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The UW-Superior Course Design and Engagement Standards

The UW-Superior Course Design and Engagement Standards

A set of standards has been designed by the project design team in consultation with faculty and staff. The standards are based on a nationally-recognized set of standards that balances technical expertise, pedagogical considerations, and care for the overall student experience. However, our local revision has been customized for our instructor community with input from the Assessment Committee and the CETL Advisory Board. In fact, it has been significantly altered in order to reduce past problems with the nationally-recognize standards and be more flexibly interpreted for the variety of unique and dynamic approaches to pedagogy we have across our campus. I believe these standards will improve communication of best design practices during this project. The standards will be utilized to facilitate creation, review, and approval of courses for Fall 2020. This is a pilot project from which we all learn a great deal. 

Course Syllabus and Information
Course Contains Introduction from Instructor
Course Instructional Materials (Commentary, Readings, Multimedia)
Course Assignments and Student Work Assessment
Inclusive Design
Preparing for Student Engagement
Prompt for Overall Feedback from Reviewers

Course Syllabus and Information

  • Adheres to the approved UW-Superior Syllabus Template and is included as a page in Canvas course.
  • Includes "Important Student Information" module (distributed by UW-Superior administration each term.)
  • Includes updated Canvas profile with picture, contact, and short professional bio.
  • Explains how students can reach and meet with instructor, whether online or face-to-face.

Course Contains Introduction from Instructor

  • Introduces students to the instructor and the course.
  • Provides clear instructions indicating how students start the course and where to find various course components.
  • Identifies how to get in contact with the instructor and establishes how students should interact with the instructor and other students in the course.
  • States the minimum technology requirements required to succeed in the course and provides information about how to access all required technologies.

Course Instructional Materials (Commentary, Readings, Multimedia)

  • Course instructional materials (such as mini-lectures, commentary, and assignment explanations) are created as Canvas pages, allowing the Immersive Reader tool to function.
  • Linked or referenced course materials, such as a video are introduced by the instructor and its purpose is contextualized within the course or lesson.
  • The course models academic integrity by including source references for use of instructional materials.

Course Assignments and Student Work Assessment

  • Student workload is manageable and matches the expectations of the course level.
  • Course assignments clearly state the assignment requirements (including length, formatting, citation expectations).
  • Course assignments include an explanation of how students work will be evaluated. 
  • Assignments, activities, and group work are explained appropriate to the modality.

Inclusive Design

  • The course contains modules that are organized in sequential order and named consistently.
  • Video or audio instructional materials such as videos or podcasts have captions or transcripts that students can access.
  • Instructional materials, like PDFs, are accessible for screen readers.
  • Instructor provides directions explaining how to access all multimedia, tools, and course resources.
  • Course outcomes and learning objectives are stated clearly, are written from the student's perspective, and are prominently located in the course.

Preparing for Student Engagement

  • Course provides space for students to introduce themselves and make connections
  • Instructor provides opportunities for interaction between students and instructor that support active learning
  • Course contains a Canvas Discussion where students can ask questions
  • Instructor explains how students should view and respond to instructor feedback and how soon to expect feedback.
  • Instructor provides opportunities for reflection and/or input into course at one or more points in the semester

Prompt for Overall Feedback from Reviewers

Please answer the following questions, thinking about the course from the perspective of a student.

  • Are the instructional materials appropriate to the discipline and engaging to students?
  • Are materials contextualized so that their purpose is clear?
  • What are some things that you think the course does exceptionally well?
  • Where are some areas that you think need to be reworked/improved/reorganized?
  • Do you think this course, as is, is consistent with the quality that a student can expect at UW-Superior?
  • If no:  What are the necessary pieces that may be added, removed, or changed?