The Nexus Design and Innovation Group consists of instructional designers and technical production specialists who work together to support faculty in optimizing the delivery of their content for on-campus and online students. For online courses, Nexus supports online-by-design — the purposeful use of tools and techniques to facilitate learning, collaboration, and communication among learners and instructors. Elements of online design can be applied to individual components within a course, the development of a full course, or an entire program.
Nexus instructional design staff is here to assist instructors with new course development as well as updates to their existing courses. Here are some areas of course design we can help with:
- Assessment of Baseline Knowledge: An assessment of baseline knowledge can identify gaps for remediation. To maximize student learning, please give students clear recommendations for any remediation that needs to take place as soon as possible at the term start.
- Course Preview: The Nexus Design and Innovation Group will work with you to tape a conversation/interview which can be used to produce a short marketing video for your course. See more here on our Marketing page.
- Syllabus Review: Does your syllabus articulate clear policy statements and set the tone for your course? Instructional design staff can assist you.
- Welcome Messages: We encourage instructors to reach out to new on- and off-campus students through short, pre-taped welcome messages. An introductory or welcome message to students at the start of the term helps set the tone for your course, helps orient off-campus students and enables them to feel part of your class and the larger U of M community. Please give us advance notice so that we can work with the production team to design a welcome message for your course.
- Mid-term Student Feedback (MSF): It is useful for instructors to collect feedback from students as early as feasible. Early feedback will enable you to make any changes in course delivery before it is too late. The College of Engineering conducts computerized quantitative mid-term surveys in all courses.If you are interested in qualitative feedback, we can conduct an independent MSF feedback process, which takes as little as 20 minutes of a class session, and is entirely confidential. It may also be administered via Bluejeans for off-campus students. This process offers the benefit of having a neutral party collect and analyze student feedback. Please let us know if you are interested or click here to schedule it yourself.
- End-of-Term Debrief: At the end of each term, we reach out to instructors for short meetings to discuss how the semester went, what worked well and what didn’t work well, and what you would like to change for next time. These meetings yield valuable information that can be applied to other courses, as well as suggestions that we can share with other faculty.