The Launch of #ID2IDchat

If you haven’t heard, a new instructional designer opportunity for conversation is launching on June 17, 2022 at 12 PM ET! The purpose of the #ID2IDchat Twitter chat is to create a community and safe space for instructional designers on social media. Using Twitter, allows for outside connections and contributions to the instructional design and online learning fields through virtual means. My goal with this Twitter chat is to encourage more interaction amongst instructional designers allowing for greater collaboration. These conversations may then help contribute new ideas to the field and grow connections.

Hosted by Blair Stamper (instructional designer, mentor, and host of Be an Instructional Designer Podcast), #ID2IDchat will take place every third Friday of the month on Twitter at 12 pm ET. For one hour, the host of the chat will post questions with the hashtag #ID2IDchat. You will then respond to these questions, follow one another, and increase the collaboration opportunities for IDs all around the world.

I can’t wait to see you there!

Doctoral Research Conference ’22

Today marked a major milestone in my doctoral journey. As an Arizona State University EdD student, we are privileged to participate in the yearly Doctoral Research Conference (DRC). It is a virtual event where all of the students, regardless of their cohort year, share their research journeys. Colleagues connect over similar active research studies and help one another move through challenges they may be facing. The order of presenters in each session is based upon the progress of your journey. Over the past two conferences, I had always presented first or second. This year, I was last.

Not only does this event mark my last DRC presentation, it also shows the progress I have made in my research since beginning my journey. I loved hearing the first year students presenting on their progress so far. It reminded me of how much turmoil and stress I felt those first few years of the program. Between job changes, a vast amount of research I wanted to tackle, and uncertainty of the pandemic, I didn’t know if I’d ever get to where I am today. While I am past all of that, I was beyond appreciative of the keynote this year. It was focused on how to tackle all of the changes you face while earning your degree. I truly think this discussion and conversations helped all students see we are not alone. The amount of support that the faculty and program provides is refreshing.

You can’t finish if you never start.

In just a few short months, I will be defending my dissertation. Until then, I’ll be deep in data analysis and writing. But today, I celebrate a major milestone in my journey.

The Birth of a Podcast

Last night I was listening to a great Podcast (ok, honestly it was called Drama Queens and centered around former characters of One Tree Hill watching the episodes again). As I was listening, I took a look at my office with the microphone I had bought on Amazon’s Prime Day and thought, “I could do this.” After 15 minutes of Googling and researching the possibilities, I realized how easy it would be to get started. Just to make sure I actually had an idea blossoming, I spent an hour drafting up the first three seasons of possible topics. Once I saw the potential of creating 30 whole weeks of content, I knew I had to move forward.

The hardest part of the process was honestly thinking of a name and designing a logo (thanks Canva!). After some reflection, I remembered how each boss I have had has called the instructional design team “rockstars.” So, Be an Instructional Design Rockstar was born.

Season 1: Becoming an Instructional Designer

Episode 1: My Background in Instructional Design

Season 1 is all about becoming an instructional designer. We’re in a large transition phase in the education and corporate world. As we begin to open back up after COVID, more and more instructional designers are needed to create successful online learning courses and trainings. In this season we will discuss tips and tricks for applying for jobs, nailing the interview, and what you need to know about becoming an instructional designer.

In this episode, I will discuss my introduction into instructional design (which was a complete accident) and the credentials I have that I believe have helped me be the best instructional designer possible.

Reflecting on the iLRN 2021 Virtual Conference

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to present at the 7th Annual International Conference of the Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) 2021 on my dissertation research. The entire conference took place in a virtual world hosted by Virbela. Participants were able to create an avatar, walk around the virtual conference world, attend sessions, talk to other participants live through a microphone, and allow the avatar to wave, dance, and shake hands.

For my own poster session, participants could walk up to the virtual poster and view a video that explained more about the topic of my session. Furthermore, my avatar stood next to the poster, which allowed participants to talk to me and ask questions.

