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Collaborative Course Development Model at BCIT

Overview

Creating an online course at BCIT is truly a collaborative effort. With a development team to work with, you don’t have to learn all the technical aspects of online course delivery before creating your online course. Your subject matter expertise, and a willingness to work with others is all that is necessary.

Here is a short overview of the roles of the other team members. A typical course development team is composed of an instructor/subject matter expert, project lead/designer, writer/editor, graphic artist, and technical advisor. If multimedia and/or video are required, a multimedia developer and media producer may be involved as well.

The project lead determines the composition of the team in consultation with the subject matter expert, and also provides instructional design expertise. The writer/editor revises new and existing content, while the graphic artist takes care of any photos and drawings required. The technical advisor assists at the beginning of the project to help select appropriate educational technologies and ensure that the planned technical solution is feasible. Later in the development process, when project files are at a final stage, they will begin uploading these files into the learning management system and also prepare quizzes, discussion areas, etc., required for the course.

When you first embark on creating an online course, you may feel intimidated by the rich skill set available, and daunted by the task ahead. Rest assured that your expertise in your subject area and your teaching skills are critical and valued; you can safely rely on the other members of the team to help you overcome any technical hurdles and ensure the successful launch of your online course.

The value of collaboration

Developing an online course was once a lonely occupation, and often a frustrating one. Only brave, determined souls took on the many tasks necessary to not only design and write the course, but also host and deliver it. This could often work well for the early-adopter type of instructor, but was not a sustainable or scalable model.

In an educational institution like BCIT, there is considerable value in pooling resources in one department, such as the Learning and Teaching Centre, to achieve economies of scale. The curriculum development professionals at the LTC almost always work on several projects at once. Projects are normally all at different stages of completion, making this possible.

The value of working with your project team is increased by the expertise they have developed in working on a wide variety of projects, for different subject areas. They will almost certainly have experiences from past projects that can be brought to bear on your particular project.

The team approach also provides another very important benefit: the synergy of the team helps keep moving the project forward. On your own, you may be overwhelmed, or just plain uninspired. Having a whole team to work with means that you will be pulled out of the development doldrums you can sometimes fall into without realizing it.

Finally, working in a team can be a fun and inspiring experience.

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