Learning Design and Faculty Development Services
Noodle is committed to launching online programs and courses that reflect your institution’s identity and expectations for a powerful learning experience. We understand that faculty have competing priorities and pledge to provide program development and teaching support experiences that make the best use of their time.
Taking a program online is a big decision, one that requires effective change management. While we can’t substitute for the work of your leadership team, Noodle’s team can assist faculty in understanding the process, potential, and commitments involved in making that choice.
We can share examples, timelines, and strategies as many on our team were once faculty who built and taught courses online.
The best time to make adjustments to a degree program is before you invest in putting it online. We work with your faculty to identify program goals and align courses with those goals before bringing in our learning designers. The learning design team works closely with the marketing team to ensure consistent themes are carried throughout the learners’ experience.
Every school and program has a different identity. The Noodle team has a long track record of adapting to an institution’s culture and helping it build award-winning programs that professors want to teach and students can’t wait to tell their friends about.
A surprising number of today’s online programs reflect antiquated ideas about learning design. Downloadable PDFs, talking-head videos and discussion forums are no longer a winning formula. And while the synchronous virtual classroom is a growing feature in many online programs, few schools have well-thought-out strategies for when and how to blend modalities or to equip and support faculty to take full advantage of online possibilities. Our design teams help faculty make strategic choices about engaging ways to present content and make effective use of design resources. Everything we design belongs to you and may be used in other courses or programs as you see fit.
How We Build Courses
When it comes to building courses, Noodle is:
We match faculty with the best learning design and production firms, then guide their work bringing content to life. Many of our designers have rich teaching backgrounds themselves, and they’re committed to finding ways to make education engaging. They recognize that your faculty are the content experts and that these are your courses. They collaborate; they don’t mandate.
Noodle invests time understanding the faculty vision for the program, the expected outcomes, and the way each course is expected to contribute to those outcomes. We look across courses within a term, and across terms, to ensure continuity and a coherent learning experience for students. During the course building process, we track key indicators such as the balance of types of activities, and the workload expected of students, so that faculty see in real time the way the structure of the course is emerging and can adjust their plan to better align with their vision and expectations.
Focused on Quality
Our goals are to ensure that students are learning, that faculty are pleased with their online experience, and the institution is proud of its offerings. We achieve these goals by insisting on quality courses as defined by our rubric, and by monitoring our performance and the faculty and student experience through a transparent set of analytics. These analytics are available to administrators in real time. We’ll work with you as you use them to guide your decision-making.
Make it EPIIIC
We work to ensure that all our courses are EPIIIC:
Engaging, Personalized, Intuitive, Interactive, Inclusive, and Collaborative. In addition to the Quality Matters rubric, we use external reviewers to assess what we build, and we provide regular feedback and recommendations to program directors as part of our continuous improvement process.
Fieldwork is key
Fieldwork is a key strategy for providing students with the opportunity to apply the theories and tools from the classroom in a real-world environment. Fieldwork can be a critical part of the student’s experience, and students in an online program have the benefit of obtaining fieldwork in their own communities.
Noodle has the experience and resources to support universities as they expand their field placement programs to serve their online students, who might be anywhere in the world. We employ highly trained placement coordinators to identify and assess thousands of potential placement settings to meet each program’s specific requirements. We also offer a proprietary technology platform that will manage the entire placement process. This platform will enable university staff to review and comment on placement options and view critical analytics to track the placement process, and then progress in the placement, for each student.
Faculty Support and Development
No one starts teaching online knowing exactly what to do. The shift from on-ground to online teaching can be a profound source of anxiety for faculty members who have perfected their craft over decades and may not consider themselves particularly tech-savvy. Because of this, universities and colleges need to be thoughtful and methodical about their approach to garnering initial and continued faculty support for online programs. For this reason, our first order of business is to create trust with your faculty by providing thoughtful support and professional development.
Noodle’s core strength, and the source of its greatest satisfaction, comes from working with dedicated educators to transfer their pedagogy to the online environment. We can supplement your existing faculty development initiatives with:
1:1 coaching sessions
Noodle will provide individual 1:1 coaching to faculty preparing for their first live session and then debrief immediately following that first session. 1:1 coaching sessions will take place online.
Group training and workshops
Noodle can provide skilled facilitators with extensive experience building curricula and facilitating groups to help faculty identify and affirm program goals and then align courses and assessments with those goals.
On-demand self-paced resources
We will provide a library of self-paced resources on topics unique to the online teaching experience (e.g., pedagogical strategies, preparation tips, suggestions for working with small groups, etc.). 24/7 access to technical support services and online point-of-need tutorials.
Specialized Programs forTargeted Support
In addition to ongoing, personalized coaching support provided as part of our standard program support, Noodle can also deliver intact programs that will help ease faculty’s transition from on-ground to the online learning environment. These programs provide targeted faculty training in such critical areas as course design basics and teaching in the live virtual classroom.
Noodle Rapid Online Course Kit (ROCK) is a series of virtual workshops and labs led by our seasoned Learning Designers and created to ensure faculty have the skills and capabilities to build quality online courses. Our workshops target both introductory and advanced skill levels, and include group and individual coaching specific to your Learning Management System.
Noodle Ready for Online Live Learning (ROLL) is a series of group training and deep dive sessions designed to build confidence and competence in the respective live class meeting platform, such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Both programs include resources to help faculty continue to apply the knowledge and information gained well beyond the completion of the workshops.
Noodle courses align with the Universal Design for Learning Principles to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities to learn. All courses and course materials designed or built by Noodle (and our providers) are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The principles are woven into subject matter expert (SME) and faculty orientations and into informal conversations with faculty during the course build process. As a system of checks and balances, learning designers (LDs) identify which principles of UDL are being employed in each course build element by notating this on a course blueprint. LDs also run accessibility checks of courses before they are deployed.
Additionally, all providers that partner with Noodle and all products that Noodle uses must have a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) which evaluates how accessible the product is according to 508 standards. Please see ADA Compliance for Online Course Design for additional information.
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