I’ll be honest, it was a bizarre experience. However I actually hope these virtual worlds become the new norm for fully online conferences and perhaps collaboration. It was a great change of pace from regular Zoom meetings. And while I didn’t get to see people’s actual faces, I was still able to interact and have conversations with other participants. I was lucky enough to connect with four other participants who have similar research interests. I feel very blessed to have been chosen to present and make new connections in my Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Finding My Leadership Style

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I am extremely appreciative of my growth this summer in regards to finding myself as a leader. After researching and learning the multitude of leadership styles, I feel confident in the theories, styles, and mindset I must follow in order to be successful as a leader and align with my own morals. These leadership theories include: behavioral approaches, authentic leadership, situational leadership, and leadership ethics. These four theories align with my current beliefs surrounding the importance of integrity, honesty, and being yourself, regardless of your position. 

Behavioral approaches. 

Behavioral approach focuses on the behaviors of the leader including “what leaders do and how they act towards followers” (Northouse & Lee, 2019, p. 33). There are two types of behaviors associated with behavioral approach: task behaviors (accomplishing goals) and relationship behaviors (driving follower comfort levels). Depending on the context, as well as the follower, a strong leader uses a combination of task and relationship behaviors to influence others (Northouse & Lee, 2019). 

In learning about behavioral approaches, I was reminded of the elephant and the rider (Heath & Heath, 2010). In order for change to be successful, the leader must change the environment, heart, and mind of a person. This means appealing to the emotional and logical sides of a human being and setting the path with specific examples to move forward. The emotional side (or the elephant) is instinctive and reacts to pain and pleasure. The logical side (or the rider) is reflective and deliberates before making a decision (Heath & Heath, 2010, p. 5-6). 

Using this analogy, it becomes apparent the importance of behavioral approaches in leadership. The context, personalities of the followers, and the type of change will dictate the specific behavior needed (task or relationship) to appeal to either the elephant or the rider. Using these theories together can help elicit change and motivate the followers and stakeholders.

Authentic leadership.

I felt myself align with authentic leadership as I further explored this theory. As discussed previously, authentic leaders rely on their ability to self-reflect and maintain their own integrity (Northouse & Lee, 2019). Personally, I am an open book and often struggle with hiding my own emotions. Additionally, I live my life based on my own morals of being family-oriented, having integrity, and maintaining inner harmony. Because of this, I find myself falling back on authentic leadership – more just being myself – in my journey. 

Situational leadership.

It is interesting to see the connection between situational leadership and behavioral approaches, especially in the use of task and relationship behaviors. Situational leadership is an application of the behavioral approach and relies on the idea that “different situations demand different kinds of leadership” (Northouse & Lee, 2019, p. 42). In my own leadership experiences, I find myself gravitating towards being a situational leader. I often base how I work with other people on the type of project that is occurring, and even the personality of the person. I believe this automatic behavior stems from being a teacher and having to alter my tactics to ensure student success based on the student. The best aspect of situational leadership is how your leadership style can change as the person grows in their own position. 

While reading Heath & Heath‘s (2010) discussion of what seems to be a person problem, could be a situation problem, I realized that the environment in which I work often changes how I work. This is true not only in how I approach problems (positively versus negatively), but also my work ethic. When I feel valued and heard, I speak up more in meetings and produce my highest quality work. However, when my ideas are swept under the rug or presented as someone else’s I begin to slide into the bare minimum. This reflection and realization has helped me start shaping and refining the type of leader I would love to be in the workplace. I want to be someone who inspires, values others, empathizes, puts family first, and creates a culture of high productivity with fun.

Leadership ethics.

While reading Northouse & Lee (2019), I found the common theme of having the expectation of integrity, moral responsibility, and self-reflection amongst the most positive leadership theories and frameworks. The strongest quote for me was “ethical leaders do not lie, nor do they present truth to others in ways that are destructive or counterproductive” (p. 127). Personally, having ethical and moral responsibility comes natural to me. I rely heavily on having integrity and lying is impossible for me. However, I can see how fear of repercussions or fear of failure can hinder leaders from practicing this in their own leadership. From my experiences, integrity and owning up to one’s one shortcomings helps build trust within a team. As a leader, you do not need to know all the answers – that is why you have a team. 


