Designing Instruction for Speed: Qualitative Insights Into Instructional Design for Accelerated Online Graduate Coursework

February 22, 2014

Arrows_ReversedThe purpose of this exploratory case study was to explore instructional design strategies and characteristics of online, asynchronous accelerated courses and students’ choices of deep or surface learning approaches within this environment. An increasing number of university programs, particularly at the graduate level, are moving to an accelerated, time-compressed model for online degree offerings.  Through qualitative exploration of triangulated data from the Revised Two-Factor Study Process Questionnaire (Biggs, Kember, & Leung, 2001), student interviews, and course design analysis of an online, accelerated master’s program in educational administration, it was found that these adult learners overall approached learning quite deeply despite being pressed for time due to personal and professional responsibilities. As an implication for program and instructional designers, course activities that were engaging, hands-on, practical, and collaborative were found to encourage students to adopt deeper approaches more often.  Additionally, courses that were consistent and clear in organization and structure, encouraged opportunities for peers to interact and work together, and limited the use of tests and inauthentic assessment strategies were found to foster deeper approaches which in turn led to reports of deeper learning among student participants.

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration

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