Strut Learning Roles
Instructional Designers will work with [UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE NAME] faculty SMEs to develop the competency learning experience including content, simulations, as well as assessment design.
The [Position Title of Content] is focused on overall content development for the program and oversees the Strut Learning project managers and instructional designers.
[Optional] Project Manager will guide the overall development of each competency. This will include content curation, including researching how to fill any content gaps with Strut Learning material/other open sources, or creating new content. Strut Learning Project Managers will also work closely with the [UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE NAME] psychometrician to ensure development of assessment items based on identified standards.
Instructional Design Approach
Prior to developing a competency, it is important to understand the instructional design approach, which is directly linked to the foundation of CBE, focusing on outcomes and the end result of mastery.
The competency-based program at [UNIVERSITY/COLLEGE NAME] will be developed using a backward design approach. This is different from a traditional approach in that assessments are fully developed prior to establishing the learning activities to ensure complete alignment to the competency and associated learning objectives. The idea is to keep the end or goal in mind before creating and curating content and planning formative assessments. Table 2 shows the differences between traditional and backward course design.
Table 2. Traditional versus Backward Course Design
Instructors are often accustomed to jumping to learning activities (such as reading materials, presentations, and activity ideas) before clarifying competencies for students. Creating the assessments upfront will ensure greater alignment to the competencies so that design will focus on the desired results. To better illustrate this process, below is an example of how backward design was implemented in developing the Oral Communications competency:
• The faculty SME for Oral Communications first reviewed and familiarized herself with the assigned competency. Step A in Table 2 above was completed by listing the competency and objectives:
o Competency: Deliver a well-organized oral presentation using delivery techniques and supporting materials appropriate for the audience.
▪ Analyze audience and purpose.
▪ Identify and present central ideas.
▪ Support central ideas.
▪ Compose presentation outlines.
▪ Demonstrate basic patterns used in public speaking, including composition and organization.
▪ Speak clearly, accurately, and fluently with a sense of continuity.
To complete Steps B and C, the faculty SME began by creating the final/summative assessment. In this example, the summative assessment includes six deliverables: a topic proposal, a formal full-sentence outline, a speaking outline, one or more presentation aids, a reference page, and a video recorded presentation. At this point, the faculty SME then develops learning activities and checks for understanding (formative assessments) to ensure the student is prepared for the final assessment. Consider the objective addressing the composition of outlines: Learning activities might include readings about how to develop outlines, reviews of example outlines, evaluations of good and poor outlines, and a drag-and-drop activity in which the student creates an outline. Checks for understanding may include multiple choice and true false questions.
While the design is backward focused, keep in mind that it is iterative such that as the faculty SME develops activities, they may discover something new that was not included in the CFUs or the summative assessment, so revisions can be made to consider new information and ideas as they unfold.