I was reminded this summer that I do not have to be in a leadership position in order to be a true leader. There are ways to influence and empower others and build trust as a colleague versus a formal leader. I needed this reminder as since stepping down from a formal leadership position, I have been overwhelmed by the feeling that I must now be a follower. This is not the case – I can still be myself, which is a leader who encourages change for the better of everyone.


Heath, C., & Heath, D. (2010). Switch: How to change things when change is hard. New York, NY: Broadway Books. ISBN: 9780385528757

Northouse, P. G. & Lee, M. (2019).  Leadership case studies in education. 2nd edition. SAGE.

Shifting Yourself into a Leader

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Recently, I’ve been reading Maxwell’s (2019) Leadershift: The 11 essential changes every leader must embrace. While many of the shifts discussed aligned with my previous experiences, there were many Aha! moments as well. In this post, I discuss my three greatest takeaways from the reading.

Focusing on Your Team


As a leader, your goal is to bring out the best in others and help them reach their full potential. Being a leader is more about your team than you. As Maxwell (2019) describes, “You just might become the leader someone remembers for encouraging them to greatness” (p. 36). Leaders with this ability have a completing mindset, meaning the leader “practices shared thinking and includes others” (p. 36). Leaders who put followers first focus on the giving side of leadership by adding value to positively improve the community (Maxwell, 2019). Encouraging, giving kudos, and allowing others to shine is also associated with this focus. 

Leaders also help build ladders for their followers to join them at the top, rather than standing alone. These ladders are built “on a firm foundation of integrity and strong character” (Maxwell, 2019, p. 132). Additionally, leaders take many moments to self-reflect upon their decisions and are upfront and honest with their followers when there is an issue or a change. Having this ability grows respect within the team, a safe environment, and consistency/follow-through in which the followers can depend. 


One of my favorite parts of being a leader is having the ability to empower and inspire others. I had similar experiences as a teacher when a student would finally understand a concept that they did not understand. I loved seeing the student accomplish goals they never thought possible. I truly believe this is the cause and drive behind my career and passion. As an online learning professional, I want all students to reach their full potential and experience good teaching and learning.

As a problem solver, I often struggle with how to support versus problem-fix. However, I recognize that I don’t have all the answers and need a team to help me problem solve and move the issue forward. It is essential to discuss possible solutions with all stakeholders involved. This is especially important because they will know their audience better than me.

Expand Your Network


Diversifying and expanding your network leads to learning. In Maxwell’s (2019) experiences, expanding his network allowed for his assumptions to be challenged, removed his prejudices, changed his thinking, and made him a better person (p.172). It is essential to expand your network to include people with different viewpoints and then prepare to have open conversations. Extending this idea, creating a team with different values, perspectives, and backgrounds and encouraging all members to collaboratively share their expertise and take part in open conversations is essential. When people on a team are not given the opportunity to share their own thoughts and feel as if they belong, they will disconnect.

Diversity can be scary and uncomfortable. Diverse conversations can lead to healthy conflicts. Healthy conflicts are described as seeking understanding, searching for resolutions, valuing solutions above self, and making the team better (Maxwell, 2019, p. 178). In order to have healthy conflict, all involved must be open to new ideas and perspectives. Expanding diverse teams requires strong leadership. However, we need to use our differences to find common ground and make the world a better place. 


In self-reflecting this summer, I realized that I had not been focusing on multicultural impacts in my growth. Instead, many of the people in my circle look like me, act like me, and have the same beliefs as me. This does not help me learn how to get along with others, discuss/debate respectfully, nor does it help broaden my perspective. As a leader, it is essential to understand that each person’s perspectives stem from their own background and experiences – meaning their culture has an impact on this. Without understanding their culture, you may write off their opinion without considering why they think the way they do. 

