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Online Studies: Blog

Updates, tutorials, and tips for Falcon Online and distance education.

You Should Always Read the User Manual!

by Aaron Sunday on 2019-09-20T09:00:34-04:00 | Comments

Aaron at D2L Fusion 2019

D2L Fusion 2019 was a remarkable event because the conference presented a range of sessions that concentrated on work-specific fields like instructional design, administration, and faculty. The keynote speakers were informative. The climate was active, and the attendants were professional and wholly immersed in higher education.

D2L presented the roadmap, vendors displayed products, and we could network with higher education professionals. This is my blog to feature the session that had the most impact on me. 

Joe Musicco, faculty at Sheridan College led “Forget the Syllabus: Why We All Need a User Manual.” The title is a little ambiguous because I do not think a user manual can supplant a syllabus, but it can complement a syllabus.  

The user manual is in table format and has attributes like style, values, communication, misunderstandings, and reflection. Each attribute includes a field for the instructor to provide insight into his personality, background, class expectations, and teaching philosophy. I guess we could relate a user manual to an instructor bio but the focus would be on pedagogy. 

The template could be a valuable exercise for students alike because it could allow the freedom to reflect on values, learning styles, and any misunderstandings like outcomes and expectations about the course and classmates. 

I aim to design a new assessment in D2L 101 - Introduction to Falcon Online to practice the manual. Completing the user manual is an appropriate exercise in self-reflection and gives the opportunity for instructors to illustrate their teaching styles. Moreover, the user manual is not specific to a modality.  

You can download a blank User Manual, which has edit capabilities and check out my example too.  


aaron sunday picture


Aaron Sunday
Instructional Designer, Division of Online Studies | 386-506-3209

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