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New instructional design position will create engaging online learning environments

While students may experience personal interactions within the traditional classroom setting, there are still opportunities for online students to connect and explore the learning process.  

As the college’s recently announced instructional design specialist, Beth Bailey is focused on improving quality teaching and learning for online instructors and students by providing increased instructional design capacity in the college.  

Having spent the last 18 years designing courses at Penn State University, Bailey is eager to begin her new role at WVU. “It’s an exciting time for online learning at WVU and in CPASS because of the successful online programs and engaged faculty and staff in place. It’s up to us to continue to move forward by providing the most relevant content to our students in an effective manner,” Bailey said.  

Bailey discovered her passion for instructional design during her undergraduate studies. As a speech communication major during the mid-1990’s when the internet and other distance education technologies were blossoming, she was intrigued with the idea of providing corporate training from a distance while using technology, which prompted her to pursue her master’s in instructional technology.

She brings with her extensive experience in faculty and course development using a range of technologies. However, Bailey is most proud to have had the opportunity to work with others to design and develop frameworks for course design that help students find information when they need it, complete tasks and learn while helping instructors share information, teach and provide feedback effectively. 

Her primary emphasis within CPASS is a collaboration with faculty members Drs. Bill Alsop and Gonzalo Bravo to design and develop the fully online versions of two graduate courses, sport management 516 and 590. Additionally, Bailey will work with others in the college (including CPASS technical support specialist, Sherry Binion) to create strategic resources to support online students and instructors.

Bailey’s position is resourced in partnership with WVU Online and is expected to collaborate with its designers as they share best practices to improve the quality of learning experiences for online students. Being a dedicated instructional designer within a college will allow her to better understand the discipline specific instructional opportunities associated with each of the online programs. Bailey plans to explore and implement consistent instructional strategies that align with program goals, benefitting both faculty and students. 

“Instructional design is a systematic process used to create engaging learning opportunities to gain a skill or acquire knowledge. There are different tasks that are part of an instructional designer’s job,” says Dr. Sean Bulger. In addition to those previously mentioned, some of the duties include working with instructors to create learning objectives, creating web pages designed for usability and accessibility, exploring new technologies and instructional strategies to share with instructors.

Bailey earned her master’s degree in instructional technology from Bloomsburg University in 2001.

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