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iDesign Resources

Vanderbilt University has partnered with the instructional design firm iDesign to make available a number of services to help faculty and other instructors prepare for online and hybrid teaching this fall. iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs and are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact.

The following services will be available in the near future, supplementing and extending the resources already offered by the Center for Teaching.

iDesign Faculty Resource Hub

The iDesign Faculty Resource Hub, located in Brightspace, provides a variety of course design, teaching, and technology tips and guides, as well as a way for faculty seeking instructional design support to reach out to iDesign consultants. The Hub is also the portal to the Masterclass Series described below.

The iDesign Faculty Resource Hub will be available as a self-enroll course on Brightspace on July 24th. Click here for instructions for enrolling in this course.

iDesign Masterclass Series

The Masterclass Series is a weeklong event during which online learning designers walk you through the steps of the course development process. The Masterclass consists of daily interactive Zoom sessions that are recorded, summarized, and posted to the iDesign Faculty Resource Hub. Each session is focused and provides ideas on using the technology tools at your disposal to supplement your teaching.

The iDesign Masterclass Series will focus on the following topics:

Monday – Plan Your Course
In this Masterclass, we will lay the groundwork for successful course design. We will begin with a stepwise plan for course development, followed by an introduction to course maps and writing learning objectives. Finally, we will spend a little time reviewing your resources to confirm that you know where and how to access the best assistance when you need it.

Tuesday – Organize Your Course
Whether you are designing a completely new course or transitioning a face-to-face course to fully online, you probably have questions about how to organize your course site so that it’s intuitive for you and your students. In this Masterclass, we will touch on best practices for organizing course content into modules before showing you how to create this structure in your course shell. We’ll also confirm that you have all your technology accounts set up so you’re ready to hit the ground running for our next Masterclasses, which focus on content and activities.

Wednesday – Developing Course Content
This Masterclass explores learning materials: how to make content engaging and effective for deeper learning for more students. We will start with best practices in content curation and creation, including how (and why) to mix modalities, chunk information, and have students focus on key concepts. We will touch on copyright, permissions, and ADA-compliance before moving into the mechanics of  uploading and arranging content in your course. Be ready to learn how to leverage your media streaming platform, Kaltura, for active learning and formative assessments related to media content.

Thursday – Design for Active Learning
Online courses are rich environments for active learning. In this class, we provide a fresh spin on all the usual suspects—discussion activities, digital annotation, group work, longitudinal assignments, and synchronous sessions. We’ll spend time at the end of the session to walk through some of the finer points of the technology used to support these activities, including next-level Zoom and Virtual Classroom.

Friday – Provide Assessment and Feedback
One of the most intimidating aspects of teaching online is figuring out how best to communicate with students. In this session, we will cover how-tos for setting up office hours and providing feedback. We will also review best practices in student assessment and grading in your online course. Finally, we will introduce all the assessment and academic integrity tools at your disposal and provide guidance on when to use which tools.

The summer 2020 iDesign Masterclass Series will be held from Monday, July 27, to Friday, July 31, with Zoom sessions from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Central each day. You can self-enroll in the iDesign Faculty Hub to take part. Self-enrollment instructions are here.

iDesign Support Hours

iDesign learning specialists are on-hand to assist with your course design and teaching effectiveness questions. If you have a question relating how to best implement a teaching strategy or best practice in your course, iDesign is here to help! Support requests can be submitted via or through the iDesign Faculty Resource Hub. You can self-enroll in the iDesign Faculty Hub. Self-enrollment instructions are here.

Please note that iDesign support hours begin Friday, July 24th.