Laura McNeill

IDEA 3.0: A Team Approach to Building Quality Courses

Posted on Updated on

At 9:00am On 11/10/16 I attended IDEA 3.0: A Team Approach to Building Quality Courses presented by Ms. Laura McNeill & Dr. Jenelle Hodges at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

IDEA 3.0: A Team Approach to Building Quality Courses


What is IDEA: Our Plan

  1. Introductions
  2. The challenge
  3. What is IDEA
  4. The elements
  5. Explanation
  6. Theoretical foundations
  7. Application
  8. Examples of how it works
  9. Q&A


Laura McNeill has 4 years in Higher Education and 15 years in Industry. She has an MS in Interactive Technology and is currently working to complete Ph.D. in Instructional Leadership. She has published 6 novels and is a self-declared coffee connoisseur.

Jenelle Hodges has over 10 + years working in Higher Education. She has an MS and PhD in Instructional Design and Development, and has been a Student, Teacher, Designer in multiple learning environments. She is happily married with 2 little girls and 2 fur-babies, and loves to scrap quilt in her spare time.

The challenge

The question is always the same… is there a road map or a special teaching process leading to success in the eLearning environment? The current academic race for retention in classes, training, and/or degree programs has intensified the examination of the success, or lack thereof, of the eLearning environment. As the demand for online learning grows, institutions are under increasing pressure to produce quality courses for diverse learners.

Collaboration through IDEA

They believe that a sound pedagogically founded model should embody the flexibility and adaptability to move throughout the transformations in current trends within the every changing landscape of education. A collaborative team approach often bridges the gap for faculty faced with developing engaging content and interactive activities that motivate students and facilitate learning. This team of experts, which can include instructional designer, multimedia experts, graphic designers, copyright specialists, and accessibility advisors, use pedagogy, theory, and creative paradigms to develop a framework for quality course design.

IDEA Plan in Action



“Online course development is a complex endeavor, and it is not reasonable to believe that a high caliber online course of instruction can be created by just one or two people. Quality courseware production requires a highly organized, concerted effort from many players” Caplan (2004 )

“Online delivery challenges traditional notions of academics working in isolation and instead brings together teams of people each with unique skills, into a course design and development team” Ellis and Phelps (2000)

“Although it is possible for individual teachers to create entire courses on their own, this requires a tremendous time investment and willingness to learn about many aspects of instructional design and software implementation.  Most faculty would prefer to focus on the content aspects of a course and leave the rest to others” Kearsley (2000)

Theoretical Foundations

Cooperative and Collaborative Theory

  • Interpersonal and collaborative skills. Working together; brainstorming, reflection, and participation are encouraged.
  • Face-to-face interaction. With face-to-face interaction learning becomes dynamic. Team members discuss their ideas and make oral summarizations, while comprehending the value of individual differences and critical thinking. This element can be updated as technology has advanced to include digital interactions.
  • Beneficial interdependence. Team members value collaboration for the successful completion of a task, and the usefulness of team roles, and effective representation.
  • Individual responsibility. Collaboration aside, team members should sense their responsibility towards the group and comprehend the value of their contribution for the successful completion of a task.
  • Group interaction processing. Groups should learn how to interact and then evaluate their effectiveness and skills.


  • Instructional Designers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Media Specialists
  • Videographers
  • Subject Matter Expert
  • And many others!


  • The development phase is where the team create and assemble the learning elements that were discussed during the interact phase.
  • Each team member brings a different skill or knowledge base to the table during this phase. No one person needs to know everything or complete everything.
  • With each person supplying a different piece of the puzzle, the learning elements will emerge.

Theoretical Foundation

ADDIE Model – Development
The Development stage starts the production and testing of the methodology being used in the project. This phase includes three tasks, namely drafting, production and evaluation. Development thus involves creating and testing of learning elements.
Programmers work to develop and/or integrate technologies. Testers perform debugging procedures. The project is reviewed and revised according to any feedback given.


Below is a generic list of tools used in the development phase. Please be aware that this list is not all inclusive as many companies gravitate to specific tools for their business, audience, and capabilities.

  • Elearning Tools (i.e., Dreamweaver, Flash, Soundbooth, Media software, etc.)
  • Classroom Tools (i.e., Word, Framemaker, InDesign, Desktop Publishing software, etc.)
  • Graphic Tools (i.e., Photoshop, Fireworks, Paint, etc.)
  • Server Tools (i.e., Flash Media Server, database applications, etc.)


  • Let the learning process begin!
  • Types of engagement
    • Learner – Faculty
    • Learner – Content
    • Learner – Learner
  • This is the time when the learning element is used in teaching.
  • Engagement by the learners in a course can:
    • Recruit interest in the content
    • Sustain effort and persistence
    • Increase or motivate self-regulation

    Theoretical Foundations

    Universal Design for Learning – Multiple Means of Engagement

    • Affect represents a crucial element to learning, and learners differ markedly in the ways in which they can be engaged or motivated to learn.
    • There are a variety of sources that can influence individual variation in affect including neurology, culture, personal relevance, subjectivity, and background knowledge, along with a variety of other factors.
    • In reality, there is not one means of engagement that will be optimal for all learners in all contexts; providing multiple options for engagement is essential.


