Online Learning Consultant (STEM Specialist)
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON
Term: 1 year

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.

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
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

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
Consulting and 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 appropriate
Master’s degree in instructional design, instructional technology, adult education or a related field with 1-2 years’ experience in a related role; or equivalent combination of education and experience
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 a faculty in a mentoring or development role
Experience applying sound pedagogical design in online learning at the post-secondary level
Teaching and Facilitating online instruction would be an asset
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
In critical situations, urgency may require extended work hours