Instructional & Performance Solutions Designer

Category: Projects

These are projects represented in my portfolio

Implementation of Data Analytics Platform Initiative

PurposeTo improve the hybrid instruction training, development, and review processes at The University of Tampa and to improve hybrid teaching practice.
Intended AudienceFaculty interested in teaching in hybrid formats.
Budget RangeIntermediate-High.
Project RoleProject Manager, Instructional Design & Development, Training, Facilitation, Support
ToolsBlackboard LMS, MS Office, MS Visio, Adobe Illustrator, other.
Created2017

Origins

The University of Tampa (UT) subscribed to EAB’s Student Success Collaborative (SSC) in 2016. The SSC is a group of institutions using an analytics based advising platform to help focus resources on high ROI populations who would typically fall through the cracks of available services, to provide a common platform for advisors and other touch points in the students’ academic career, and to provide institutional improvement through reports utilized by the deans and provost’ office. I was brought on in 2017 after implementation had stalled. My role was to lead the implementation and rollout of the system across campus, return the implementation timeline to an acceptable range, engage the SSC Leadership Team in projects designed to expand and secure the services, and to focus on enhancing the performance of the institution regarding retention and student success. This included determining a rollout plan, and designing and delivering all aspects of implementation, rollout, and training for the system.

Design Overview

The goal of the system is to improve student success through gathering data on a range of academic career points, identifying areas of risk both for individual students and for departments and colleges, and creating and tracking intervention campaigns with students when small engagements are likely to improve their academic success (thus targeting scarce resources). Organizationally, this enhances retention and provides important insight to administration for informing strategic decisions. The goal is to establish partnerships and engagement within and across colleges, programs, and support departments toward one goal: student success.

This required organizing and negotiating relationships between departments and functions, and visualizing those proposals for decision makers. For example, the image above is a visual I made as part of a larger proposal detailing responsibilities for specific helpdesk processes among departments.

Summary

At the time I left UT and this project, the SSC was on track for rapid implementation and continuous rollout across campus. This rollout was pending the resolution of some challenges I was able to identify with the data, which required extensive consideration. Outside of the data concerns, training materials had been developed, and student success and retention were measurably improving due to the collaborative efforts of those utilizing the system. I had around 25 major projects ongoing in various stages of the implementation, including around 12 which involved collaborating with designated component leads focused on helping me customize implementation for specific departments and units. UT shifted to this tool almost exclusively for progress reports, advising, institutional improvement efforts and other services, and advisors, faculty, and staff were actively capturing notes, utilizing alerts, and engaging student success on a daily basis.

Would you like this for your organization?

I am happy to help!

Designing & Developing an Open Badges Ecosystem

PurposeTo improve the hybrid instruction training, development, and review processes at The University of Tampa and to improve hybrid teaching practice.
Intended AudienceFaculty interested in teaching in hybrid formats.
Budget RangeIntermediate-High.
Project RoleProject Manager, Instructional Design & Development, Training, Facilitation, Support
ToolsBlackboard LMS, MS Office, MS Visio, Adobe Illustrator, other.
Created2017

Origins

Summary

The badges were generally well received by stakeholders, although a need to educate the faculty and staff on open badges was prevalent throughout implementation. A number of badges have were awarded and became prominent in graduate orientation and hybrid training areas of the institution.

Design Overview

The Open Badges Ecosystem project served to provide a training and performance improvement tool for faculty and staff at The University of Tampa. The scope of the project included researching badges, creating awareness of what they are, and providing a proof of concept within the constraints of our institutional tools. It also included developing a set of badges for use at UT. This includes three phases:

Phase I: Research 

This phase started the general research into Open Badges, benchmarking similar efforts at other institutions, findings in the literature, and learning to articulate what open badges are, how they are useful, and what the differences are between them.

Deliverables

  • Research Presentation to Faculty (notes)
  • Open Badge Enabled Blackboard Training Course

Phase II: Design

This phase involved designing the badge icons, symbol sets, and ecosystem model for UT. We worked with the Public Information department to create symbols that were approved for UT branding, and worked with various entities to create a base set of symbols that covered a variety of concepts. Instructions for use were created, and the system is now extendable to create future badge sets. 

Deliverables

  • Open Badges Ecosystem
    • Adobe Illustrator File
      • 9 Badge Shields
      • 31 Symbols
    • Instructional Materials for use

UT Badge Ecosystem

Phase III: Development

In this phase all of the badge icon sets were created. Each of the 9 badge shields from Phase II represent a college or department, and each badge can be either academic or non-academic in nature. Each badge also has one of 4 levels (0, 1, 2, or 3 stars), and there are currently 31 symbols. Therefore, there are currently 2,232 separate badge images. 