    • Textbook Mind Map
    • Inquiry Challenge
    • Voice Thread Discussion
    • Picture Window Activity
    • Wiki Building Resource Hunt
    • Journal Article Review
    • PPT – How Would You Share This Information with Your Colleagues?
    • Infograph
    • Create TED X video
    • Build a Case Study
    • Create a Radio Spot
    • Choose a Position and Defend It
    • Create an Informative Comic Strip
    • Learning Summary
    • Case Studies
    • Portfolios
    • Voice Threads
    • Videos
    • Discussions
    • Citrix
    • Augmented Reality
    • App Smashing


    • A framework for evaluating quality in online instruction.
    • Assessment asks:
      • “Are we teaching what we think we are teaching?”
      • “Are students learning what they are supposed to be learning?”
      • “Is there a way to improve this learning element?”
    • Assessment gives the team a way of evaluating how the learning element is performing – this could be based on student knowledge gain or student performance.
    • Assessment works best when it is ongoing, monitoring progress toward intended goals in a spirit of continuous improvement.

    Theoretical Foundations

    ADDIE Model – Evaluation
    Two Types:
    Formative evaluation: Runs parallel to the learning process and is meant to evaluate the quality of the learning element and its reception by the students. Formative evaluation can be separated into the following categories:

    • One-to-One Evaluation.
    • Small Group Evaluation.
    • Field Trial

    Summative Evaluation: Main goal – prove, once the course is finished, that the learning element had a positive effect.
    Donald Kirkpatrick Training Evaluation Model. Summative evaluation helps us find answers to the following questions:

    • Is continuing the learning element worthwhile?
    • How can the learning element be improved?
    • How can the effectiveness be improved?
    • How to make sure that the learning element corresponds to the learning strategy?
    • How can the value of the learning element be demonstrated?


    • Learning Analytics – ‘the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs Long and Siemens (2011)
    • Stellenbosch study – an institution-wide approach to monitoring first-year students significantly improved student satisfaction and retention (van Schalkwyk 2010)
    • Personal Development Planning (PDP) in the UK reflects a growing trend towards student profiling that goes beyond academic transcripts to include soft skills and wider achievements.
    • Open SUNY – Pedagogy vs. technology, Flexibility vs. rigor, etc.
    • Quality Matters

    All-in-all I thought this was a great presentation, although I felt a little more practical application would have been better served to make this happen. Actual solutions often offered things many teachers could not do- such as request that courses begin over a semester in advance, etc. However, I thought it was well presented, on time and on task.


Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

Posted on Updated on

At 9:00am On 11/8/16 I attended Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education presented by Laura McNeill at the 2016 USCA NDLW Virtual Conference.

Social Media & Learning Engagement in Online Education

This was a really echoey conversation, and the online venue made this very difficult to follow. I had to turn off sound for several portions of the training, but was able to follow the bulk of the conversation. I added the links provided to some of the most echoey portions of the presentation.

As colleges and universities continue to expand online learning opportunities, student engagement, interaction, and participation, as well as the prevention of attrition, will be crucial to the success and growth of such programs. Researchers have observed that the most well planned online and explicitly laid out instructional environment is not enough to sustain learner interest or support engagement. Some studies have suggested increasing student collaboration through a variety of technology tools that simulate to face to face interaction. Social media is one option that shows much potential for positively impacting online learning.

Social Media Explained in Donuts (
YouTube Video (
Blogging/Podcasting: (
Twitter: (

As the BYOD (bring your own device) classroom becomes a more prevalent ideation, it will be interesting to see this approach continue.

Attrition in online classes tends to be a major, ongoing issue. Often this can be seen as an issue with the unreadiness of students for online classes. Again, this is a nod to our ELI and EPIC training on campus – well done team!

<h2>Reasons for attrition</h2>Low motivation and poor study habits, combined with confusion about course activities and deadlines, isolation from classmates and instructions, and slow internet connections often cause problems.

<h2>Crucial Collaboration</h2>Students can be less anxious and more connected when a variety of tools allow them to have the F2F interactions they desire. Student who collaborate and share: use more technology, have a better e-learning experience, and practice self-directed learning. In many cases, social media tools are the answer, but how can you integrate this in the classroom?

<h2>Social Media in the classroom</h2><ul><li>Facilitate informal discussion and collaboration<li>reflect on learning<li>enhance instruction with enrichment<li>Keep students engaged in a non-time-sensitive context.

All-in-all I thought this was pretty good, and pointed once again into what we can do for the classroom, but not a lot of good examples shown here.