What is the SALTISE CourseFlow System (CFS)?

SALTISE CourseFlow is an interactive and dynamic app that allows for interactive instructional design at three levels of pedagogical planning: (1) activity level (lesson), (2) course level and (3) program level (in development). In practical terms the app allows for the construction of an interactive and dynamic lesson plan and course outline.

Activity level workflow visualizing engagement strategy Gallery Walk (click on image to enlarge)

1) Activity (or lesson) – This level assists users in visually describing the workflow of a lesson (emphasising the student-centred nature of the activity). It describes the following components and decisions:

    • Who is doing these tasks:
      • Students
      • Teacher
    • Where these tasks take place:
      • Outside of class (e.g., homework)
      • In-side of class
    • What the student will be doing:
      • The sequence of tasks (workflows) use to engage students:
        e.g., discussing, problem solving, reading.
    • Strategies:
      • We have identified several workflows that make up known engagement techniques (Strategies) and provided these pre-made workflows as micro scripts as a convenient way to build Activities.

2) Course – This level assists users in visually describing the flow of the content, and importantly, aligning learning objectives/outcomes to this content.

    • Course components: Allows users to describe three components of the course content, with an easily added fourth:
      • Preparation (prerequisite content or assumptions about what the students know or should know to work in the lesson),
      • Activities (lessons, labs),
      • Assessment (quizzes, tests, exams, papers, etc.)
      • Artifacts (assignments, lab reports, etc.).

The Assessment and Artifacts could be used to differentiate between formal (summative) or informal (formative) evaluations.

    • Learning outcomes/objectives: Allows users to consider three levels of learning involved in describing a course:
      • Program level
        • Describes the intended global learning outcome(s) of the course, as it is situated within a Program of study. The user can choose how they wish to describe these. For instances, they could be considered Program Outcome (often the term used at universities) or Competencies (the term used at Quebec colleges).
      • Course level
        • Describes the intended learning outcome(s) for the course in question. The user can choose to describe these as outcomes or objectives. Generally, these are between 3 – 5 main outcomes/ objectives.
      • Activity level
        • Describes the intended learning outcome(s) for any of the components of the course: activities (lesson, lab, series of lessons (module), etc.), assessments, preparation or artifact.

3) Program level – TBA

Types of icons used within the app

Using a Visual Vocabulary to Facilitate Communication

The visualization also uses a principled set of icons that establish a visual vocabulary to facilitate communication between contributors/users be they instructor(s), instructional designer(s), students, etc.

In addition, this visualization provides a nested and at-a-glance view of the three levels of the ecosystem. The view facilitates the alignment of instructional outcomes/objectives between the different levels, as relevant information contained at each level is passed on to adjacent levels, as needed.

How to access the CFS app

It is currently a cloud-based tool (app) accessed through a URL https://wfm.saltise.ca/CourseFlow/courseplanner.html

    • This allows you to use the app just by going to the link, but all documents created are stored on your own personal device.
    • Currently, sharing of the workflow document(s) is done through some exchange between users and not the tool itself.

Opening, sharing & saving files 

Important things to remember when using the CourseFlow app:

    1. Opening – The .xml files created are always opened from the app itself, and not by double clicking on the file.
      • In its current state: you are always using the app from the URL and never download it.
    2. Sharing – Currently, sharing of the workflow document(s) is done through some exchange between users (i.e. email) and not the tool (app) itself.
    3. Saving – Save  your files often – but note:
      • All documents created are stored (saved) on your own personal device.
      • In its current state: it’s sort of like having an old fashioned app, where each “save” creates a unique new file.

Benefits of the CFS

    1. Equity & alignment across course sections in programs with multi-section courses
    2. On-boarding or orienting new teachers
    3. Collecting & auditing curricula designs
    4. Opening conversations between instructional designers & faculty about design, practice and outcomes

Become an Early adopter of CFS

Important to note that currently the app is very much intended to be an “alpha” level development and users should be willing to consider themselves as early adopters and part of our Research-Practice Partners (RPP), which means:

    1. Users provide design insight(s), more than mere bug reporting, when they use and populate their workflows. There is a high dependence on rapid “form-function” assessment of the app as we implement and use it. 
    2. Users should know they are always working on the latest version of the app because of the cloud based nature of the tool. 
    3. Users should let us know they are using the app so we can keep track of what types of implementations it is being used for and them informed about changes.

Click here for CourseFlow Instruction Manual