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Course Development Issues

University of Central Florida

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

The American National Government course redesign project has used a combination of previously developed materials and new materials. The faculty in the Political Science department developed a series of instructional modules currently in use as learner activities and content delivery. While the development of the modules with the support of instructional designers and other course development specialists focuses on new materials development, modules and learning activities often utilize previously developed materials found on the World Wide Web.

Political Science faculty members serve as content experts and work with instructional designers to structure the modules. Buy in to the project by department faculty has been improved through their involvement in module writing and their ability to select modules to be used in their sections of the course. Faculty have found excellent materials on the World Wide Web that meet the instructional objectives of the course. This has helped raise the awareness of some more skeptical faculty about the appropriateness of using the Web as a source of up to date content for their courses. We have found that consistency of form and quality control are issues that need constant monitoring when several faculty members write modular materials that are intended for use together in the same course.

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

The activity that took the most time was writing the online modules for the course. This was expected. The activity that took an unexpectedly long time at the beginning of the project was gaining agreement by the department faculty on the core outcomes of the course and the format of the instructional modules to be used in the course redesign.

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