"Universal Course Shell Templates (UCST) can alleviate teachers' workload, support teachers in taking pedagogically sound decisions, and assist students in their engagement with the course," writes Angelos Konstantinidis. This paper (17 page PDF) compares UCST to identifies commonalities and differences ("I searched the official websites and I did individual searches too of the top 500 universities. From this search I managed to collect 19 templates only," he explained to me in a follow-up email). Even with such a small number, there is no unanimity of design elements (the maximum was '14' for 'assignments'). "Instructional designers should be cautious and refrain from succumbing to easy solutions," he writes. "This study has shown that the UCST could also perpetuate traditional, teacher-centered approaches, incorporate elements that are questionable from a pedagogical perspective, and provide a somewhat cluttered navigation menu."
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