Noodle Partners is committed to launching online programs and courses that equal or exceed the quality of your on-campus offerings. We understand that your institution — overall — will be judged in large part by its online offerings. And we want to help your reputation soar.
The best time to make adjustments to a degree program is before you invest in putting it online. So we will work with your faculty to identify program goals and align their courses with those goals before bringing in our instructional designers.
While every school and program has a different set of values, the Noodle Partners team has a long track record of adapting to an institution’s culture and helping it build award-winning programs that professors want to teach and students can’t wait to tell their friends about.
A surprising number of today’s online programs reflect antiquated ideas about instructional design. Downloadable PDFs, talking-head videos and discussion forums are no longer a winning formula. And while the synchronous virtual classroom is a growing feature in many online programs, few schools have well-thought-out strategies for when and how to blend modalities or to equip and support faculty to take full advantage of online possibilities.
How We Build Courses
When it comes to building courses, Noodle Partners is:
Collaborative – We match faculty with the best instructional design and production firms, then guide their work bringing content to life. Many of our designers have rich teaching backgrounds themselves, and they’re committed to finding ways to make education engaging. These designers communicate with faculty with authenticity and candor while always positioning faculty as the content experts. The goal is to create an atmosphere of trust and respect.
Holistic – Noodle Partners invests time understanding the faculty’s vision for the program, the outcomes it expects, and the way each course is expected to contribute to those outcomes. We look across courses in a term, and across terms, to ensure continuity and a coherent learning experience for students.
Focused on Quality – Our goals are to ensure that students are learning, that faculty are pleased with their online experience, and the institution is proud of its offerings. We achieve these goals by insisting on quality courses as defined by our rubric, and by monitoring our performance and the faculty and student experience through a transparent set of analytics. These analytics are available to administrators in real time. We’ll work with you as you use them to guide your decision-making
We work to ensure that all our course are:
|Engaging||The course is relevant and motivating. It is built on the idea that “learning occurs when someone wants to learn”, not “when someone wants to teach” (Roger Schank).|
|Interactive||The course encourages active learning. Students demonstrate proficiency by performing meaningful tasks and receive timely feedback.|
|Collaborative||The course promotes a learning community and cannot be completed without meaningful teamwork and communication.|
|Personalized||The course treats learners as individuals with different background, abilities and prior knowledge. Options are provided so that all learners are optimally challenged.|
|Intuitive||The course design is inviting and instinctual and allows all students to focus on content.|
Fieldwork is where students have the opportunity to apply the theories and tools from the classroom in a real-world environment. Fieldwork can be the most important part of the student’s experience. Students in an online program have the benefit of obtaining fieldwork in their own communities.
Noodle Partners has the experience and resources to support universities as they expand their field placement programs to serve their online students, who might be anywhere in the world. We employ highly trained placement coordinators to identify and assess thousands of potential placement settings to meet each program’s specific requirements. We also offer a proprietary technology platform that will manage the entire placement process. This platform will enable university staff to review and comment on placement options and view critical analytics to track the placement process, and then progress in the placement, for each student.
Faculty Support and Development
No one starts teaching online knowing exactly what to do. The shift from on-ground to online teaching can be a profound source of anxiety for faculty members who have perfected their craft over decades and may not consider themselves particularly tech-savvy. Because of this, universities and colleges need to be thoughtful and methodical about their approach to garnering initial and continued faculty support for online programs. For this reason, our first order of business is to create trust with your faculty by providing thoughtful support and professional development.
Noodle Partners’ core strength, and the source of its greatest satisfaction, comes from working with dedicated educators to transfer their pedagogy to the online environment.
We will supplement your existing faculty development initiatives with:
- 1:1 coaching sessions: Noodle Partners will provide 1:1 coaching to a faculty member preparing for his or her first live session and then debrief immediately following that first session. 1:1 coaching sessions will take place in person or online.
- Group trainings and workshops: Noodle Partners will provide skilled facilitators, with extensive experience building curricula and facilitating groups, to help faculty identify and affirm program goals and then align courses and assessments with those goals.
- On-demand self-paced resources: We will provide a library of self-paced resources on topics unique to the online teaching experience (e.g., pedagogical strategies, preparation tips, suggestions for working with small groups, etc.).
- 24/7 access to technical support services and online point-of-need tutorials.
Noodle courses align with the Universal Design for Learning Principles to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities to learn. All courses and course materials designed or built by Noodle Partners (and our providers) are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The principles are woven into subject matter expert (SME) and faculty orientations and into informal conversations with faculty during the course build process. As a system of checks and balances, instructional designers (IDs) identify which principles of UDL are being employed in each course build element by notating this on a course blueprint. IDs also run accessibility checks of courses before they are deployed. Additionally, all providers that partner with Noodle Partners and all products Noodle Partners uses must have a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) which evaluates how accessible the product is according to 508 standards. Please see ADA Compliance for Online Course Design for additional information.