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Instructional Design

Planning Software Helps Instructors Visualize Courses


Education technology company CourseTune has launched a version of its course planning software for use by individual instructors. While CourseTune's flagship product enables teams of people to develop curriculum, the new release, CoursePlan, helps faculty map out course and learning objectives, learning activities and assessments for their own classes, without the team emphasis.

The variations in the two versions, according to Director of Storytelling and Client Engagement Kristin Powers, is the "difference between a center for teaching and learning buying the CourseTune product for program accreditation versus a single faculty member using CoursePlan to align their learning objectives across their courses to their assessments."

The idea for both, however, is that the visualization process helps identify gaps in coverage and "course bloat." The techniques work for any kind of instructional format, whether face-to-face, online or a mix.

The software uses a visual interface to guide instructors through the steps of instructional design, with the goal of helping them gain a deeper understanding of their course structure and identify alignment gaps during the design process. With CoursePlan, they can see course goals, module organization, learning objectives, learning activities and assessments in at-a-glance views.

"Every educator has had their course plans upended. CoursePlan is here to support them and help them feel confident in their new curriculum design process," said Maria Andersen, CourseTune CEO, in a press release. "CoursePlan gives the powerful visualizations from our enterprise product, CourseTune, to any instructor who wants to engage in quality course planning in preparation for the fall term."

"I see that my courses have improved, exponentially, from where I've started," confirmed Michele Pistone, of the Charles Widger School of Law at Villanova University, in a video about the program. "If you care about student learning, if the mission of your institution is to teach students in an impactful way that will keep them engaged and motivated and that will make them successful post-graduate, you need to engage in course design, and there's no better tool out there."

Tiered pricing for CoursePlan begins at $8 per month. For more information, visit the CourseTune site.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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