This is an archive of the 2013 version of ocTEL.

Course Templates in Higher Education; Why Re-Invent the Wheel Every Time?

An interesting article for the Week 5 activity 5.1 in ocTEL ( Derivation of electronic course templates for use in higher education.  As an instructional technologist in higher education, I frequently hear from  faculty who express interest in integrating technology into their courses, from basic steps all the way to going completely online.  Many times, we will show them a course or two, or they have already seen a colleague's work, and want to model theirs after that.  Hill, et. al., suggest twelve pedagogical dimensions grouped into four categories: Logistical, Practice-based, Pedagogical purpose, and Participation.

When we look to model a new course after an existing one, the existing course has become a template.  It may not have been designed as an exemplar of courses to follow, but nonetheless, it is.  The concept of building course templates based on the type of course or the style of instruction makes so much sense, it's a wonder there hasn't been more widespread discussion of it.

Building templates for web site content is a notion that has been around for years.  It just makes sense.  Just like a template in a word processor saves time and duplication of effort, so would it for courses.  Backwards design as an instructional design process comes close to the idea of templates; build the scaffolding then fill in the details and the content after.  Templates takes it a step further, and builds scaffolding that can be used over and over again for multiple courses, not just one singular course.

This is on my list of things to research further, and put into my practice.


Hill, R. K., Fresen, J. W., & Geng, F. (December 17, 2012). Derivation of electronic course templates for use in higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 20. 

#edtech, #learning, #ocTEL, #tel, #templates, #pedagogical, #participatory, #logistic, #practice-based

Doctoral student in Adult and Online Learning; IT Director; Director of Distance Learning and Educational Technology.

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