#ET4Online – Discovering and Developing a Highly Effective Model for Supporting Online Programs and Projects At Your University


Session Description

Dan Hillman and Robert Haley
Boston University, USA
  • Session Presentation [PPT]
  • Key principles for putting courses together:Commitment to instructional design of the highest quality, high level of faculty involvement in design and delivery of course content, support at every stage of the student life cycle, strategic technological innovation
  • 17 fully online programs with more than 3,000 students.
  • 26 staff supporting.


  • Design side for online courses and prep for launch (yellow), and then the delivery goes over to the student side (orange area).  With the blue area being the “utility belt”.
  • All courses are built by instructional designers.  Faculty don’t have access to the course content development/authoring tools.
  • Course Development


  • Student Services – These are what makes thing special. Providing wrap around student and faculty support as the courses are running. Giving attention to the students… encourage instructors to send welcome messages.  If a student hasn’t logged in, they will notify the instructor and raise a flag.
  • Team – Combined staff of Instructional Designers, Student Services Coordinators, Media/Technical Specialists.  Instructional Designers focus on course design.There are 4 teams made up of: 2 instructional designers, 1 senior instructional designer, 1 senior student services coordinate and 1 student services coordinator.
  • Courses are designed in a 6 month process.
  • Student Services focus on assisting students:


  • The “Team Utility Belt” provides faculty with multimedia support and development needs.
  • Boston University uses Blackboard for course delivery and Adobe Connect for live office hours and classrooms.
  • Investigation Teams are set up to review additional options and tools like: plagiarism, student orientation, student ID verification, accessibility, analytics, student outreach, retention center, voicethread, etc.

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