As budgets of higher education providers diminish, administrators and faculty increasingly choose to outsource course design. This provides a way for administration to save costs and to prioritize valuable faculty and staff time, while also allowing the institution to expand its offerings. Businesses also can obtain their own customized training programs from expert educators without going through the burdens of designing their own.
As the world grows more specialised and demand increases for outsourced course design, the number of providers will expand tremendously. Those seeking course design help will need to consider a number of factors when choosing the right designer.
When considering which course writer to use, first know in detail what you need.
First, do you need a course or a program of courses? Depending on how much information you want to convey, you may need more than one course. Consider how much information can reasonably be taught in the time frame considered. A good course writer will honestly explain if the amount of information conveyed will fit the time parameters.
Second, consider those taking the course. What level of knowledge will they bring to the course? This information is vital. Experienced course designers understand that a one-size-fits-all approach cannot work and that the depth of information must match up with the knowledge the students bring to the class. You do not want students bored with information they already have, nor should they get overwhelmed by concepts beyond their understanding. The right course designer will tailor the course appropriately.
The course designer also must understand the expected outcomes for the course. What should the students be able to achieve once they finish the course? This is especially important when students have to learn precise information to use in dangerous occupations or jobs where someone else’s safety depends on them. Good course designers should have proper assessment techniques to demonstrate which students have mastered the course and the necessary information taught.
When looking for a capable course design firm, you should look for a certain level of expertise. Ask the following questions when looking at a firm’s website or talking to their representatives:
- What is the course designer’s degree in?
- What other experiences does the course designer have that will help them create a quality class?
- Has the course designer created a course for an academic, business, or other setting in the past?
- How much experience does the course designer have teaching in an academic, business, or other setting?
The course designer or the firm’s representative should be able to answer all of these questions to your satisfaction. If the designer lacks experience in some area, they should make up for it in some other. For example, if the designer lacks academic credentials, they may have some other work or life experience that serves as evidence of their knowledge and capability. Sometimes an individual with experience outside academia may actually be the best candidate to create certain courses.
In any event, when looking at a course design firm or expert, you want to get details on their level of expertise to ensure a quality end product.
References should constitute a key part of the process of finding a course design expert. The firm or expert should be able to produce a list of satisfied customers who have found the product useful. Even these should be carefully analysed. The best possible references would be from those past clients who have purchased a similar course design product.
Course designers in today’s rapidly changing educational environment must offer flexibility in their services. Traditional classroom settings still dominate, but higher education providers, businesses, and others now understand that they must increasingly deliver information in a format convenient to students.
Experienced and capable course designers understand that they must offer flexibility in time parameters, method of delivery, and materials used. Colleges today most often prefer the semester model where courses, whether online or in a classroom setting, have regular requirements for students to participate in class activities, turn in assignments, or take exams. Often the student must, in some fashion, conform to the time requirements of the course.
That, however, does not represent the only method of delivery. Some institutions prefer to use the webinar method. Students can take a series of web lectures and assignments that add together to form a completed course or certification.
Also, vocational education providers sometimes must craft classes and programs around specific job training requirements of corporate partners. They may need workers certified in a few months rather than a few years. Superior course design experts can work within a variety of parameters to provide a high quality educational experience.
Course designers must work closely with higher education provider or business training administrators, not only during development, but also throughout the implementation of the course. The best designers will embrace a spirit of cooperation and seek out constructive criticism and guidance from students and the institution of how to improve the course and/or program going forward.
One of the most telling indicators of the quality of a course, short of experiencing it, lies in the syllabus. A syllabus contains a very basic blueprint and outline of student and instructor expectations. These could include:
- Textbooks and other materials required for the course
- Outline of grading
- General outline of scope of assignments, exams, and other course assessment measures
- Basic expectations of students
- Behaviour and attendance policies
- Some idea of the material covered by the course
A good syllabus may not contain all of these elements but it will have most of them. It could also have additional topics covered.
Chances are, the care given to crafting the syllabus reflects the care given to crafting and teaching the course. The syllabus may be more or less specific, but it should always offer the student and others evaluating it clarity.
When purchasing a pre-made class, the course design firm or expert should have a syllabus ready for examination. This will help you decide if you need any customisation. Even when you order a fully custom created course, the designer should provide administrators a syllabus so they can track progress and ask questions if needed.
Most importantly, the course syllabus gives administrators an opportunity to offer critiques and request changes prior to the implementation of the course. When the courses teach very precise information needed for safety, making sure the course gets taught correctly the first time is of vital importance.
Higher education providers all share one thing in common, concern about academic reputation and legal standing. Also, Australia has implemented strict standards of accreditation that all must meet to stay registered.
First, the course must meet institutional standards. Each higher education provider has expectations of courses and instructors concerning content, teaching, and outcomes. These standards and expectations vary from school to school even when all adhere to the basic national standards. Excellent course design firms or experts understand that they form an important part of the university family.
With this in mind, they will work to understand what expectations they must meet to rise to the same standards of courses designed and taught in-house. Those crafting outsourced classes must do so with the understanding that if they form the weak link in the academic chain, it will jeopardise both the reputation of the company and the school.
The best course design firms go the extra mile to ensure the courses meet national compliance standards when necessary. Bureaucratic rules and mandates can often be burdensome and time consuming. Some firms offer their services in working with authorities to make sure the course gets properly certified by the government.
When looking for a course design that fits your academic or business training needs, reach out to professionals who offer a track record of excellence and flexibility. Course Writer brings a team of course design experts to every project. Peruse our catalogue to view courses already designed. If these are not exactly what you are looking for, we will produce semi or fully customised courses that will fit your needs. We can produce courses for both online and face-to-face teaching.
As an extra service, Course Writer can also help to process accreditation paperwork to ensure that it meets national standards.
Regardless of what your educational institution or business needs in terms of courses, programs, or training, Course Writer can do it quickly, effectively, and efficiently, helping your organization save money over what it would cost to create a course in-house.
When you need a course done right the first time but you lack the in-house resources, rely on Course Writer. Reach out today for more information. Let us design the right course for you.