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Center for Teaching Excellence

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3Ds Bootcamp: A Workout in Online Course Development

Under the expert guidance of the Center for Teaching Excellence's Distributed Learning (DL) team, eight USC faculty members are participating in the inaugural session of the grant cohort “3Ds Bootcamp: Design, Develop, and Deliver an Online Course.” Offered with support from the Office of the Provost, the goal of the 3Ds Bootcamp is to equip faculty members with the skills they need to launch a top-notch online course.

For the 3Ds Bootcamp, participants hit the ground running with a one-week hands-on intensive workshop in May 2007. During the weeklong intensive, participants create a five-star syllabus, set up a Blackboard course framework and develop the first learning module for their course. Of her experience with the week-long intensive, Deborah Hazzard, Clinical Assistant Professor 
in the Darla Moore School of Business, said that "I would characterize my experience at the 3Ds Bootcamp using three words: engaging, insightful and relevant! I found the workshop to be invaluable for me, even though I am a veteran in the online course delivery environment. The tools and insights gleaned from this workshop are quite beneficial for both face-to-face and online environments! I would highly recommend this course design process to all faculty, regardless of the method of course delivery (i.e. face-to-face or online), and irrespective of their level of experience in the online environment. The professionals at the CTE are very knowledgeable, attentive and awesome to work with!”

After the bootcamp, participants continue to collaborate with a designated CTE instructional designer to finish building a high quality online course that meets the university’s quality assurance standards. In addition, they prepare and submit, on or before the designated deadline, materials required for university approval of the course for DL delivery, if needed. Cohort participants receive a grant totaling $2,000 to support course development with $1,000 awarded upon successful completion of the weeklong workshop. The balance of the grant is awarded after successful development of the online course.

The initial offering of the 3Ds grant has been a real success. According to Andy Gillentine, Associate Dean and Professor in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, “The 3Ds Bootcamp opened my eyes to the educational possibilities available through online education. The hands-on opportunities to work with a wide variety of tools and software under the tutelage of great instructors, made this a win-win-win experience for teachers, students and USC! All USC faculty could benefit from this.” The staff of the Center for Teaching Excellence found that they benefited from the experience as well. Aisha Haynes, Program Manager for Distributed Learning and Interim Director of CTE stated, “I had a wonderful experience participating in 3Ds Bootcamp. The Distributed Learning team at CTE worked hard for months to pull off the intensive event. It was great working with faculty from different departments to help them design quality and engaging online courses. The faculty were wonderful and the interactions between the faculty were outstanding. The entire week was a total team effort!”

CTE plans to offer this grant on an annual basis. The next call for proposals will be in fall of 2017. Any faculty member or adjunct instructor at USC Columbia or the Palmetto College campuses is eligible to apply.

To view a synopsis of each grant proposal, visit 3Ds Bootcamp Grant Proposals.

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