Notepad:OL Trades Document

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OL Proposal to TRU Trades Department Steamfitting /Pipefitting Level 3/4 course

Submitted by: Irwin DeVries, Interim Associate Vice President, Open Learning For approval by: Lindsay Langill, Dean of Trades & Technology


Summary: The Trades department of TRU has requested a proposal for the participation of TRU – Open Learning (OL) to create a blended learning course for the Steamfitting and Pipefitting Level 3/4 for projected delivery in September 2016. The development of this course is funded under a pilot project Contribution Agreement with the federal government with the purpose of develop flexible and alternative delivery methods for trades training. The expertise of OL in designing and developing on-line content along with the content expertise of the Trades Department make an ideal combination for the development of an excellent on-line course, a successful project and a template for further such collaborations.

The cost of OL services for this project are $xxxx. Based on the following breakdown: Instructional Design = $XXXX (fee waived) Content Creation = $ XXXX Course Production = $ XXXX

Time is of the essence. The development of content is time consuming and existing workload must also be considered. Delay in approving the proposal will, delay the start of work with may have in impact on the ability of all content to be created for a September start date.

It is understood that successful evaluation of this pilot project may lead to other projects in this area. If so, OL would be pleased to work with Trades & Technology on the submission of complete proposals that would position TRU as a leading provider of blended apprenticeship training in BC and beyond.

Background: Trades and Technology at Thompson Rivers University is contracted by the federal government to develop a flexible course design for Level 3 and 4 of the Steamfitting / Pipefitting trade. This flexible delivery envisions the theory component of the trade delivered in an on-line mode thus saving students, who will be apprentices, the time and travel away from work and home attributed to attending classes as required in the traditional delivery model.

The Trades department has asked TRU – Open Learning (OL) to submit a proposal to participate in the development of this course specifically with regards to production into the learning management system and creating of multi-media learning resources to enhance student learning.

Proposal: In developing this proposal, OL is participating in the creation of a new blended learning delivery model for the Trades department. OL has significant experience and skills to bring to this kind of work which is unique to TRU. By working together, both the Trades department and OL acknowledge that the end product will be the best it can be with both parties contributing their expertise. The result will be a blended course delivered by Trades department faculty with the on-line component built by OL staff. This model of delivery, if considered successful by the federal government in its evaluation could be replicated in other trades and therefore represents a great opportunity for not only both parties, but the university as well as in order to distinguish itself in an emerging deliver model of trades training in the province. However, mostly, success in this project would benefit students by providing another way to attain their goal of receiving apprenticeship training.

OL contribution: The OL contribution to this project is as follows: Instructional Design, Content Creation and Course Production.

Instructional Design: An OL Instructional Designer (ID) will be assigned to this project. The role of the ID is to work directly with subject matter experts (SME) to create a course that meets the learning objectives of the course and is pedagogically sound when delivered in an on-line environment. The ID will provide guidance to the SME in the development of course material and ensure that learning objectives are clearly stated and assessments designed to measure their achievement. In addition, the ID will provide ideas for delivery of content within the learning management system that are engaging and effective for student. The ID is responsible for project managing the development of the course from its initial stage to the end when students are ready to be enrolled.

Based on discussions between Irwin Devries, Interim AVP, OL and Lindsay Langill, Dean of Trades and Technology, given the nature of the existing contract it is agreed that OL with offer these services at no cost. However, if future work is done, for externally funded courses the wage of the ID would be calculated on a cost-recovery basis, which would allow for OL workload backfill. For future reference, a typical OL project is budgeted for 120 hours of ID time at a rate of xxx per hour for a total cost of xxxx. Ken Monroe has been assigned as the ID for this course.

Content Creation: OL staff are experts in the field of multi-media development. This includes graphic design, interactive media based on programming and video elements. The prospect of developing graphic and multimedia content for trades programming is very rich but must be focused on the learning objective if it is indeed going to be useful. The ability to create engaging and pedagogically sound multimedia learning resources will ensure that this course is in fact innovative, engaging and ultimately successful.

For the development of this proposal, the OL media team, OL ID, and Paul Simpson, Trades department met to discuss the project. It is was immediately recognized that the scope of content that could be created for this course is very large. Therefore, based on the need to have a course ready for students as of September 2016 the following content pieces would be developed based guidance from Mr. Simpson.

Priority for content development will be given to content areas that have the greatest weighting on the final exam and/or topics that are identified by the SME as being the most difficult concepts for students to grasp.

Based on the meeting, the OL media team indicated that it would be possible to create: • One web based virtual learning environment with interaction that provides learning information on a complex piping environment. Ideas discussed were going to Domtar mill, Highland Valley, TRU facilities, RIH to obtain real project data and build content as appropriate. • Small number of video pieces demonstrating best practices. • Up to six online interactive learning objects that allow students to learn the skills of: identifying schematic drawing symbols, creating material lists, reading drawings, assembling piping projects and others as determined by the development team. • Creating graphics and or photographic elements that demonstrate key topics.

Given the scope of this work, it is very important that a decision on this proposal is made soon so that planning and work can begin immediately on these resources.

The cost for this component is based on hours of work estimated by the media team for the development of similar work. The media team is comprised of three curriculum media developers with the following skills: video production, interactive media, graphic design and user interface design. The total hours of work is estimated to be 220 at a rate of xxxx. The total cost is xxx. [Top Tier=50 hours VLE 5hour per video piece (20hrs) 80hrs for 6 interactive learning objects 50 hours for graphics and photos] Make appendix for two lower tier outputs…

Based on discussion, it is also agreed that any content created for this course will be licensed under a Creative Commons CC-By-SA-NC scheme that will allow other institutions to access them and use them in their teaching.

Course Production: The task of taking all course content; text and media, and putting it into a learning management system so that it is visually engaging and user friendly is the job of OL e-learning Support Technicians. This role is crucial because if students do not have a good experience accessing content in the LMS, no matter how good the content is, they will be unhappy with the course.

The OL course production team will create a course container in Moodle which will be used by the Trades and Technology Department to deliver this course to students. The team will create the course from the content received from the SME and the media team. This includes text, multimedia objects and quiz questions. The team will create the course and provide access to the instructor for review and comment prior to student enrollment.

The cost of this component is based on xxx estimated hours of work at a rate of xxx per hour for a total cost of xxxx.

  • Expenses?
  • Student support
  • Faculty Support
  • Ongoing maintenance (other arrangements needed)

Based on our previous discussions, OL is supportive of this pilot project and we look forward to working with the Trades Department so it is a success. Please provide me with your decision on this proposal at your earliest convenience, so the work can begin.


Irwin DeVries