Deliverables

  • 2,232 Badge images
    • [31 symbols x 4 levels (=124) x 2 options for academic/non-academic (=248) x 9 shields (=2,232)]

Summary

The badges were generally well received by stakeholders, although a need to educate the faculty and staff on open badges was prevalent throughout implementation. A number of badges have were awarded and became prominent in graduate orientation and hybrid training areas of the institution.

Would you like this for your organization?

I am happy to help!

Redesign of Faculty Hybrid Training System

PurposeTo improve the hybrid instruction training, development, and review processes at The University of Tampa and to improve hybrid teaching practice.
Intended AudienceFaculty interested in teaching in hybrid formats.
Budget RangeIntermediate-High.
Project RoleProject Manager, Instructional Design & Development, Training, Facilitation, Support
ToolsBlackboard LMS, MS Office, MS Visio, Adobe Illustrator, other.
Created2017

Origins

At the University of Tampa (UT), I helped establish the initial Hybrid Instruction systems and processes for training, development, and review. Faculty must work through this training process before teaching in hybrid formats at UT. Once it was established and had run several times over the course of two years, enrollment was down, and characteristics of the process, such as all day meetings, were prohibiting participation. 

Given these challenges, I began the process of redesigning the Hybrid Training system to streamline it, increase participation, and better integrate it with existing training offerings. 

Design Overview

Guided by feedback from prior participants, and my experience with the system, I focused the redesign on the goals of aligning the system, streamlining processes, requiring prerequisites, and building more meaningful interaction for face-to-face sessions. Upon polling, it turned out that there was tremendous interest in the new model among faculty. With only 3 weeks to redesign the entire training, and another 2 weeks to carry it out, I immediately set about the work.

The new design followed these stages:

Stage 1: Pre-Requisite Training

After the redesign, the new Hybrid training model required prerequisite competencies, or entry skills, that took advantage of existing training and materials provided through the Center for Teaching & Learning. These prerequisites consisted of demonstrated competence in the Blackboard LMS (evidenced by completion of a semi-automated training course and an earned Open Badge Micro-Credential, each of which I designed in separate projects), Teaching, Instructional Design Basics, and Designing for Accessibility. This ensured a baseline of competency of entrants to NTI.

Stage 2: The “New” New Teaching Institute (NTI)

The primary focus of the redesign was on the New Teaching Institute section. I modified the NTI to replace an expensive pre-session training element that costed $200 per participant (saving $1600 on the first run), and to focus on engaging faculty in effective hybrid practices. The NTI now began by introducing participants to the new Hybrid Course Review Rubric (I previously streamlined this rubric and reduced review times from 60+ minutes to 15 minutes).

From there, the training consisted of teaching the UT Hybrid Shell, best practices and requirements for creating hybrid course artifacts, creating media, and teaching & assessment best practices for hybrid. This was all followed up by a share and tell session where faculty presented their work. 

Much of this content was online, but there were face-to-face sessions where faculty discussed the concepts, shared their practices and work, and provided feedback on each others’ work. Before moving on, participants were required to pass an NTI exit preliminary review assessment project (they had to have their course 100% completed with placeholders, and 25% of actual content).

Stage 3: Hybrid Course Review Committee (HCRC) Review

The follow up section for the NTI remained the same, which required submission of the completed course to the Hybrid Course Review Committee for review by at least three committee members against the rubric. Any feedback and revisions would be shared, and adjustments made, before participants became official UT Hybrid Instructors (and were awarded an open badge in recognition)!

Feedback:

Some quotes from a formative evaluation survey:

  • “I’d love to see Fred Baker continue in this capacity. He is an exceptional facilitator.
  • “The face-to-face meetings helped me to, in my opinion, vastly improve my hybrid course and also gave me an opportunity to address questions I hadn’t thought of (such as captioned videos, ADA requirements, etc.)
  • “Any more than two face-to-face sessions would have felt like a waste of time. Fred was great in responding to emails and answering specific questions I had before and after the face-to-face sessions.”

The Majority of Faculty also Reported Feeling…

  • More Competent with Course Design
  • More Connected with Peers
  • That the Training was of High Value
  • Training was a Worthwhile Investment of Time and Efforts
  • They Would Recommend the New NTI
  • They Would Teach Peers Something They Learned

Summary

The redesign was very successful! The new model successfully incorporated a previous element of the training model, which subsequently saved the institution $200 per participant! Of the 25 interested faculty, eight faculty went through the training during the first session, and it received wonderful reviews by participants! Those who applied to the next stage had their courses successfully reviewed and approved by the Hybrid Course Review Committee, and are Hybrid Instructors today!