As an instructional designer, I must investigate what learning looks like in different cultures and apply that to online learning. I plan on using the remaining summer to read books such as Bender’s (2012), Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning: Theory, practice and assessment, and Jung, I., & Gunawardena, C. N. (Eds.). (2014). Culture and online learning : Global perspectives and research. Additionally, I hope to expand my network through LinkedIn and Twitter and host monthly online learning meetings to discuss hot topics in education, new perspectives, and investigate how learning looks in different countries and cultures.

Be Brave


“A leadership position does not give someone leadership authority” (Maxwell, 2019, p. 195). Instead, the morals and actions of a leader must align, creating respect and trust in you as a leader. Having moral authority requires a leader to be brave and courageous. A leader must have the courage to admit when you don’t know the answer and ask for help. Additionally, a leader may have to stand alone against society or higher leaders for the good of the team. This is called transformational leadership (Maxwell 2019; Northouse & Lee, 2019). Transformational leaders speak up even when it is scary. They focus on changing themselves, being adaptable, and having a growth mindset.

As a leader, you must be willing to live in the gray. Leadership comes with a lot of uncertainty – leaders attempt to make decisions based on their own personal experiences and outlooks, without truly knowing the future. This means having the ability to “learn, unlearn, and relearn (Maxwell, 2019, p.10). What worked last year, may not work today, and probably won’t work in the future. 

Finally, to be brave leaders must encourage learning through failure. No one is perfect and will make mistakes. The greatest lessons and creativity come from failing first to find out what works and doesn’t work, then utlizing these lessons to self-reflect. Success stems from small consistent wins. Be consistent and you will slowly see success.


Encouraging failure in a small team is much more manageable than an entire systemic change at an institution. In my own practice, it is essential to reframe failures into challenges. During each course development, the faculty members and I can reflect upon both successes and challenges and use those challenges for growth. Following this process, we can hone in our final intervention and get the best possible outcome.


Bender, T. (2012). Discussion-based online teaching to enhance student learning:Theory, practice and assessment (2nd ed). Stylus Publishing, LLC. ISBN: 9781579227470

Jung, I., & Gunawardena, C. N. (Eds.). (2014). Culture and online learning : Global perspectives and research. Stylus Publishing, LLC. ISBN: 9781579228552

Maxwell, J.C. (2019). Leadershift: The 11 essential changes every leader must embrace. Harper Collins.

Northouse, P. G. & Lee, M. (2019).  Leadership case studies in education. 2nd edition. SAGE.

Where do we go from here?

COVID-19 and Online Learning
Part 1

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The implications of COVID-19 in higher education has the potential for creating many disruptive innovations, especially in online learning. Online learning is not a new concept. However, COVID-19 effected over 1.38 billion students when K-12 schools, universities, and colleges were forced to close their doors and move to remote learning (Li & Lalani, 2020). As Cascio (2009) described, this was a future that was “weirder than expected.” No one saw this dramatic shift in education coming, nor were many schools prepared for it. Disruptive innovation becomes a factor as universities and colleges begin planning to further integrate online learning in their strategic plans. Speaking from personal experiences, remote learning is NOT the same as pure online learning. As Li and Lalani discuss, the full benefit of online learning must “go beyond replicating a physical class/lecture through video capabilities (para 15). As an online learning professional, I worry about how online learning will change as universities and colleges use the data from Winter/Spring semester to drive online learning decisions going forward. As Clay Christensen discusses, true innovation in online learning will only work if we don’t use past data from the previous semester to drive strategic plans in the field of online learning (Harvard Business Review, 2012). Instead, research into successful online learning practices must occur. It will be interesting to observe how the quality and vision of online learning will shift as schools realize they survived shifting to remote learning in a crisis.

Due to my passion of the topic, follow this blog for a five-series researched based techniques for online learning courses.


Arizona State University (2012). ASU Online named product of the year by Pearson higher ed. to an external site.  

