How We Develop TEL Library Courses

TEL Library’s courses are the result of an integrated process that includes (1) curriculum and information design, (2) learning design, (3) platform design, and (4) content design and development.

Curriculum and Information Design

We create each course as part of a larger curriculum rather than as a siloed, disconnected product. This entails identifying concepts across a curriculum area, analyzing concept relatedness within that area, and ensuring that we are maximizing potential connectedness of our content across the entire curriculum. This process involves the build out of concept taxonomies and rules for our concepts, as well as the ongoing evaluation of concept usage by instructors and learners.

Learning Design

The learning design phase consists of two stages — content design and learning environment design.

From a content perspective, each of our courses consists of sequenced collections of Stackable LessonsTM, each aligned to specific topics, learning outcomes, and Bloom’s taxonomy learning levels mapped in a course outline. Lessons are grouped into thematic modules, with each course containing 12-14 modules.

Our subject matter experts and learning designers work in this stage to create a course outline that will serve as the content and assessment map for the course.

In addition, our learning design team creates a common learning environment model or template for course lessons. This model is designed to move learners from contextualization to agency and mastery.

Platform Design

In our platform design work for each course, we ask how technology can be utilized to reinforce the effectiveness of our content and learning design. How does it support ownership of the learning process? How can it promote individual exploration and application of information? How does it deliver flexible ease of use? How do we deliver digital and print formats, allow learners to work online or offline? How do we ensure that our media books are accessible to everyone? These questions guide the development of our technology solutions as well as our broader thinking about content delivery and access

Content Design and Development

The course outline and learning environment models inform the specific content we need to create for each lesson in the course. For most lessons, this includes a combination of text, media, interactivities, assignments, assessments, resource links and descriptions, and glossary items.

In this stage, we work with subject matter experts to create, curate and edit content for each lesson. Along the way special attention is given to content alignment to specified lesson topics and learning outcomes. In addition, we evaluate assignments and assessments carefully to ensure that they are consistent with learning outcomes and map properly to the prescribed level of Bloom’s taxonomy.

As lesson and module content are completed, it is first reviewed by our curriculum group to ensure that it aligns properly to the course outline. Next, the content is reviewed by developmental editors, who check for grammar and spelling, coherency, and information accuracy. After the content has been approved by an editor, the media team creates video storyboards, records, audio, and produces the lesson video. Meanwhile, the production team curates images and uploads all content into the platform template created for the course. This team also creates a printable version of each lesson. Once all content has been published to the platform, it is reviewed again our the editorial and curriculum teams.

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