Master Course Philosophy at USAHS

Use of Master Courses at USAHS

USAHS employs the practice of using “master courses” for digital learning. Master courses are developed and maintained by the Teaching and Learning Innovation department, in cooperation with academic departments and faculty subject matter experts and deployed to sections each term during the “course copy process.” This practice helps to ensure curricular consistency in core content and assessments across multiple campuses and course sections so that all students receive similar instructional experiences, and that the measurement of learning outcomes is uniform. This also ensures uniformity in the look and feel, navigation, accessibility, copyright standards, and technologies so that students have a reliable, stable, and consistent learning experience throughout their entire program.

Teaching from Master Courses

Faculty use approved master courses to teach, but may enhance their individual sections each term. The course design and layout, core content and assessments should not be altered. This ensures that all students are receiving the same foundational content and that the learning outcomes are consistently measured using authentic assessment across sections offered throughout the university.

There are multiple ways that teaching voice, expertise, and professional perspective can be added to individual sections. Faculty are encouraged to post narrative or video announcements, overviews, and supplemental content in Announcements and Discussions. The Institute of Learning, Innovation and Faculty Excellence (iLife) provides extensive resources, guidance and support to faculty on strategies to personalize digital teaching.

Master Course Maintenance Guidelines

Course Coordinators/Program Directors may submit routine master course maintenance request tickets at any time. They may also request "Reviewer" (read-only) access to masters (for which they are responsible) at any time by using the master maintenance request form. Instructional Designers are assigned to tickets as they are submitted and complete requested changes on an ongoing basis up until the course copy deadline for the upcoming term.

It is important to be as clear as possible when submitting tickets to avoid delays in processing due to unclear or non-specific instructions. Maintenance requests submitted after the deadline are still recorded but may not be completed prior to the upcoming term and will instead be re-prioritized for the following term. Similarly, extensive maintenance requests received on the stated deadline may only be completed partially. See the document below that lists the 8 steps to success of a master maintenance request. Use the template (word doc at bottom of page) to be as specific and precise, as possible. You can then attach the completed document to your master course maintenance request at the link below:

Submit a Master Course Maintenance Request

Request Categories and the Scope of Routine Maintenance:

Request Category

Scope

General Edits

Corrections to content/text to address typos, grammatical errors, APA/AMA formatting, and/or add clarity or coherence 

Ancillary/Supplemental Content

Additions, deletions, or edits to supplemental articles, weblinks, media, visual aids, guides, or interactive learning activities 

Technical Fixes

Fixing broken links to primary/core learning materials such as articles, weblinks, external videos, etc. Fixing audio/video or functionality issues of embedded media

Assignments/Assessments 

Minor updates that are NOT part of core Signature Assignments/Assessments such as revising instructions, adding rubrics, including templates, updating questions, etc

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