Huun & Hughes

Autonomy Among Thieves: Template Course Design for Student and Faculty Success

Kathleen Huun, Indiana State University, Indiana
Lisa Hughes, Indiana State University, Indiana


Responding to a student-expressed need for consistency among courses within the online Baccalaureate Nursing Completion program at Midwestern University, an instructional designer and nursing faculty member collaborated to build a course evaluation rubric, learning management system template, and corresponding matrix to help support student learning and retention as well as faculty autonomy and creativity. This effort carefully aligned the ADDIE approach with Rogers’ (2003) diffusion of innovation theory through frequent, meaningful communication with the nursing faculty and the interspersing of humor (thievery puns) to invigorate and inspire adoption. Beginning with the design of a rubric based on Quality Matters standards, the project evolved into a related template that demonstrated the application of the rubric concepts while incorporating faculty-developed content. Change architects then created a complementary matrix that outlined required, adaptable, or addable template elements to maintain consistency and sustain faculty autonomy. Survey results show promising improvements in both student perceptions of online course navigation and content and faculty perceptions of reduced workload and continued autonomy.


Online Baccalaureate Nursing Completion programs; Diffusion of Innovation Theory; Quality Matters; Instructional Design; Change Architecture: Student Retention

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