GOALS AND DESIGN
COURSE GOALS AND DESIGN SOLUTIONS
GOAL 1: Learn about course participants early in the course to enable us to enhance the learning experience and foster a learner-centered learning environment.
Pre-course survey; learner introductions; divided learners into smaller groups monitored by course facilitators who made efforts to become acquainted with learners.

GOAL 2: Immediately engage learners and keep them engaged.
The course featured regular videos from course instructor and course inspirer; colourful, attractive homepage with easy access to module material; frequent opportunities for interactivity at different levels; interesting and relevant material.

GOAL 3: Reach learners on an emotional level.
Use of engaging graphics, multi-media and activities which sparked learner’s interest, increased motivation, and fostered recognition of the relevance of the content. Emotion conveyed through instructor presence such as video and dialogue reflected in learners.

GOAL 4: Prepare a multi-modal design to appeal to various learning preferences.
Various types of content representation and use of multi-media; ongoing course discussion; variety of assessment methods such as quizzes, practice activities, explore activities, and e-portfolio entries.

GOAL 5: Maintain the ‘open’ concept of a MOOC by providing learners with choice in their own learning experience; design for learners of varying knowledge and computer experience.
No prerequisites for any part of the course; learners were free to choose their learning path and could move through the course however they wished and at whatever level of engagement they chose. Computer and Internet Basics sections were created to ensure scaffolding beginning at even a novice computer user as an effort to further reduce barriers to entry.

GOAL 6: Design to feature cognitive, teaching, and social presences as posited by Garrison, Anderson & Archer’s Community of Inquiry model.
COGNITIVE PRESENCE: Content was presented in progressive chunks and learners were provided the opportunity to practice and apply each section of content; learners were led through constructivist activities leading them to formulate their own customized strategy for adapting to the online learning environment.
TEACHING PRESENCE: Three levels of instruction were present in the course- the Professor, the Inspirer, and the Facilitators. The course was ‘led’ by an AU Faculty member who acted as the figurehead of the MOOC in the role of the ‘Professor’. The Professor provided a consistent ‘flat’ presence through the use of pre-recorded video and pre-set text segments. The second layer of instructor presence (the ‘Inspirer’) involved a dynamic interactive presence in the course. The third level of instruction was that of the Facilitators who were responded to learner emails, discussion board posts, submissions and activities.
SOCIAL PRESENCE: Instructor-students interaction and student-student inter-action were encouraged throughout the course; video announcements and use of multi-media were used to increase social aspects of the course; ongoing course discussion was facilitated, fostering the development of a learning community.

GOAL 7: Establish a learning community.
Learners were encouraged and prompted to develop learning community through course content, within activities, and by course Facilitators.


2016/17 DESIGN TEAM
Marti Cleveland-Innes
Project Director
Chair, Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University

JoAnne Murphy
Project Manager, Instructional Designer
Dalhousie University

Dan Wilton
Web Specialist, Graphic Designer, Course Inspirer
Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University

Caroline Park
Course Instructor
Chair, Graduate Programs, Athabasca University

2015 DESIGN TEAM
All of the above and:

Iain McPherson
Project Assistant, Instructional Designer, Course Inspirer
Centre for Faculty Enrichment, Durham College