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Problems & Solutions in Course
Development Support & Tracking
Steve Gance, Ph.D.
Maria Del Rocio Nava Rodriguez, MS
About Us
Nov. 11, 2010 WCET 2
Online Learning Services (OLS) is composed of a group of full-time and
part-time staff and s...
About Us
Nov. 11, 2010 WCET 3
Steve Gance:
• Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Technology
• MA in Softwa...
Context
 Portland State University an urban campus
with ~ 28,000 students.
 Partial and fully online courses constitute
...
Problem:
 Four years ago: Two IDs
& two student workers
managed 30 courses
per term.
 # courses managed has
risen almost...
Problem:
 A need for data and analytics on course
development.
 Expanded course quality efforts required
closer attentio...
Search for Solutions
Nov. 11, 2010 7WCET
Should we buy commercial software that might
meet our needs for tracking tasks or...
Why not project management software?
 Course development has fits and starts,
multiple contingent tasks and missed
deadli...
What we built: A DB with course info
 Online, hybrid and web-supported
 Repeat versus new
 Course build status
 Abilit...
What worked well
 Filter by ID, program manager, client, status
 Time tracking in categories
 Rich source of data (and ...
What didn’t work so well
 Status not sufficiently detailed to track
details of course development
 Status cannot indicat...
Enhancements to tracking
 Developed a specification for a significant
expansion of task tracking. It was brilliant
but we...
Enhancements to tracking
 Teambox selected, representing a return to
the original question “build or buy?” this time
with...
Enhancements to reporting
 Automatic notification methods
Nov. 11, 2010 14WCET
Information
Dashboard
Nov. 11, 2010 15WCET
Interface Enhancements
Nov. 11, 2010 16WCET
Enhancements to the interface to provide
dashboard-based reporting and analyti...
Contact Information
Nov. 11, 2010 WCET 17
Steve Gance, Ph.D.
sgance@pdx.edu
Maria Maria Del Rocio Nava Rodriguez, MS
navam...
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Transcript of "Gance nava-wcet-2010"

  1. 1. Problems & Solutions in Course Development Support & Tracking Steve Gance, Ph.D. Maria Del Rocio Nava Rodriguez, MS
  2. 2. About Us Nov. 11, 2010 WCET 2 Online Learning Services (OLS) is composed of a group of full-time and part-time staff and students led by Associate Provost Dr. Mark Jenkins. OLS provides comprehensive services to departments and faculty developing online courses. These services include: • Course and program planning • Budget planning and analysis for all aspects of course and program development • Curriculum and instructional design consultations • Project management of course and program development • Instructional media vetting and production • Course maintenance and redevelopment • Configuration, integration and development of technologies used in teaching, learning and course development. • Analysis of emerging educational technology
  3. 3. About Us Nov. 11, 2010 WCET 3 Steve Gance: • Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Technology • MA in Software Human Factors, BS in Software Engineering Steve’s role is to facilitate the design, development and evaluation of elearning programs and courses implemented, supported and/or managed by the department. He helps to integrate technologies and to design supporting systems and processes to make the use of technology efficient and effective. Maria Maria Del Rocio Nava Rodriguez Maria received her Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Guadalajara and a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Portland State. She has worked as a System Analyst for Hewlett Packard and has successfully designed and deployed various database systems. Her interests are in data design and task automation.
  4. 4. Context  Portland State University an urban campus with ~ 28,000 students.  Partial and fully online courses constitute about 10% of the total courses offered.  OLS helps build and manage over 250 partial and fully online courses per term (80% of partial and full).  OLS services range from building entire courses to consulting with faculty who build their own courses. At minimum, we provide basic configuration and course elements in every course we support. Nov. 11, 2010 4WCET
  5. 5. Problem:  Four years ago: Two IDs & two student workers managed 30 courses per term.  # courses managed has risen almost ten-fold.  Today, three full-time and a part-time ID track up to 70 courses each with 10 student and part-time workers. Nov. 11, 2010 5WCET 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 Partially online Fully online Total
  6. 6. Problem:  A need for data and analytics on course development.  Expanded course quality efforts required closer attention to each course. Nov. 11, 2010 6WCET We needed a solution that didn’t require a lot of overhead to manage, was easy to use for all IDs and course developers yet would provide sufficient information to program managers and IDs about the status of course development.
  7. 7. Search for Solutions Nov. 11, 2010 7WCET Should we buy commercial software that might meet our needs for tracking tasks or should we build our own solution?
  8. 8. Why not project management software?  Course development has fits and starts, multiple contingent tasks and missed deadlines, without dedicated project manager.  Course development projects are often very similar to each other. In contrast, projects, by definition, are one-off.  Some course development is simple; didn’t need overhead of project management.  Any software takes effort to learn; maybe we could build software that supported our current practices. Nov. 11, 2010 8WCET
  9. 9. What we built: A DB with course info  Online, hybrid and web-supported  Repeat versus new  Course build status  Ability to associate a course with client, program manager, faculty and lead ID  Time-tracking  Flexible search and filtering mechanism Nov. 11, 2010 9WCET
  10. 10. What worked well  Filter by ID, program manager, client, status  Time tracking in categories  Rich source of data (and the right data) Nov. 11, 2010 10WCET
  11. 11. What didn’t work so well  Status not sufficiently detailed to track details of course development  Status cannot indicate breakdowns or cause of delays Nov. 11, 2010 11WCET
  12. 12. Enhancements to tracking  Developed a specification for a significant expansion of task tracking. It was brilliant but we balked at the effort. Nov. 11, 2010 12WCET
  13. 13. Enhancements to tracking  Teambox selected, representing a return to the original question “build or buy?” this time with a different answer  Teambox provides ◦ Capture of design conversations, minimizing reliance on email ◦ File drop box to facilitate exchange of files ◦ Tasks assigned to faculty, IDs & staff ◦ Task reminders Nov. 11, 2010 13WCET
  14. 14. Enhancements to reporting  Automatic notification methods Nov. 11, 2010 14WCET
  15. 15. Information Dashboard Nov. 11, 2010 15WCET
  16. 16. Interface Enhancements Nov. 11, 2010 16WCET Enhancements to the interface to provide dashboard-based reporting and analytics holds promise to provide an order of magnitude improvement in effectiveness for IDs and university administrators. But severe limitations on resources continue to hamper progress. For now, we continue to focus on incremental improvements to accomplish what we can with the resources we have.
  17. 17. Contact Information Nov. 11, 2010 WCET 17 Steve Gance, Ph.D. sgance@pdx.edu Maria Maria Del Rocio Nava Rodriguez, MS navam@pdx.edu Mark Jenkins, Ph.D. Associate Provost Online Learning Services jenkinsm@pdx.edu
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