What are the benefits of a positive learning experience? Your institution has engaged students who return every semester and refer other students. Students and faculty create robust relationships in rigorous academic environments, both online and hybrid. You work within your budget to achieve this success, supplemented by CARES Act-funded projects that you were able to direct to professional instructional design services.
To create that positive learning experience, you need the right collaborative partner.
Customized Instructional Design
Customized instructional design services can help.
Sheila Fry, COO of The Babb Group, says creating partnerships and working as a collaborative team is their focus when empowering institutions to achieve their goals:
“Designing for the learner experience is fundamental to student success and course satisfaction,” says Fry. “It encompasses designing not only for content relevancy but also creating engaging learning experiences relevant to the student. It transcends the content from ordinary to extraordinary.”
Here are a few ways to optimize engagement and retention while addressing your pain points with an instructional design partner.
Prioritize Relieving Your Pain Points
It can seem overwhelming to manage budgets, schedules, staff, program development, students, future planning, and emergency planning. You probably have more than those items on your short and long-term planning to-do lists. An outside resource can help you prioritize where to put time, energy, and dollars internally and with external resources.
Create a Quality and a Unified Learning Experience
Many institutions implemented emergency remote learning in 2020. They had to quickly move courses online without advanced planning or instructor training. Now it’s time to revise the emergency courses and create intentional learning experiences for students who choose online and hybrid courses.
Institutions need experienced instructional designers to evaluate the current quality of courses and collaborate on solutions.
Fry says this is one of the most significant asks from clients of The Babb Group.
“A lack of consistency across programs is a quality issue we encounter regularly. Students log into the same LMS for their courses but have unique experiences in every class,” she says. “Students need to hunt for the syllabi or find where to submit assignments. Instructional designers can evaluate and develop a consistent learning experience, leading to increased satisfaction and retention. Consistency may include layout, templates, instructions, accessibility, rubrics, and faculty training on the tools.”
Some institutions are experiencing a bump in enrollment post-Covid, but are challenged with how to retain students through program completion. Creating consistent learning experiences, training faculty, and supporting students are all solutions. Instructional designers are skilled at creating engaging learning experiences where students demonstrate they’ve met learning objectives with assessments they can apply to the real world.
Once a consistent experience is created for students, faculty need training to teach in the environment and connect with students successfully. Faculty that are accustomed to on-ground teaching can benefit from learning how to transfer their skills and expertise to a virtual environment.
Fry says building relationships with faculty and subject matter experts is a key to creating engaging student experiences.
She says, “We partner with faculty to capture their vision for the course and then collaborate to create an engaging online learning experience for students.”
Accessibility is crucial in an online or hybrid environment. Instructional designers can review current courses, faculty-created materials, and resources to apply accessibility best practices. They can also implement adaptations to ensure classes and materials are mobile-friendly.
Sometimes a course needs to be updated for content, outdated links, and to add new resources and information. Instructional designers are skilled at revising, editing, and offering suggestions to create more engaging learning experiences.
There is often a crunch in the weeks before students have access to courses in an LMS where content needs to be loaded into course sections. Some institutions have an internal instructional design team, but they are maxed out. The Babb Group provides instructional designers who are experienced at working in various LMS tools and can offer simple edits where needed.
Fry says, “One of our partners said for every one instructional designer they outsource to us, they could really use three.”
A Collaborative Partner
The Babb Group is a problem-solving partner for institutions. They partner with faculty, program managers, and subject matter experts to collaborate on course design.
The Babb Group’s team is flexible. Instead of a set of services, they seek to understand the organization’s challenges and customize solutions to meet those needs.
Fry explains the perspective of The Babb Group:
“We are educators. Many of our instructional designers are also faculty. Teaching keeps them active in the industry and on the pulse of student engagement and institutional issues.”
For more information on how to partner with THE Babb Group to reach your institutional goals, contact Sheila Fry at academicservices@thebabbgroup.
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