Case: Course Review Task Force

Site: SCoPE - BCcampus Learning + Teaching
Group: Facilitating Learning Online - FEB2015-OER
Book: Case: Course Review Task Force
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 19 May 2024, 6:53 AM


Case: Course Review Task Force

Case: Course Review Task Force

The mini session facilitators will lead this course review task force activity.


  • you are a member of a course review task force whose job it is to review courses and make recommendations
  • this course has been flagged for review because of poor course evaluations (both qualitative and quantitative) for the last few offerings.
  • you have been provided with a summary of the most recent course evaluation data and some comments from the current instructor. You're advised that the course evaluation data is typical of the last few offerings on questions about course content and design. However, this current round of evaluations also reveals feedback about the instructor that should be considered in your recommendations

Your Task:

  • Review all the case data provided
  • Consider the "things to think about"
  • Your mini-session facilitator(s) will provide you with further guidance, but no matter what they have in store, you should be ready to consult and reference this week's readings (and/or other resources), as appropriate, to inform the recommendations your group will make.

Your recommendations should

  • be as specific as possible with the information you've been given
  • include rationale (i.e., not just what should be done, but also why)

Case Data

This case includes the following *data for your review:

  • Course Evaluation Data - from learners, compiled, including:
    • Quantitative data - about the course design, materials, and instructor
    • Qualitative data - open-ended feedback and comments from the learners
  • Instructor Comments post-course

*Note: the data are (of course) made up, but the survey questions are drawn from "real life" course evaluation surveys distributed at RRU.

Course Evaluation (Quantitative)

These are the quantitative course evaluation data, compiled and summarized as percentages for your convenience...

Part 1 - Questions about the Course

Overall, how would you rate the...ExcellentVery GoodSatisfactoryPoorUn-satisfactory
academic quality of this course? 0 10 55 25 10
pacing of learning activities & assignments? 0 10 50 30 10
overall course design (structure & content)? 0 2 30 65 3
course resources (text, readings) 0 2 20 50 18
applied nature of course materials? 0 0 20 50 30
your learning experience in this course? 0 0 20 50 30
navigation of course website? 5 35 60 0 0

Part 2: Questions about the Instructor

Overall, how would you rate the...ExcellentVery GoodSatisfactoryPoorUn-satisfactory
instructor's ability to encourage different points of view? 0 10 30 40 20
instructor's demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter? 5 10 65 15 5
instructor's ability to stimulate your interest in the material? 1 1 23 50 25
instructor's response time (marking, responding, helping)? 1 1 30 35 33
appropriateness of the feedback & evaluation in this course? 5 10 50 30 5
quality of instruction as it contributed to your learning? 1 1 30 45 23

Course Evaluation (Qualitative)

These are the open-ended comments provided by learners on the course evaluation survey...

Please comment on what you feel were the positive aspects of this course.

  • It ended..... eventually.
  • The team assignment was the best part.
  • Choice of assignment topics, i was able to do something relevant to my work (2 birds, 1 stone).
  • Simple and predictable: read, write, exam, done.
  • seemed like a pretty good survey of the topic.

What topics or other elements (if any) would you like to see added to this course? Why?

  • More current developments in the field – online/news stories, real cases.
  • I have found (on my own time) some good documentaries about some of the course topics that I think would add a lot -
  • Elluminate or some other interactive element. We have this in other courses and it works well to bring people together.
  • an instructor who showed up would have been nice - just sayin'...
  • In one of our other courses, we were directed to some podcasts. I liked that a lot because i could listen on the road or at the gym. Something like that would have been great in this course.

Please provide any other general comments you have regarding the course or the instructor.

  • Way...too...much...reading!!!
  • Wow...I really hated this course, which is weird because I’m actually VERY interested in the topic, but (no offense), I found the material really boring and torturous to get through. There was too much reading and not enough action (textbook, articles, websites, all the monologues in the forums...). I’m sorry that so little sunk in.
  • This course made me feel dumb. It's not like I have a learning disability or anything, but I felt like I was constantly in battle against the material. I don't know how others managed to find the time to get through it all (maybe, like me, they didn't). It was hard to figure out what was important, and the online forums didn't help - just more and more stuff to read.
  • I don’t feel we got any direction from the instructor online. Are we supposed to just discuss among ourselves? Didn't get much out of the forum activity at all. Felt like i was posting just to get the participation mark.
  • This course would be brutal if you don’t consider yourself a “reader”, which thankfully I do. I took a speed reading course several years ago, and i’m not sure how i would have made it through without those skills.
  • I liked this course – thank you!
  • Compared to our courses last term, this one was a dead zone. The material was not only excessive (ie., felt like millions of pages of reading), but exceedingly and unnecessarily boring (I Googled and found other things to keep myself sane).
  • Hello...hello...hello....Am I trapped in an empty cave?! Oh no,’s just the online space for this course.
  • Maybe it’s not fair to compare, but the instructors from last term were way more with-it, or with us. Our instructor barely and rarely showed up online - I swear several days would go by before they even logged in.
  • I don’t feel like I learned anything in this course; I just tried to survive it. There was so much reading and writing, no creativity, no practical application....I’m not the only one who feels this way, but others I've talked to didn't want to raise the issue, they just wanted to put their heads down and plough through the mountain of work. I tried to do the same and I hope I pass. Shame I didn't learn anything, though.

Instructor Comments

The instructor was asked to provide a brief, post-course reflection...

I was hesitant about teaching this (my first online) course. But, my colleagues reassured me that my experience with the material and in the classroom would translate to a large extent. Furthermore, since the course was already designed, all I needed to do was familiarize myself with the specific material (much of which I use in my f2f classes) and show up.

This isn't exactly how it's played out. While it's true that the course (schedule, materials, assignments, discussion topics, etc) were all there – it didn't unfold as I expected (or hoped). I think things could have been much better for the learners, and for me.

For example, in week 1, I posted a notice to the news forum introducing myself and directing them to check out the schedule, materials, post their introductory posts and start connecting with their teams for their big team deliverable. Since these are seasoned online learners (more so than I!), not to mention adult learners, I expected they would just get on with it. The introductory posts were brief, full of personal anecdotes, in-jokes about res, that kind of thing. As for the team work, I understand they use a variety of methods to connect (Skype, phone, etc), so I could never be sure where they were until they submitted their finished papers.

Because I have no point of comparison, it's hard for me to judge the online activity. My sense is the forums were there for them if they want to use them, but their main job is to keep up with the schedule, study, and prepare for assignments and exams.

In the end, I have to say I didn't enjoy this experience very much. I would not rush in to teach another online course, though I expect I will be asked to do so. I am interested in receiving advice from colleagues who have been successful teaching online.

Things to think about...

  • Do you think the instructor has some general misconceptions about the online instructor role(s)? If so, describe and relate to the readings and/or any theories of learning you’ve encountered.
  • Is the fact that the course has been pre-developed a problem here? If you think so, what would you suggest to address this?
  • Do you think students’ learning styles are part of the problem here? Why or why not? If so, how/can this be addressed in the redesign of this online course?
  • Can you find at least one blog post (or other online resource) that has useful strategies or insights to apply to this case? Explain how the strategies you used to find these resources. Feel free to share the resources and critique them as required.
  • Do you have any personal experiences you’d like to share that are similar to this case? If so, how/was the situation resolved?