Cascio, J. (2009). Futures thinking: The basics. Fast Company to an external site.

Harvard Business Review (2012). Disruptive Innovation Explained [Video]. YouTubeDisruptive Innovation Explained

MOOCs and Educational Systems

Problem of Practice

How does incorporating discussion boards in a graduate level online course affect students’ career readiness in the form of written communication, interpersonal skills, and collaboration in Engineering?

To what extent does the level of engagement with discussion boards in a graduate level online course affect students’ career readiness in the form of written communication, collaboration, and adaptability in Engineering?

Part 1

As the creation and offerings of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) increases for big named Universities, I decided to take the time to be a student in a course.  My work site has also begun making MOOC style classes in different Colleges than the one I work.  I hoped to see the types of pedagogy utilized in these free courses and compare it to a credit-bearing online course at the same University.

Part 2

Date:  November 22, 2019

Site:  Successful Negotiation:  Essential Strategies and Skills MOOC Course


During this week’s observation, I spent some time completing a MOOC style course hosted by Coursera.  This course called “Successful Negotiation:  Essential Strategies and Skills,” was created by the University of Michigan.


The course was divided up into 7 weeks/modules.  These weeks/modules were then divided up with readings, videos to watch, and optional discussion boards.


The discussion boards were used to discuss and ask questions about the week’s content.  Students were using the discussion boards, but there were little responses occurring between students.  In Week 1’s discussion board, there was 91 pages of responses without any responses from the instructor or the moderators.  A small handful of students would respond to each other, but the majority of the posts were unanswered.


The videos were recorded in a studio with PowerPoint slides integrated.  Closed captioning and transcripts were also available in multiple languages.  The required readings were very short and were often excerpts from the recommended readings/books.  Each week/module had a knowledge check that consisted of 5-10 true/false and multiple choice questions.  There was also an exam at the end that you had to receive 80% in order to pass the class.  Finally, there was one large project where the student would practice the negotiation skills they learned.  The student was required to find a partner, read through the scenario, and act out how they would negotiate.  They would then receive feedback from their partner and reflect upon the process.


Comparing to an Educational System

In this case, a MOOC is an educational system that relies on revenue and could be considered part of the for-profit sector.  Anyone can produce a MOOC and publish it on a website such as Coursera.  Many Universities have partnered with companies such as Coursera to offer their courses for free or at reduced rates.  Some schools even offer Degree programs through the site.  Since MOOCs often have little interaction with instructors, and students can learn at their own pace, the entire system is very loosely coupled.  There is little regulation and moderation of discussion boards/student questions – leading to little student-to-instructor interaction.  In addition, many of the courses are set up for little-to-no interaction due to this idea of no regulation/moderation.

Part 3

Lewis, C. (2015).  What is Improvement Science?  Do we Need It in Education?.  Educational Researcher, 44(1), 54-61.


Change in the Educational Systems can occur in two ways:  through experimental science or improvement science (action research).  Experimental research is focused on the theory of a program or curriculum.  The implementation is the same regardless of the implementation location.  Improvement science focuses on varying the implementation based on the system in which it is being implemented.  Improvement science incorporates two types of knowledge:  knowledge of the curriculum and knowledge of the system as a whole.  It is driven by a “plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycle (Lewis, 2015, p. 54).  Through improvement science, the change is driven by the stakeholders with the greatest impact (such as teachers), and reported to higher administration.

The best change implementation is through a combination of both.   Experimental science has given us many theories for improving teaching and learner experiences.  By incorporating these theories with variation based on the system, we can tailor these theories for practice (improvement science).


  • The best type of change implementation occurs when it is tailored to the specific educational system.
  • Experimental research is easier to set-up, since it is a one-size-fits-all model.  But, in the long run, the particular change may not coincide with the educational system and may end up failing.
  • Improvement science gives the educators and teachers the empowerment to lead change on a larger level.

