Extended Explanation

Remember Clippy, your peppy Microsoft Office assistant from the late 90s - early 2000s? Clippy was a lovable (though sometimes annoying), animated paperclip that appeared in the top right corner of documents when you needed help drafting a resume, addressing a letter, or printing a label. Clippy was available 24/7 to assist you with Microsoft documents and formatting, even when support offices were closed.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an assistant like Clippy when you get stuck while creating a course?

According to Cengage (2022), 26% of faculty are unsatisfied in their roles, with their primary complaint being a lack of support. Instructors are expected to teach in multiple modalities more than ever before, such as online, face-to-face, and hybrid. Unfortunately, most universities have far fewer instructional designers available to support the needs of instructors. This is where a virtual assistant like ‘Clippy’ available within the instructor’s learning management system (LMS) might help. For example, at UGA, around 300 online classes are offered during the Fall 2022 semester. UGA employs only 6 full-time Instructional Designers within the Office of Online Learning to support online course creation efforts. Some departments on campus have embedded Instructional Designerss available, though they frequently must spend time troubleshooting conference room webcams or adjusting classroom projectors. Instructors do not have a large support base to contact if they need help analyzing online course structure, crafting engaging instructional content, and designing well-aligned assessments.

This is an area where Clicky can assist. 🖱️

Meet ‘Clicky,’ your virtual rapid course design assistant. Clicky is an app within an eLC Homepage Widget that will ask questions in a diagnostic style, demonstrate options, and provide ideas that can help bring your course ideas to life. Clicky can also provide reminders and highlight areas for improvement from semester to semester.

Much like templates within Microsoft Office products or Google Workspace that you may be familiar with, Clicky can ask questions and provide course outlines to fit your course structure. Questions might include:

  • How many weeks will your course last? (Fall/Spring full sessions, 8-week summer session, 10-week professional program, etc.
  • How many students will be enrolled?
  • What topics will be covered in this course?
  • What would you like students to be able to complete by the end of the course?
  • What skills or prior knowledge might students need to be successful in this course?
  • Will there be group projects?
  • Do you need project rubric examples or peer evaluation forms?
  • Do you prefer to use HTML templates, or connect google docs/slides?
  • How do you like for students to contact you?

Clicky will then show you options that you can select and rapidly deploy in your course, then edit/adjust to fit your needs. Clicky allows you to customize each step of the process while giving you a starting point to work from so that you aren’t starting from scratch.