Would you like this for your organization?

I am happy to help!

Blackboard Training Course—Semi-Automated & Badge Enabled

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to create a training course for learning to use the Blackboard LMS. I also used this course as the proof of concept course for the Open Badges design project.

Results: I reduced the total time for performing an evaluation from around 60 minutes to around 15 minutes (a 75% reduction) by revising the rubric based on formative evaluation feedback.

Description: I reduced the total time for performing an evaluation from around 60 minutes to around 15 minutes (a 75% reduction) by revising the rubric based on formative evaluation feedback.

Open Badge Enabled Training Course

In Phase 1 of the Open Badges Ecosystem, I led the design and development of an Open Badge enabled Blackboard Training course. Below are materials related to its development.

ScreenShots

Student View of BB Course         Some of the achievements for the BB training Course

Mapping the Course

Here are some concept maps we were using to get our heads around the content for the Blackboard training course project. We did a content analysis of the Blackboard help videos on Youtube, and then classified them into difficulty level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced). We then grouped the videos into subcategories of corresponding to their function in the course (course building, communicating and collaborating, assessing, and data. We designed the course based on the final version of these concept maps, and then created assignments and assessments for each of the items in the concept map.

Bb Help Master Video List concept map20k foot view of classified Bb help videos

Faculty Development Studio Training Initiative

PurposeTo improve the hybrid instruction training, development, and review processes at The University of Tampa and to improve hybrid teaching practice.
Intended AudienceFaculty interested in teaching in hybrid formats.
Budget RangeIntermediate-High.
Project RoleProject Manager, Instructional Design & Development, Training, Facilitation, Support
ToolsBlackboard LMS, MS Office, MS Visio, Adobe Illustrator, other.
Created2017

Origins

Through many discussions with faculty while working at The University of Tampa, I recognized a need for a better foundation in course design, alignment, and other key instructional design concepts. In order to address this, I started thinking through the idea of a professional development studio aimed at instilling this knowledge through reading, discussion, and practice. The group needed to be more than just a book club, which meant supporting faculty in course redesign efforts, offering examples of best practices, and forming cohesion to make peer review and collaboration among participants common.

Upon discussing this need with the Center for Teaching and Learning, they agreed to sponsor the book purchase, and we gathered 16 interested faculty for the journey.

Design Overview

The Faculty Development Studio used a studio model, which emphasizes formative practice, project-based learning, participative and constructive feedback, and iterative improvement of artifacts. I facilitated this project through a series of face-to-face meetings over the course of two semesters, although it can be run virtually as well. It was designed with two major phases in mind.

Phase I: Foundation

In the first semester, an interdisciplinary group of 16 faculty (several from each college) read Dee Fink’s Creating Significant Learning Experiences book. The group followed a reading plan and reviewed relevant course artifacts throughout these meetings.

We identified and discussed the foundational concepts, and then applied them to the faculty’s own course artifacts. For example, we reviewed topics such as course and module level objectives and alignment, and then reviewed these elements in the course and explored the alignment between objectives, assessments, activities, and instructional materials in their actual courses.

We also identified and discussed a number of strategies, techniques, and best practices from the book, from research, and from collaborative conversations among the participants.

Phase II: Application

In the second semester, the same interdisciplinary group of faculty underwent a hands-on, in-depth course redesign process in the Spring 2016 semester. Shifting organizational roles created a need to limit the redesign efforts to core artifacts and an example unit. The faculty collaborated to redesign essential course documents (e.g., syllabus, course maps, alignment tables, etc.), and review and share what they learned. The results were robust course elements, inter-departmental collaboration, and a strong foundation which better supports the students.

The Process

Analysis

This project stemmed from an identified need which emerged through experiences with faculty support, many course reviews, discussions with faculty and administration, and data gathering on the needs of faculty. I was the only Instructional Designer for the University, and was part of the Educational Technology Department at the time. This provided a first-hand perspective of faculty professional development needs.

Design & Development

Based on the needs of the faculty and staff involved, and the nature of the project objectives, it was clear that we needed to meet in a series of sessions over time. It was also important to note that this was a significant undertaking for faculty, so they needed to be aware of the demands going in. Additionally, there were a variety of activities which involved learning new concepts, and then applying those concepts directly to an existing course, which requires support throughout.

The project involved the book and a reading plan, examples of effective artifacts for redesign, discussions and guided meetings focusing on understanding and applying the concepts, activities targeted at implementing the processes and practices, a collaboration space in the LMS, and a variety of small coaching sessions. Additionally, there were opportunities for collaboration, peer review, engagement, feedback, and support throughout.