Part 4

  • How do improvement science and action research differ?  How are they similar?
  • It is extremely important to consider the entire system when applying a certain change.  For example, this is why I have decided to go with a career-readiness spin in my research project.  Since students are already successful in the online courses, arguing retention and student success would have failed.

Classroom Observations

Problem of Practice

How does incorporating discussion boards and group work in a graduate level online course affect students’ career readiness in the form of written communication, collaboration, and adaptability in Engineering?

How does the level of engagement with discussion boards in a graduate level online course affect students’ career readiness in the form of written communication, collaboration, and adaptability in Engineering?

Part 1

With a focus on Graduate level students in my research study, I decided to observe a Graduate level live classroom.  This professor is potentially someone I could partner with during the research project and who also teaches online.  My goal was to be able to see how the professor’s online courses compared to the residential courses at the University.

Part 2

Date:  November 14, 2019

Site:  University-Level Undergraduate Engineering Course


This week I observed 60 minutes of a lecture on the design of experiments at the University-level.  The topics of this particular session included:

  • Overview of Design of Experiments (DOE)
  • Elements of Experimentation Design
  • Main Effects
  • Factor Interactions
  • Two Factor Experiments

In regards to semester timing, the students have just passed the mid-term.  There is a face-to-face and an online section of the course.  This course is recorded using lecture capture and posted for both sections to review.

Setting:  The classroom was set-up in rows with moveable tables and chairs.  There were 3 TVs showing the session’s PowerPoint on each side for students in the back of the class to see the lecture easier.  There was a white board and a projected screen at the front of the classroom.  The front screen showed the PowerPoint for the lecture and the instructor lectured from the front of the class at a podium.  The podium had a desktop, Wacom tablet, second monitor, and a stylus pen.  The classroom is set up to be recorded with lecture capture.  There are cameras pointed at the instructor and the class.  The instructor wears a microphone and there are microphones hanging from the ceiling throughout the classroom.


Lecture:  The instructor started the session by going over the topics for the day.  The PowerPoints had all of the information on each slide, but the instructor would add in notes to elaborate the information by using the stylus pen.  When the instructor wanted the class to focus on a certain item, he would use the stylus pen to circle and underline.


He would also add math equations on the side of the PowerPoints that went along with the topics.  The instructor provided real-world application examples of the topics he was covering and explained how these related.  He would often stop after covering a concept and ask “how are we doing so far?”  He would also ask questions such as “what happens next” or “what does this mean?”  It was obvious the instructor was reading the room for understanding because he would add more examples or elaboration for certain concepts.

Because the course is being recorded, the instructor would stay close to the podium to ensure the best experience for online students.  The TV in the back of the room showed what the instructor looked like on camera to help him identify where he could and could not walk.  When students asked questions or answer questions, the classroom microphones were turned on.

Comparing to an Educational System

Being that this is a classroom, this course is part of a larger educational system.  Each section of this course is taught differently.  There is a tightly-coupled approach to the concepts that must be covered in the course, but a very loosely-coupled approach in how it is taught.  Not all of the sections have online components like this one.  The components of the classroom is tightly-coupled due to having to be recorded for online courses.  However, the set-up of the classroom is loosely-coupled.  Because of the moveable chairs and tables, each class could be set up in groups, rows, u-shaped, etc.

Part 3

Apple, M. W. (1992). The text and cultural politics. Educational Researcher,21(7), 4-19.


Textbooks and curriculum choices are often driven by majority groups.  Because of this, there are often bias in them created by power struggles in cultures.  In fact, textbooks are often published based on certain markets (Apple, 1992, p. 4).  Often times, states in the south have state-wide textbook adoption.  Due to the funding created by this, “texts made available to the entire nation, and the knowledge consider legitimate in them, are determined by what will sell in Texas, California, Florida, and other large textbook-adoption states” (p. 6).  For example, certain history lessons are focused from one perspective only.  When negotiations occur to add in new perspectives, they are included in a “small and often separate section” with little-to no elaboration (p. 8).  The author reiterates throughout the text that the writing of and choice of textbooks can “transform the entire social space” by creating “entirely new kinds of governments, new possibilities for democratic political, economic, and cultural arrangements (p. 8).


