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Online Learning Consultant

Date: January, 2017
Reports to (Job Title): Associate Director, Online Learning
Jobs Reporting (Job Titles): None
Department: Centre for Extended Learning

Location:

Gage Avenue

Grade:

USG 10/11
35 hr/wk


Primary Purpose

The Online Learning Consultant (OLC) project manages course and program development, Extended Learning Projects, and in certain cases University or external projects. In the case of course or program development, the OLC is the project lead and is responsible for the timely completion of projects. They work with course author (typically a faculty member) to establish project milestones based on the expected delivery date of the course, and then ensure that faculty provide the requisite raw course materials on time and that CEL staff are completing production work. While the OLC has authority internally, they work in partnership with the author, and exercise no management authority in that relationship.

Key Accountabilities:

1. 

Instructional Design & Development

  • Works with faculty to help design and develop online courses; either helping design new courses or translating existing courses to an online environment
  • Applies expertise in pedagogy and e-learning to advise faculty on the creation of effective learning outcomes, online teaching strategies, learning activities and tasks, and assessment strategies
  • Determines instructor, student and program needs; design constraints; resources limitations, etc., and factor these into the course design
  • Determines the development model that corresponds best to varying degrees of author involvement in the course development and instructor involvement in course offer
  • Assists curriculum committees in the case of online programs (eg. Online masters) to help guide program development
  • Assesses course design against the Online Learning Quality Guidelines
  • Consults on modifications required in subsequent offers of the course

 

2. 

Project Management

  • responsible for the effective functioning of the project team (faculty member, developer, OLC, and LMS/QA specialist) during development (see APPENDIX B for differentiation of roles)
  • primary liaison between the team and CEL, and the faculty member and other stakeholders during development
  • coordinates all necessary project team meetings
  • develops a project timeline with specific milestones for the completion of the online course that includes deliverables for faculty, developer, and OLC
  • coaches the Digital Instructional Media Developers as they interpret and produce the online course content
  • updates the Associate Director (and other internal and external stakeholders) on project progress, and proactively informs them of issues or potential delays.

3. 

Research and Evaluation

  • continually monitors research in teaching and learning, and online learning in particular, to inform/refine evidence-based practices related to course design and delivery
  • conducts research on course effectiveness; helps design instruments to evaluate course and course elements; reviews results with faculty;
  • partners with faculty on research projects when appropriate and helps design studies
  • acts as the principle investigator (PI) in research projects sanctioned by Office of Research Ethics (designs study, applies for ethics approval, etc.)
  • analyzes data received from all evaluations and make recommendations to the Associate Director and/or instructor, as appropriate, about possible improvements
  • supervises research assistance when applicable
  • conducts accessibility and usability testing of courses.

4. 

Consulting & Faculty Development

  • develops learning opportunities for faculty, sessionals, TAs and staff related to online learning; independently or in conjunction with internal or external partners
  • consults with other departments on campus on issues that directly or indirectly relate to online learning (e.g., academic integrity, course evaluations, student success initiatives)
  • advises faculty and instructors on effective practices in online teaching and learning
  • Contribution to University of Waterloo and Higher Education Communities
  • creates and helps maintain online instructor resources on designing and developing online courses
  • participate in discussions with peers within the university to share knowledge and gain further understanding of the university learning culture and issues
  • contributes to local and international conferences on teaching and learning
  • designs and conducts webinars for various external associations on topics related to

Position Requirements

Education:

Masters degree in instructional design, instructional technology, adult education, or a related field, with 1-2 years’ experience in a related role; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Experience:

Experience applying sound pedagogical design in online learning at the post-secondary level. A STEM specialist would have both experience in online learning and a degree in mathematics, science, and/or engineering. Experience providing instructional design guidance to faculty in a mentoring or development role.



Knowledge/Skills/Abilities:    
Strong project management skills and experience; able to successfully lead projects and teams. Experience with the effective application of a learning management system (LMS) and other e-learning technologies; experience with Desire2Learn an asset. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work as part of a team.

Technical:

MS Word Excel PowerPoint Other
word excel powerpoint other

Nature and Scope

Interpersonal Skills:

Significant internal contacts within Centre for Extended Learning and faculty. Some external contacts depending on projects.   

Level of Responsibility:

The position has no direct supervision of others. The position performs specialized work with minimal supervision. Project management responsibility.

Decision-Making Authority:

Decision making authority within given project, with ability to escalate to management for complex issues.

Physical and Sensory Demands:

Extensive sitting. Confinement to a work station. Largely office based role sitting at a comfortable desk; working at a computer consistently.

Working Environment:

The OLC role is largely independent. The Extended Learning work environment is cubicle-based, but the OLC is highly mobile, attending meetings, and also working from home. The OLC often has to contend with stressful conditions as a result of deadlines, the lateness of materials from instructors, and last minute changes to project plans. In critical situations, urgency may require extended work hours (e.g., completion of materials for courses in time for start of term, fixes to problems in live courses).