Summary

The Faculty Development Studio was a success and got a number of great comments in the feedback. Faculty not only came out with more effective course designs, but they reported more confidence in their ability to design an effective course, and appreciated the opportunity to engage around common ideas with faculty from other colleges, departments, and disciplines. A number of faculty members from this group continued to collaborate even after the Studio!

This model was also featured in blog article from the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus

Would you like this for your organization?

I am happy to help!

Implementation & Extension of Hybrid Instruction at UT

Purpose: UT is moving into hybrid instruction, and the primary need is to create a high quality experience that guards the brand UT has worked to develop over the years. 

Results: This ongoing project is making tremendous ground in moving UT toward a more robust hybrid system. Hybrid courses are being offered in different programs and during new times than ever before, and some programs are designed from the ground up specifically to be hybrid. 

Description:Hybrid Instruction is carefully and intentionally being implemented at The University of Tampa, and I play a prominent role in many areas of this implementation. UT has only had hybrid instruction in limited format and only for a few years now, and a robust system is being developed around the establishment of hybrid at the institution. The process currently includes a 3 stage training and review process, each of which I am heavily involved with.

Stage 1: Quality Matters Course

UT currently utilizes Quality Matters training to expose instructors to the concepts of alignment and expose them to faculty at other institutions. This stage is outsourced, but could be brought in-house with the dedication of resources. My role is to reinforce these concepts in the next stage, and to provide in-house versions for adjunct instructors.

Stage 2: New Teaching Institute (NTI)

The NTI instructional course provides faculty with instructional and course design knowledge, and promotes a collaborative community of competent hybrid instructors at UT. Over the last year, I have helped establish the vision, mission, and 3 pillar objectives for NTI, encouraged and obtained some revisions of the Blackboard Course Shell Template (in pursuit of something more like this), and have pushed for a course redesign that focuses explicitly on the three pillar objectives. The course has been restructured and focused on these three pillar objectives, with the first run of the new course in January 2016. We have also extended the offering to adjunct instructors, with the first, more compact, session occurring May 2016.

Stage 3: Hybrid Course Review Committee (HCRC) Review

I have been heavily involved in all aspects of the committee work related to the HCRC, and have been influential in a number of elements such as establishing the course review system, revising the Rubric from 37+ items down to 16 items (reducing the review time by 75%), establishing the technical aspects of performing reviews in Blackboard, and working to establish the official hybrid policy for The University of Tampa Faculty Handbook. I am also involved in establishing policy, practice, and solutions related to a number of remaining questions related to hybrid (e.g., the role of adjuncts, approving the course/instructor combination, design guides/shell, etc.).

Implementing UT’s Open Badges Ecosystem

Purpose: To implement the Open Badge Ecosystem for The University of Tampa and raise awareness of Open Badges to faculty and staff.

Results: Several badge options have already been implemented in Graduate Orientation and for Hybrid Instructors at UT. The larger implementation process is ongoing.

Description: After designing and developing the Open Badges Ecosystem, it is now time to move into implementation of the badges. All 2,232 badge images are loaded into a Blackboard LMS folder that is accessible by all faculty for use. The next steps include creating documentation for accessing and using the badges, and educating faculty and staff about their existence and guidelines on their use.  Examining the uptake in awareness and use of badges over the next academic year will be an interesting indicator of whether badges fit with the UT culture.

Formative Evaluation & Revisions of the Hybrid Course Review Rubric

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to streamline the existing hybrid course review rubric so that effective reviews can be completed in less time. 

 I reduced the total time for performing an evaluation from around 60 minutes to around 15 minutes (a 75% reduction) by revising the rubric based on formative evaluation feedback.

Description: The University of Tampa is moving carefully and intentionally into the hybrid learning space. Part of this process involves a course review rubric for evaluating hybrid offerings through the Hybrid Course Review Committee. When I took on the project, the rubric consisted of a number of items related to various elements of course design, but reviews were taking a long time to complete. 

I did some formative evaluation on the rubric by using the rubric, talking to reviewers about relevant items and which weren’t focused enough, and made revisions once enough usage data was available. I pruned the existing rubric, combined a number of items, and as a result, the average review time was reduced from almost 60 minutes down to around 15 minutes or so.

Revised Rubric: Hybrid Course Review Rubric July 2015

MAAHT

Mobile African American Heritage Trail Project

I volunteered for a project to help in rewriting the signs for the Mobile African American Heritage Trail so they are understandable on a 4th grade level.  We also needed to create some questions for the students based on the material. You can access some of the rewrites at MAAHT Project.