How Faculty Can Effectively Collaborate With Instructional Designers
As online and hybrid learning grows, Instructional Design is cemented as a vital part of higher education. However, despite the importance of Instructional Designers in creating effective and engaging courses, many faculty members need help understanding what they do or how to collaborate with them. This lack of understanding can lead to frustration and miscommunication between Instructional Designers and faculty, hindering the progress of course design and development. To progress in collaborating with faculty who may need help understanding or care about the role of Instructional Designers, it is crucial to educate them on what Instructional Designers do and how they can benefit from working together. Here are some ways to collaborate with faculty and educate them about Instructional Designers.
8 Ways To Educate Faculty Members About Instructional Designers
1. Start With A Conversation
The first step to collaborating with faculty is discussing Instructional Designers’ roles. Ask them about their experience with course design and development, and determine their expectations for the course. Then, explain how Instructional Designers can help them meet those expectations. Be clear about what Instructional Designers can and cannot do, and provide examples of how they have helped other faculty members in the past.
2. Provide Clear Explanations Of The Role Of Instructional Designers
One of the first steps in working with faculty members who may need to become more familiar with the role of Instructional Designers is to provide clear explanations of what Instructional Designers do. This may involve describing the different stages of course design and development, the various tools and technologies used, and the expertise that Instructional Designers bring to the process.
It’s also important to emphasize that Instructional Designers are not technical support or customer service personnel. Instead, Instructional Designers are experts in pedagogy and course design, and their role is to work collaboratively with faculty members to create engaging and effective courses.
3. Clarify Roles And Responsibilities
Establishing clear roles and responsibilities for Instructional Designers and faculty members is essential to ensure effective collaboration. This may involve creating a project plan or timeline that outlines the different stages of course design and development and identifies who is responsible for each task.
In addition, it’s essential to establish clear communication channels and protocols to ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the process. This may involve setting up regular meetings or check-ins to discuss progress, sharing documents and resources in a centralized location, or using collaboration tools such as project management software or shared Google Drive folders.
4. Offer Training And Professional Development Opportunities
Providing training and professional development opportunities is an effective way to help faculty members learn more about the role of Instructional Designers and how to work with them. This may involve offering workshops, webinars, or one-on-one consultations to help faculty members learn about course design, instructional technology, and best online and hybrid learning practices.
In addition, Instructional Designers can provide training on specific tools and technologies that faculty may use, such as Learning Management Systems, video conferencing tools, or multimedia creation tools. By offering training and professional development opportunities, Instructional Designers can help faculty members feel more confident in their ability to design and deliver effective courses.
5. Foster A Culture Of Collaboration
Creating a culture of collaboration is essential for effective course design and development. This may involve emphasizing the importance of working together and valuing the expertise of both Instructional Designers and faculty members. One way to foster a culture of collaboration is to involve faculty members in the course design and development process from the beginning. This may involve conducting needs assessments or surveys to gather input from faculty members and students about what they need and want from the course. By involving faculty members in the process, Instructional Designers can help ensure that the course meets the needs of both faculty members and students.
Another way to foster a culture of collaboration is to encourage faculty members to share their ideas and feedback throughout the course design and development process. This may involve setting up a feedback loop or using collaborative tools such as Google Docs or Slack to facilitate communication and collaboration.
6. Focus On The Benefits
When talking to faculty about Instructional Designers, focus on the benefits that collaboration can bring. Explain how Instructional Designers can help create more engaging and effective courses, and how they can save faculty time and effort. For example, Instructional Designers can help with the development of assessments, the creation of multimedia content, and the organization of course materials. Emphasize how working with an Instructional Designer can improve the course’s overall quality.
7. Be Patient And Persistent
It may take some time for faculty members to understand the role of Instructional Designers and how to work with them effectively. Be patient and persistent in your efforts to educate them. Offer to meet with them regularly to discuss their course design and development needs. Provide ongoing support and guidance as needed, and be willing to answer their questions and address their concerns.
8. Showcase Examples Of Successful Collaboration
Finally, showcasing examples of successful collaboration between Instructional Designers and faculty members is vital. This may involve sharing case studies or success stories highlighting the benefits of working together to create effective and engaging courses. By showcasing examples of successful collaboration, Instructional Designers can help faculty members understand the value of working together to create effective courses.
Collaboration between Instructional Designers and faculty members is essential for creating effective and engaging courses in higher education. However, when faculty members need help understanding or care about the role of Instructional Designers, it can be challenging to make progress. By educating faculty about the role of Instructional Designers, emphasizing the benefits of collaboration, using examples and resources, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and fostering a culture of collaboration, Instructional Designers can work more effectively with faculty members and help create courses that meet the needs of students and the institution.