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The Center has several instructional designers and an instructional multimedia designer available to help you with your course.
Instructional designers have specialized knowledge of important aspects of teaching and learning, including (but not limited to) learning theories and practices, student engagement strategies, and effective integration of technological tools both in the classroom and in online environments. Instructional multimedia designers are skilled in helping you develop interactive and graphical tools for your courses. Instructional Design is a discipline that pulls key theories and practices from the areas of Education, Psychology, and Communication. An instructional designer does not need to be an expert in your specific subject area in order to help you discover the best methods for teaching your course. Instructional designers are trained to work with subject matter experts (that's you: the instructor!). You provide the content knowledge, and designers provide the advice, tools and best practices.
Not sure how an instructional designer can help you? Consider these scenarios:
You want your students to collaborate on their group projects outside of class time, but they express concern that their schedules will not allow them to meet up in face-to-face groups.
An instructional designer can suggest a selection of easy-to-use online tools that would allow students to collaborate though Blackboard. The instructional designer will educate you about the tool, provide advice about the placement of the tool in your course, and provide electronic tutorials to educate your students about the use of the tool.
You have been teaching a course on campus, but now you have been asked to teach an online section of the course.
An instructional designer will meet with you and discuss your subject matter, your lessons, your course objectives and learning outcomes, and any activities you may have your students complete in your on-campus course. Then, the instructional designer will aid you in all aspects of the course design: from getting your Blackboard "shell" set up to using the appropriate technology to mimic (or even improve upon) the activities you are accustomed to using in class. Your lectures, handouts, readings, A/V tools, tests, quizzes, class projects and other activities can be integrated into the online environment: it's the role of the instructional designers and instructional multimedia designer to work with you to achieve the most beneficial result for you and your students.The instructional design team and other CILT staff will also make sure that you are familiar with all of the technical support help and learning resources (such as workshops) that are available through CILT.
You need to attend some conferences during the semester, and will miss some of your scheduled classes. But, you do not want your students to miss out on the material for those class sessions.
Instructional designers are familiar with all of the tools available for instructors at UND. One of the Center's instructional designers can suggest various strategies that will allow you to deliver your materials to your students using your class Blackboard site. You can attend your conferences or other events, while your students will still receive your lecture and assigned activities.
You teach a course online, and students always seem to have problems completing one or more of the online activities.
An instructional designer can look at your course and determine what might be giving the students trouble. You will be given advice for how to make the activity more understandable to the students so that they are able to derive the maximum value from the activity.
You're wondering: "What is a 'Wiki'?"
You keep hearing all of these buzz words around the campus. Blog. Respondus. Podcast. Presenter. Merlot. Blackboard IM. Citrix. Wiki. Tegrity. How are you expected to keep up? Instructional designers and instructional multimedia designers are educated in the effective uses of these and many more current and emerging educational tools. They'll be glad to answer your questions about the technologies, demonstrate them to you, and talk with you about best practices for using them. Instructional designers can provide informed opinions about which tool(s) would fit your needs. Then, they can help you integrate them into your lesson plans and activities. You'll also be informed about available online or in-person workshops and tutorials to help you learn more.
You can think of an instructional designer as your personal teaching consultant. Our instructional designers are happy to answer any questions and help solve any issues you might have regarding your online or on-campus courses. Please do understand that an instructional designer will not "push" the use of a tool or activity simply for the sake of using technology. They are here to help you determine what will appropriately and effectively meet your pedagogical needs. If a tool you're using (or have considered using) does not work effectively for your course, the instructional designer will tell you that too (and may suggest alternatives).
Adrienne Salentiny, Jane Sims, and Kristi Swartz are Instructional Designers at CILT. Elizabeth Becker is our Instructional Multimedia Designer. These staff members are all masters in their field, and they're all available to help you with your course in person, over the phone, or through email. If you have any questions or concerns about your course, please contact CILT to set up an appointment with one of these staff. They're here to help you streamline the teaching process - whether your class is taught online, in a classroom, or somewhere in between.