Strategies that might help

There are many kinds of course teams at CSU, from those working on a single campus with all permanent staff and no service subjects to those bringing together staff and students across multiple campuses, even multiple faculties and relying heavily on casual staff. The task of bringing together a focused and dedicated course team will clearly be much trickier in the latter scenario, but not impossible. The following strategies are offered not as a recipe for success but as points to consider when starting on the course redesign process. If you have already worked successfully as a course team and have strategies to share, please post in the 'edit me' box at the bottom of this page.

  • When commencing the course redesign process, consider bringing together all team members for a symposium/retreat where they can focus on framing the task at hand, setting up common goals and understandings and deliberating on the framework offered as part of this website. What does each course team member 'bring to the table', and how might this impact on your design process? FLI offers course team symposium grants to support course teams as they begin this process of developing a BFL course strategy.

  • Early in the process, discuss the culture and context of your learners and the educational principles your course team agrees upon to guide your course redesign (Simpson and Anderson, 2009). This might be the first time you have had this discussion, or it might just be an opportunity to revisit past decisions with new staff involvement. How do the principles presented here integrate with these? This discussion offers the opportunity to uncover hidden assumptions, establish a 'common ground' from which your course team can refer back to when making design decisions, and most importantly, ensure that design decisions are based on educational principles, not the potential of new technologies.

  • Document your decisions. Agree on a draft structure for your BFL strategy right from the start, and build into this your decisions as you make them. This 'working document' should be made available to all in a common area (e.g. S drive, an Interact site or PebblePad gateway, Googledocs etc).

  • Ensure that all course team members are part of your design meetings and decisions, including casual staff and academic support staff, such as your educational designer, library liaison officer and learning skills staff, to 'obtain the benefits of multiple perspectives on design issues and increase the sense of ownership and commitment to the (course)' (Stacey and Gerbic, 2009, p.305). Find a strategy that works for your team - will you opt for coming together for a full day less regularly or shorter, more regular meetings? What is likely to ensure greater participation in your team? Encourage those unable to attend a meeting to comment on and contribute to the documented decisions before the next meeting.

  • Recognise and plan for incremental development during the implementation of your course redesign decisions. Not everything has to happen at once, and manageable staff workloads are a key to the success of your design implementation. To achieve this, plan for your 'ideal' course redesign, then plan in stages to achieve this. Incorporate your stages plan into your BFL course strategy.

  • Staff support and development will be crucial to the success of your course redesign. Spend time as a team considering the kinds of support and development that are most crucial for your staff. What services/programs are already available to assist? For example, consider the LTS professional development program, FLI teaching fellowships, and building staff skills in extending their own professional learning network.

  • Build a regular evaluation process into your course strategy. This should feed into any future enhancements to your course BFL design. For example, the University of Milwaukee's Learning Technology Center points out, as one of their '10 questions to consider when redesigning a course', that 'There is a tendency for faculty to require students to do more work in a blended or online course than they normally would complete in a purely traditional course. What are you going to do to ensure that you have not created a course and one-half? How will you evaluate the student workload as compared to a traditional class?'


Do you have strategies that have worked for redesigning your course? Please add them here. You'll need to request membership of the wiki to be able to edit this page.