they know what is expected of them throughout the duration of the course.

Our role in course design when working with faculty is to consult on the organization of their canvas course. Providing suggestions on how to further enhance the students’ learning, for example adding videos at the beginning of modules explaining how the specific module is necessary in relation to a course objective. There should be a variety of tasks to complete throughout the modules these can and should include different sources of reading and a variety of types of assessments. Some different ideas are to provide both synchronous and asynchronous options, record videos for course content, online quizzes, ask the students to record videos of them teaching a specific topic, participating in online discussions, etc.

My advice to faculty regarding course design is to ask different people (colleagues, friends, or family members) to look at their canvas course. During the summer they have the opportunity to work with us as AT scholars, a fresh pair of eyes may notice certain elements that the person creating the content was blinded to. This ensures that different types of learners find the course easy to navigate and well organized. This is important from the student’s perspective so they can quickly and easily access the necessary course content to facilitate their learning. Clarity and transparency behind different assessment methods or tasks provides them with rationale behind completing a task/module.