Cross-disciplinary collaborative course design: Successes and challenges from an implementation at OCAD University

Posted on July 21st, 2015

The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) recently released a report that looked at cross-disciplinary faculty who collaboratively designed and delivered nine online professional practice modules available for use in five of six program areas in the Faculty of Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). Collaboration between faculty and an instructional support team was considered a significant achievement; opportunities for improved communication, particularly of effective practices for designing and delivering content in the learning management system and the use of active online learning were identified. Challenges discussed included the course team’s “perceptions about the institutional motivation for developing technology-enabled learning, as well as more pragmatic issues of communication, planning and workload.” Students suggested that there be incentives for completing online modules and suggested that the modules were more successful when they were also referenced in class. Researchers recommended the development and sharing of guidelines for collaborative course development, in particular in active learning, and emphasized the importance of a rigorous evaluation process.