Volume 1, Issue 1 (2022) DCR Inaugural Issue

Editorial Introduction to the KSU Distinguished Course Repository

Welcome to Volume 1, Issue 1 of the KSU Distinguished Course Repository. The editorial board invited full time Kennesaw State faculty who had been recognized with awards for online teaching or digital instruction through their colleges, the institution, the university system, or another noteworthy academic organization to submit their exemplary courses for review and publication in this inaugural issue. The editorial board would like to thank the authors for their willingness to innovate with us and try something new.

The editors also recognize that as a first issue, the history and purpose of this repository may require explanation. In the summer of 2021, Academic Affairs requested each college develop policies that ensure online and hybrid course designs meet minimum federal requirements; however, many faculty at KSU continue to exceed minimal federal requirements and develop high-quality, engaging, creative, and sophisticated digital course designs. These faculty often use data to optimize their course content to ensure student success or even incorporate noteworthy high-impact practices, anti-racist pedagogies, project-based learning, adaptive learning, meta-cognitive scaffolds, and other active learning strategies or best practices. This repository serves as a mechanism to highlight and share these distinguished digital courses and their faculty developers. In addition, these course designs hold professional development value for faculty who may feel anxious about moving into the digital realm or faculty new to the institution. It is important to note that the DCR is not limited to fully online asynchronous courses, but any course design that captures its organization and content for learners and instructors in the learning management system at KSU qualifies to be submitted to the DCR. In development of the DCR many campus groups contributed. Initial brainstorming and project outlining was completed in collaboration between the Digital Learning Innovations team, the KSU Libraries team, University Information Technology Services team, and in consultation with Academic Affairs and the Digital Learning Advisory Council (DLAC). Many individuals from these groups then moved the project from idea, to development, and finally to this first issue. In the coming months and years, the structure and governance of this repository may evolve to better serve its audience and purpose. It is the hope of the editors that as faculty engage and publish their designs, value for this publication at KSU will grow and help our published faculty designers support their claims of distinguished high-quality teaching.

In this issue of the DCR, you will find peer-reviewed exemplary online course designs. If you find the time to visit all three D2L course shells, you will notice some interesting similarities and differences. One similarity across all three are video instructor introductions that are personable and authentic. You will also see a wealth of resources and tours of the course structure. You will also see differences. For example, in her course, BLAW 2200, Cristen Dutcher uses a detailed weekly checklist to help students keep track of their progress. In David Johnson’s course, LING 3035, he uses quizzes as pre-assessments to trigger the auto-release of the next module’s content creating a sense of personalization. Employing a well-established best practice, Robert Keyser’s course, ISYE 4250, chunks lectures into short eight to 10 minute videos making content easier for students to digest. As a KSU faculty member, you may request access to the D2L templates for these courses and choose to use them to support the success of your own students. Keep in mind that there are treasures to be found in all the courses featured in the DCR, not only the ones in your discipline. Consider taking a moment to browse and read the course descriptions, the major assessments, and other information for each course. Then, click the link to request access to take a closer look.

In addition, we invite faculty to get involved and innovate with us. Opportunities to get involved include volunteering for the editorial board, serving as a reviewer, proposing an additional research-based rubric to recognize courses with special distinction, or submitting your course design.

The editorial board plans to publish the DCR twice a year. In future issues, we hope to feature courses designed for online and hybrid delivery, as well as course designs that demonstrate the effective use of D2L to manage teaching and learning in a face-to-face environment. We are especially interested in submission of sustainable course designs that can be repurposed for all modalities. To learn more about the DCR and the submission, review, and publication processes, be sure to click the links on the side menu or go to the DCR Information Page.

Course Designs


Editor-in-Chief and DCR Librarian
Kimberly S. Loomis, EdD