When Florida Gulf Coast University opened its doors in 1997, the decision was made to include in the general education program a required humanities course entitled Understanding the Visual and Performing Arts. Initially designed as a traditional lecture course divided into sections of thirty students each, the course rapidly became unmanageable due to rapidly increasing enrollment, coupled with stagnant funding levels. With more and more sections being taught by part-time faculty, the course rapidly lost coherence, and student satisfaction declined markedly.
As a result, the university applied for a grant to embark on a major redesign project to convert Understanding the Visual and Performing Arts to an online format. The resulting first-generation of course redesign, featuring a coherent array of virtual assignments managed by a team of learning facilitators, has resulted in significant enhancement of student learning, while accommodating persistently high annual rates of enrollment growth. This paper seeks to present some of the keys to success and lessons learned by the development team in working with the online course over the past five years, along with some preliminary ideas on the planned next generation of online course design.
|Keywords:||Understanding, Visual, Performing, Arts, Online Course, Course Redesign, Instructional Team|
Director of General Education; Assistant Professor of Art History, Office of Curriculum and Instruction, Department of Visual and Performing Arts, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA
Instructor, Department of Language and Literature, Florida Gulf Coast University, Sarasota, Florida, USA
Coordinator, Academic Support, Department of Visual and Performing arts, Florida Gulf Coast University, Chaplin, Florida, USA
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