Collaborative Instructional Design Strategies in an Online Health Systems Pharmacy Degree Program

Collaborative Instructional Design Strategies in an Online Health Systems Pharmacy Degree Program

Bethany Simunich (Kent State University, USA), Katie Asaro (Kent State University, USA) and Nicole Yoder (Kent State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5092-2.ch002
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This case study describes both the process and outcome for instructional design strategies used in the design and development of a fully online Health-System Pharmacy Administration (HSPA) M.S. degree program. The development of this online degree program was a partnership between two Midwest higher education institutions: a public research university (PRU) and an interprofessional health sciences university (HSU). The PRU had instructional designers experienced with creating fully-online graduate degree programs, while the HSU had knowledgeable faculty, staff, and administrators associated with the HSPA program. Instructional designers from the public research university designed the courses collaboratively with HSPA instructors, most of whom were health care professionals with minimal background in online teaching strategies. The instructional designers created an enhanced design process that infused the collaboration with faculty development in online teaching, as well as some amount of technology training for the Learning Management System used in the HSPA program.
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Setting The Stage

Administrative teams from both universities worked collaboratively to develop a relationship that was mutually beneficial. The PRU and HSU created a shared services agreement, which delineated parts of the design and development process, as well as technology sharing and compensation. The institutional collaboration began when the HSU had a desire to move their face-to-face (F2F) HSPA graduate program online, but lacked the instructional design and technology resources to do so. The public research university, however, had a team of instructional designers and an established workflow in place to develop fully online courses and programs in an efficient manner.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Backward Design: An instructional design model that focuses on alignment, and begins with course learning objectives, or where you want students to be (in terms of their learning performance) by the end of the course. It is a results-focused instructional design approach, contrasted with the content-focused approach of beginning with the course textbook and allowing that to set the foundation for your course design.

Teaching Presence: One element, along with Social Presence and Cognitive Presence, of the Community of Inquiry framework. Teaching presence begins with the design of the course, as the instructor is making pedagogical choices for course content, assessments, etc., and extends through the delivery/active teaching of the course. Online, it is vital for instructors to elevate and maintain their teaching presence, as that serves as the catalyst for cognitive and social presence, and also sets the stage for learning motivation and building an online learning community.

Health Systems Pharmacy/Health Systems Pharmacy Administration: The type of pharmacy found in traditional hospitals, as well as ambulatory care clinics, university and academic health centers, long-term care settings, etc. Regardless of the setting, the health system pharmacist serves in the role of medication expert on a team of health care providers. Within some settings, health system pharmacists might also assume an administrative role that encompasses additional managerial, organization, financial, etc. duties.

Authentic Assessment: Authentic assessments focus on allowing students to apply what they’ve learned, so they are situated at the Application Level or above in terms of the Cognitive Domain of Bloom’s Taxonomy. These types of assessments not only focus on learning-by-doing, but also on creating assignments that reflect real-world application of course concepts so students directly understand the relevance and practicality of what they’re learning.

Community Of Inquiry: A framework developed to understand how the type of communication and interaction online impacts the educational experience. The Community of Inquiry framework includes the three elements of Cognitive Presence (students’ cognitive engagement with course elements), Social Presence (students sense of belonging to the learning community), and Teaching Presence, which is defined below. Creating and elevating presence online is crucial to helping online students feel connected and engaged with the course, their instructor, and one another.

Quality Matters: An educational non-profit organization that began in 2003 with a U.S. federal education grant. Quality Matters (QM) has a design rubric that includes research-based standards for the design of online and hybrid courses, and an accompanying formal certification process whereby online and hybrid courses can be evaluated against QM Rubric design standards by trained Peer Reviewers.

Alignment: An instructional design concept that encompasses the connection between course elements. Alignment within the design of a course means that the course content directly supports students doing well on course assessments, which provide evidence to the instructor that the student has achieved the course learning objectives. Online courses additionally consider alignment in terms of planned interaction and chosen technology.

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