Selecting tools for delivery of online asynchronous undergraduate instruction can be a challenge. To address this challenge, first a philosophical framework for instruction should be developed to make explicit what an institution assumes to be true about student knowledge and learning. Education research offers many theoretical constructs that can be used to construct such a philosophical framework. Second, an online learning product consistent with the philosophical framework must be selected. If an online learning product conflicts with the philosophical framework, course design will fall short of alignment with the philosophical framework. In this action research project, 7 undergraduate general education courses were designed using a philosophical framework within a custom authoring online learning product. Use of the Instructor Created Content feature from zyBooks allowed enhanced levels of implementation of our philosophical framework as compared with prior learning platforms (implementation gains ranging from 14.8% to 42.4%). Enhanced implementation resulted in reduced student attrition in all 7 courses (attrition reductions of 1.8% to 17.6%).
Jacquelyn Kelly, Ph.D., is an Associate Dean at University of Phoenix with more than 15 years of experience in science and math education. Her expertise is in translating STEM education research into practice at institutions of higher education. Kelly earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Science Education from Arizona State University. Her master's degree is in Materials Science and Engineering from Arizona State University. Her undergraduate degree is in Physics and Chemistry from California State University, San Marcos. She has been principal investigator and co-principal investigator of multiple federal grant projects to develop science education support for rural area K-12 teachers and to develop student government science officer roles in K-12. Kelly’s previous positions include science teaching, teacher evaluator for the county education service agency, and program director for professional development programs for science and math educators.
Jim Bruno, MBA, is the College Curriculum Manager for the College of General Studies. He has over 20 years of experience in course design, process management, and the scholarship of teaching. He operationalizes transformative practices in higher education to best meet the needs of nontraditional learners. In 2017, Jim was recognized with the Sperling Award for Innovation for his work developing technology enhanced course designs. Jim earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix.
Susan Hadley, Ph.D., is an Associate Dean at the University of Phoenix. She has oversight of the Bachelor of Arts in English degree as well as the non-STEM general education catalog, including ‘first year student experience’ courses. Hadley has spent over 20 years in higher education serving in various dean roles, as a faculty member across degree levels, and as a consultant for dozens of colleges and universities. She has advised higher education institutions throughout the country regarding academic program structure and design, accreditation, and academic policies and procedures incorporating operational and educational best practices. Dr. Hadley earned her doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University, a Master of Arts in English from Emporia State University, a Bachelor of Arts in English from Hastings College, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Bellevue University.