Course Syllabus

Institute timeline

Live workshop meetings

  • Tue, June 8 (10:00-11:30 am Pacific): 90-minute workshop for Module 1
  • Thu, June 10 (10:00-11:30 am Pacific): 90-minute workshop for Module 2
  • Tue, June 15 (10:00-11:30 am Pacific): 90-minute workshops for Module 3
  • Thu, June 17 (10:00-11:30 am Pacific): 90-minute workshops for Module 4

 Live open lab meetings

  • June 22, 24 and 29 (10:00-11:30 am Pacific): 90-minute open lab sessions for discussion, feedback, practice

Institute outline


Institute Outcomes:
Teaching & Learning Strategies
for Flexible Course Experiences

Institute Outcomes:
Technical Skills
 for Flexible Course Experiences

Module 1: (Re)Designing Flexible Course Experiences

(Re)Design course-level learning outcomes to support equivalent pathways for student achievement;

Use a "backward design" approach to a) identify appropriate strategies to assess student achievement of the learning outcomes, b) activities that will prepare students to reach those outcomes, and c) appropriate course materials;

Prepare students for successful participation in and completion of flexible course experiences;

Identify flexible course experiences for accommodating different student needs in multiple learning environments; and

Identify strategies for facilitating flexible course experiences in both physical and virtual environments.

Navigate and set up physical and virtual learning environments;

Structure well-organized flexible course experiences that incorporate multiple modalities (space, time or both);

Construct a flexible course module template;

Identify common settings that support flexible course experiences in different technology platforms (e.g., learning management system, videoconference); and

Provide appropriate links, materials and tutorials to support learners’ successful participation in flexible course experiences.

Module 2: Assessing Learning in Flexible Course Experiences

  • Use student self-assessments and peer review activities to help you and the learners monitor their progress;
  • Identify assessment strategies that work across multiple course modalities to support synchronous and asynchronous learners;
  • Identify strategies to personalize feedback without increasing your workload;
  • Use strategies and tools (e.g., the Transparent Assignment Template) to make sure students know what to do, how to succeed, and why they are completing each learning task, regardless of the course modality; and
  • Collect and analyze formative feedback on effectiveness of both teaching and learning in flexible course experiences.
  • Select and use assessment tools or instruments that a) match course or module learning outcomes, b) consider students learning in different modalities and c) accurately assess student performance;
  • Plan and use non-graded, online assessments to provide self-assessment opportunities for students and activities to prepare students for class meetings or recordings;
  • Consider common assessment tool settings that support flexible course experiences; and
  • Use assessment instruments, such as rubrics, for peer or instructor review of assignments submitted online, as well as synchronous demonstrations or presentations.

Module 3: Facilitating & Managing Engagement in Flexible Course Experiences

  • Post and manage Announcements that prepare students to complete tasks in different course modalities;
  • Monitor student progress when students are working across modalities (physical, virtual, asynchronous);
  • Utilize techniques to motivate student participation across different course modalities;
  • Discuss how to create equivalent pathways and consistent expectations for student engagement in course activities;
  • Help students plan their weekly flexible course experiences, including start dates, milestone dates and due dates; and
  • Use a run-of-show outline to prepare and to facilitate course activities in a multimodal format.
  • Create for each course activity clear instructions that include expectations, deadlines, technology tutorials, support services, and other relevant information;
  • Model or recommend using online tools (e.g., course calendar, online to-do lists) that support self-directed learning;
  • Use multiple tools to improve course communication;
  • Identify and create interaction and communication opportunities among students, between students and instructor, and between students and content; and
  • Apply flexible course experience facilitation strategies for student interaction via synchronous and/or asynchronous tools.

Module 4: Managing Instructional Materials & Resources for Flexible Course Experiences

  • Find, create and manage instructional materials that are both reusable and accessible to students with disabilities;
  • Provide descriptive “what, how and why” prompts that guide students in the reviewing each course material;
  • Define expectations for students’ use of instructional materials as part of a flexible learning experience;
  • Adopt lecture delivery and/or recording strategies that support students in any course modality; and
  • Provide students with a checklist to test the validity, bias and reliability of web-based resources.
  • Organize content in a meaningful and logical way for students to find information easily, regardless of the course modality they use;
  • Organize the course environments to mirror the course outline and structure and to support students in any modality;
  • Find, save and/or recreate instructional materials in different formats to support flexible course experiences;
  • Explore tools (e.g., social reading, collaborative annotation) that provide students an opportunity to engage with classmates around course content; and
  • Assess the accessibility of course and course materials.


Core principles

The Flexible Course Experience Institute is intended to be:

  • replicable – The Institute experience will model a flexible course experience for participants—i.e., participants will have the same level of choice and equivalence that students would have in a flexible course experience;
  • flexible – The institute follows Universal Design for Learning principles—i.e., Consultant will work with Cal State to create multiple pathways for Cal State instructors to complete the Institute, demonstrate achievement of the Institute's core learning objectives, and earn a certificate;
  • practical – The Institute will guide Cal State instructors through a backward design model to (re)design and facilitate online and/or face-to-face course activities that a) support the success of all Cal State students and b) address equity-based challenges that students face;
  • complementary – The Institute is meant to augment existing training—pedagogical and/or technological—provided by individual Cal State campuses or centralized system units.
  • modular - Each Cal State campus or program may choose which Institute elements constitute the most relevant aspects of flexible course experiences; based on their culture, parameters, etc.;
  • open – The Institute structure and materials are/will be licensed as Creative Commons works so the Cal State system and Consultant will be free to use and modify; and
  • constructed collaboratively – The Institute will be designed with Cal State team members and other designees, so that the model aligns with existing faculty training efforts that already meet unique needs of instructor and/or student populations, while supporting any scaling efforts to meet a potentially high training demand in a short time frame. Consultant will attempt to use existing materials


The Flexible Course Experience Institute and everything in it are Creative Commons works – CC BY Kevin Kelly, EdD.
The Institute was funded by the California State University Chancellor’s Office.

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Course Summary:

Date Details Due