  • Students should not accept exactly what they read and learn in school at face-value.  This is often full of bias and may even be written from one social perspective.

Part 4

  • During data collection, since I have a plan of adding a scale to the level of engagement in discussion boards, it might be a good idea to compare this to the post-survey results.
  • Curriculum is often biased based on majority groups.  Does student-to-student interactions in online courses benefit every student?


The Online Landscape

Problem of Practice

How does incorporating discussion boards and group work in a graduate level online course affect students’ career readiness in the form of written communication, collaboration, and adaptability in Engineering?

Part 1

Since my Problem of Practice is focused on online learning, I spent some time this week immersed in different University online courses.  These courses are at the graduate level and have face-to-face components – meaning both the face-to-face students and the online students are in the same Canvas site.  The number of students in each class range from 10-100.  These courses are managed by faculty and graduate student instructors (GSIs).  The actual course set-up is completed by the online department at the College, but there are no specific standards for how the courses are set-up.

Part 2

Date:  November 8, 2019

Site:  Canvas Site



  • Each online course has a syllabus that introduces the students to the course and includes information such as policies, topics covered, and contact information.  Some of these courses have it as a page, others as a link, and some as both options.
  • Every course also requires the honor code to be linked in the course as a tab on the left.
  • Tools that are not being used, such as BlueJeans or Discussions, are not turned off.


  • The home page is set-up differently in each of the courses.  These include:  announcements, syllabus, or a course outline page.
  • Lectures of the course are posted within 24 hours of the face-to-face class.  These are either posted on a separate page with assignments listed or within a tab on the left hand side of the course.
  • A small number of courses utilize the discussion tool for students to ask questions.
  • Some courses have a time zone converter tool.

Comparing to an Educational System

These courses are part of a larger, decentralized educational system.  Very recently, the online landscape at the University has switched to a centralized center. Like other educational systems, there is a hierarchy at the college that oversee the courses.  Within each course there are instructors, GSIs, students, assignments, and grades.  The set-up of the courses are extremely loosely-coupled.  This is seen by the way how every course looks different and has a different experience.  The registration process for getting into the class is tightly-coupled.  Students must register by a certain date, go through a certain process, and then get added to the course once the course site is built.

Part 3

Sutton, R. I., & Rao, H. (2014). Scaling up excellence: Getting to more without settling for less. Crown Business.


The act of scaling successfully is an art form.  While scaling, there will be moments when everything seems to be going wrong.  Rather than focus on these negatives, stay positive with your goal in mind.  Often times, company leaders want to move quickly to become successful.  But, the most successful scaling attempts take time, it is a marathon, not a race.  As you scale, and teams get larger, it is important to remember that smaller teams are more productive.  However, this must be balanced with communication processes since this skill is essential between sub groups of teams.  When changing processes and implementing changes, it is important to follow-up on the trainings.  Workshops and trainings can inspire pockets of change, but this change can be ruined if there are too many initiatives or if the change is not followed up on.


  • Stay positive, even during the tough times.
  • Be inspiring.
  • Don’t get bogged down in the beaucracy of creating processes.  Create them as they come up.
  • Utilize premortem – pretend you are in the future.  Look back as if you were successful and you failed.  What went right?  What when wrong?  What were you missing?  Begin thinking about all the “what ifs.”
  • The most successful teams are smaller subsets of bigger teams with strong communication with each other.
  • People must be willing to foster the change in order for successful scaling to occur.

Part 4

  • How do we encourage faculty to be willing to change and try new things when they are bogged down with too much cognitive load?
  • We will eventually need processes and design standards, but we should make these as we need them.  Instead, focus on intake proccesses, pipeline documents and how to work with us.  Then, as we start moving the needle to introduce new teaching techniques, we can create design standards.