Information, Technology & Consulting

Instructional Design at Dartmouth, Part 3: The Future of Instructional Design

Instructional design is the systematic development of educational materials, workshops, tutorials, training, and curriculum to ensure quality instruction and increase student success. In the final of a three-part series on the subject, Interface looks to the future of ID at Dartmouth.

Elizabeth Kelsey

Dartmouth’s EdTech group currently has five instructional designers who help with new teaching-and-learning focused initiatives, such as DartmouthX and the gateway course redesign project, which aims to enhance individualized learning in courses that have large enrollments by necessity.

Instructional Designers work with faculty in multiple ways, according to Michael Goudzwaard, an instructional designer who joined Dartmouth’s team in October 2013. “In the Canvas LMS transition project we reach out to faculty to help with their switch from Blackboard to Canvas, which can sometimes lead to other work together on a course,” Goudzwaard says. “Each instructional designer has a primary area of focus with departmental assignments,” he adds. “This allows us to build relationships with the faculty in our departments of focus so requests also come directly by email or even in a conversation on the sidewalk.”

Ashley Kehoe is an instructional designer who joined Dartmouth’s team in November 2013. Like many who eventually pursue the field, she has a background in education and found her way into the profession by way of teaching. “I learned how important but also challenging it is to develop a curriculum that makes sense for students and accomplishes what you’re actually trying to teach,” Kehoe says. “I started focusing my professional efforts in that direction and found that instructional design is a fusion of my passions for designing meaningful, high-impact learning experiences and using technology in innovative ways.”

Kehoe is currently working with a team of faculty and librarians to develop a long-term oral history project on the Vietnam War.

There are plenty of groundbreaking experiences in store, according to Assistant Director of Educational Technologies Barbara Knauff: “We’re about halfway through our transition to Canvas, which has turned out to be a great opportunity to connect and re-connect with our faculty around teaching and learning questions. We have a robust collaboration with DCAL (the Dartmouth Center for Advancement in Learning) and the libraries, which is growing even stronger with some of our new initiatives. More of our staff have formal degrees in ‘Instructional Design’; and all of them get fewer confused looks when they tell someone what their job title is. Most of our faculty actually know who we are and how we can partner with them to help with their course design. Instructional Design as a profession has moved into the mainstream—both nationally, and at Dartmouth.”

“The overall vision is to train students as oral historians while capturing and archiving stories from members of the Dartmouth community—alumni, faculty, staff, local community members—who remember the Vietnam War and protests on campus,” Kehoe says. “In this example, we're working together to use the faculty's subject matter expertise and my knowledge of experiential learning to create a high-impact learning experience for students while contributing a service to the broader community. That’s what experiential learning is all about.”

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