Why Use Master Shells to Manage Online Courses

The major growth in online education over the last several years has underscored the importance of instructional designers and their role at ¬†institutions of higher education across the country. As the industry has evolved to rely on these specialized roles, research literature and strategies related to quality in design, quality in teaching, and content management have proliferated as well. One such practice related to managing content and maintaining course quality and integrity — the use of master course shells to house and deploy materials for online courses — is often misunderstood. Sometimes this can lead to conflict between the instructors teaching a course and the instructional designers responsible for its ongoing maintenance and availability (Tate, 2017). This article outlines the benefits of master course shells with the goal of promoting more widespread adoption across the industry. Continue reading