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Course Development Issues

Rio Salado College

To what extent have you been able to use previously developed materials in your re-design instead of creating new materials?

The redesign is heavily based on using commercially available software from Academic Systems.

What kinds of activities took up the most time in your course development effort?

The activity that took the most time in the pilot was the training of the assistant. Had it occurred only once, at the beginning of the pilot, the time for training would have been reasonable. However, training occurred three times because of turnover during the process of identifying the "right person for the job."

The activity that took the most time in Phase II was the instructor's responses to e-mails from 100 students (regardless of whether the questions were related to content or not). The instructor did not use the assistant for all that she could do. Despite his own estimation that only 6% of the student communications required a math instructor's response and another 16% required an instructor's response (although not necessarily a math instructor), he could not let go of ongoing, non-instructional communications.

Have students been directly involved in the re-design process?

Students were not involved in the re-design process. The intent of the re-design was to be seamless as far as students were concerned so that they would not notice any difference because of increased enrollment and would notice increased communications because of the addition of the assistant.

What kinds of support for your project have you been receiving from your department or the institution more broadly?

The support from the department and institution has always been comprehensive. The infrastructure at Rio Salado was designed to support distance students and large number of students.

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