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2010 Emporia State University

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Institution: Emporia State University
Course Title: Theoretical Foundations of Service: Diagnosis & Customization
Submitted by: Rob Gibson

Pictured here: Rob Gibson, Professor and Course Designer

[Course Tour]

Course Description

Theoretical Foundations of Service: Diagnosis & Customization is first-year graduate level course in the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University that explores educational theory; curriculum development; human factors psychology and user behavior; technology; and user support services. Students are exposed to a variety of online resources using Blackboard, including wikis, discussions, Adobe Connect online presentations, SecondLife presentations and much more. As current or future library staff and faculty, it's incumbent upon these students to discover how online technology is shaping their discipline.

...From the Author

"Since it's inception, I've wanted to participate in the Bb Exemplary Course program. I was finally afforded an opportunity to construct a course from scratch using Blackboard - a course management system that I've supported and endorsed since 1998. I parlayed several years of instructional design and quality performance criteria into this course and was elated to be recognized by Blackboard for my effort. Since being recognized, I've presented my course design to other campuses who have learned more about how to design and develop a quality online course using Blackboard." - Robert Gibson, Associate CIO of Academic and User Services at Emporia State University

Best Practices

Strong sense of community

  • Opportunities for interaction between peers as well as faculty-student interaction are impressive.
  • The inclusion of a number of general discussion areas create the experience student would have entering and exiting a classroom. This is a great way to build community.
  • The instructor demonstrates availability to his students and provides very timely feedback.

    Straightforward course design
  • It's a well-organized course which allows students to easily navigate to the right sections to complete work or participate in discussions.
  • The simple course layout, intuitive language for labeling files and links, and logical navigation make accessing resources easy in this course.
  • Grouping tools together on single pages provides learners with a 'one stop shop' feel and alleviates the need to hunt around the course site for necessary plug-ins and/or downloads to use for course activities.
  • Overall, the course is structured intuitively - it is easy to follow and easy to find what you are looking for.

    Helps students help themselves
  • Students were provided with a clear and concise learning path through well articulated learning goals and objectives.
  • The use of exemplars is really helpful - having authentic models/templates to use as guides for learning give students a baseline from which to develop their own projects and assignments.
  • The inclusion of learning support links and content was particularly impressive and will ensure students have a firm understanding of what resources are available.
  • The rubric for discussions provides clear guidelines for participation in discussions that are straightforward and thorough. The instructor also includes information about when the postings would be graded. This is not only a good practice but also is a motivator for students to keep on track with their learning.
  • "Start Here" is a great way to launch an online class. Offering a video that moves through the tabs and components of the class is very helpful - especially to the new-to-online student.

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