English as a Second Language Composition Program Creates Slow Cooked Courses with Help from ODEE

Creating an awesome online course is like following your favorite recipe – start with a base, add the meat, and finish off with a little bit of spice. And like cooking some award-winning chili, the English as a Second Language Composition (ESL) program slow cooked their online courses with the help of ODEE’s Distance Education Learning and Teaching Academy (DELTA).

DELTA aims to address the needs of faculty, staff and advisors by providing them with the training and support needed to be successful in an online academic environment. These opportunities range from in-person workshops, to webinars, to customized workshops.

For the ESL group, they experienced a custom semester-long training, called KIVIAK, due to the campus-wide impact their courses have on students. The lecturers were able to dedicate the time to participate thanks to the Local Lecturer Support grant provided to them by the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT). The name of the workshop, KIVIAK, comes from a Greenland intuit dish that is slow cooked for three months and enjoyed for celebrations.

The KIVIAK training was a stretched-out version of DELTA’s Kickstart Week offering. During the week, attendees participated in hands-on learning about topics which included:

  • Course design, quality, and learning objectives
  • Assessments and academic integrity
  • Creating engaging online activities
  • Delivering online content

Karen MacBeth, project specialist for the ESL program, was the lead in getting her seven lecturers involved with the training. She shared that because they are not full faculty members it is hard for them to find the time to attend professional development opportunities.

“Working with DELTA through the KIVIAK has had such a positive impact on our program,” MacBeth said. “Over the course of the semester we were able to talk about course design and development, collaborate together, and come out on the other end with six great online courses.”

Throughout the experience the lecturers learned about different techniques that would make their courses engaging for students. They often thought about what has helped their face-to-face courses and how this could be translated online. Some of these activities include developing instructional videos, creating a “Hall of Fame” for student assignments, and using Carmen pages to craft a “Choose Your Own Adventure” project.

“There are so many services, resources, and people online and on-campus who want to help,” Melinda Sims, ESL Composition Lecturer, said. “We used the Denney Digital Union, worked with ODEE team members, and had people around 24/7 to support us in our crazy ideas. This experience has truly been invaluable.”

For the DELTA team, they’ve enjoyed watching this group grow and create high-quality, engaging courses for their online students.

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is seeing the light bulb click on in someone’s head when they understand a key part of the course design process,” Marcia Ham, Distance Education Professional Development Manager, said. “I’m so glad to have worked with this group and watch them put their entire program online.”

Want support in designing your online courses? Register for the upcoming Kickstart Week