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Setting Up Your Program: 6 Things to Consider

Before you start your I-DEA program, think through, plan and prepare for its structure, students, your instructional team, modules and course set-up. Having a plan in place ahead of time will ensure your program is successful. Here are five things to consider when setting up your I-DEA program.

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Choose type of instruction

Determine whether you will offer Full I-DEA or Tailored I-DEA, and whether your class will be the "flipped" (hybrid) or the web-enhanced model. This decision is based on several factors, but the most important is the number of class hours and whether or not your program can lend technology to students to complete pre-work.

Build campus connections

  • Consult with your eLearning department, if you have one, to determine whether I-DEA will be taught through the Canvas learning management system (LMS) of if curriculum will need to be migrated to your LMS.
  • Work with your eLearning and IT departments to determine what technology you would need to buy to start an I-DEA program. This step is especially important when buying new technology.
  • Work with your IT department to determine an imagine schedule for the technology.
  • Work with your library or eLearning/IT departments to decide how to tag technology and peripherals like microphones, headphones and computer bags.
  • If you're offering a fully flipped I-DEA program, work with your library or eLearning/IT departments to decide how to check out technology and peripherals to students.
  • If offering a hybrid or flipped version of Full I-DEA or Tailored I-DEA, decide whether you will provide students with Wi-Fi access, or provide students with a list of internet access points.

Think about your future students' characteristics. Use that information to shape what your program looks like.

Class levels

Will your I-DEA students all be at the same level (single-level) or will it be a mixed class with students at different levels (multi-level)?

Number of students

How many students will your program serve?

Program length

Will your I-DEA be a one-term-only course? Will it be a full-year with students completing the entire course sequence?


How will you market your I-DEA program to prospective students?

Decide who will teach in your I-DEA program. You may have an instructor or instructors on staff who would be a good fit for the program. In other cases, you may find that you need to hire someone.

Ask yourself:

  • Will this be a single instructor class? Will instruction be shared by two instructors?
  • Will you use the technology coach part of I-DEA? If so, where would the technology coach come from? Sources of technology coaches include:
    • community-based organizations
    • volunteers
    • work-study
    • another instructor
    • eLearning/IT staff

If you are hiring an instructor specifically for I-DEA, traits to consider include:

  • an open mind, and has confidence that students can learn online
  • some familiarity with Google Applications and Microsoft Applications (they don’t need to be an expert)
  • taught has taught in Learning Management System (LMS) and/or be willing to be trained in Canvas or another LMS
  • patience
  • be willing to try something new

When working with your team to decide which modules and the number of modules you'll use in your I-DEA program. Keep the following in mind:

  • Are you offering Full I-DEA or Tailored I-DEA?
  • How many weeks and hours per week will your class meeting?
  • Is your class web-enhanced or "flipped" (hybrid)?

If you are not in Washington state, we encourage you to follow the Washington state recommendations for the number of modules taught in Full I-DEA or Tailored I-DEA.

We recommend you follow the sequence we suggested so you're familiar with the curriculum before you begin mixing and matching modules. We highly encourage anyone using I-DEA to keep the banded rows within the full-scope and sequence document together when beginning to work with I-DEA.

Refer to the Setting Up Your Class document to find the procedure for course set-up in the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). If you are using another LMS, you will want to work with your eLearning department.

Before distance education was allowable for Title II basic skills programs, calculating basic skills contact hours and attendance was a fairly easy process based on "seat time."

Now, basic skills students, in programs like I-DEA, learn both online and in-class. The challenge becomes how to report contact hours when students are physically separated from an instructor, known as Distance Education proxy hours for Title II programs. Documenting the contact/attendance hours — in-class as well as online — is important to federally funded programs who report distance education proxy hours.

In I-DEA, the learner mastery model is used to report distance education proxy hours. More information about how I-DEA uses the learner mastery model can be found in the Counting Student Contact Hours document.

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