Working with the Media Team


The purpose of this document is to provide clarity on best practice approaches for how the Instructional Designer (ID) and the Media team work together on course revisions and new course development. Its intended audience is new Media and ID employees, but it should be useful as a quick refresher to others as well.

The Media Program Lead

The Media Program Lead (MPL) is the ID’s go-to person for all media-related inquiries and requests. The MPL’s primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to, consulting with the instructor and ID on media design needs, developing media production plans and timelines, providing educational technology solutions, coordinating and planning video shoots, and training instructors on media development tasks.

In addition, MPLs have educational backgrounds and expertise in visual communication, film, motion design, and user experience design, and are happy to contribute this expertise throughout the course design process.

Program Lead Involvement During Course Dev Process

Let’s dig a little deeper into the course development design process as viewed from a media perspective.

1. Initial Consultation (prerequisite to Media Consultation)

If possible, the ID should invite the MPL to the initial instructor consultation. This applies to both course revisions and new course development. Media’s involvement during the initial consultation is to listen and gather information in an effort to better understand the course pedagogy. This is also an opportunity for the MPL to define his/her role in the course design process and discuss a communication plan for media-related topics. One of the most important outcomes of this meeting is for faculty to recognize that ID and Media work closely together on their course design.

2. Media Consultation

The purpose of the media consultation is to begin writing a high-level media plan for the instructor’s course. During the media consultation, the instructor will have an opportunity to share his/her ideas on ways to leverage media to enhance learning. The MPL and ID will collaborate with the instructor on media-related topics, with the goal of producing a detailed media plan. These collaborations often cover best practices, content delivery formats, and recommendations regarding styles and technology. When scheduling a media consultation, be sure to use the agenda template provided by the Media team.

3. Media Plan

Following the media consultation, the MPL will compile the Media Plan (see overview), the formal proposal initiating the actual work to be done on specific media elements. This proposal should include an inventory of the media assets being designed and developed, a brief description of each asset, and examples instructors can review. Before moving forward on any media development tasks, the instructor should agree to the Media Plan over email.

4. Media Coordination, Technical Training, and Timelines

After the instructor signs off on the Media Plan, the MPL will determine the next course of action in the development process. This may include, but is not limited to, coordinating video shoots, linking instructors to technical training documents on the Media Services Team website, setting up Adobe Connect sessions for technical training, and/or highlighting best practices in media development.

In addition, the MPL will also generate a timeline referencing our Media Deadlines document to share with the instructor. To ensure content is developed on time and is of a high quality, it is imperative that ID, Media, and the instructor all agree to adhere to the dates indicated on the timeline.

5. Media Development by Instructor

Once deadlines are in place, the instructor is off and running (hopefully) on developing media-related content for the course. This may include, but is not limited to, writing scripts and/or outlines for videos, developing slides and audio narration, storyboarding animations, and producing screencasts. If third-party subject matter experts are needed, the instructor may also be responsible for reaching out to them, and for coordinating schedules. If the instructor plans to leverage media for more sophisticated video shoots (e.g., panel discussions, interviews with an expert, virtual tours), it is the MPL’s job to coordinate the shoot, finalize logistics, and determine the execution plan. This may require close communication with the instructor.

The ultimate goal in this phase is to keep the instructor on track to deliver good content for the course. If deadlines appear to be in jeopardy, the MPL will notify the ID and also perhaps the Program Manager.

6. ID Review and Media Development

As content submissions arrive from faculty, the ID reviews the materials to ensure they are pedagogically sound, tied to course learning objectives, and engaging for students. This is an opportunity to provide recommendations for graphics, animation, and slide layout.

After the materials have been reviewed by the ID and an editor, the MPL will begin production work. During this period, the MPL will be heavily involved in managing media projects and developing media assets and is responsible for keeping the status of media-related tasks updated on all course boards, particularly in Pulse. Pulse is an excellent communication tool for keeping the ID and the MPL connected. For a demonstration of Pulse, please send a request to the MPL and he or she will schedule the event.

7. Implementation and QA

As MPLs wrap up projects, they perform a QA check on each of the assets developed for their respective programs. We do, however, encourage IDs and instructors to perform a quick QA check as well, to ensure the content is accurate.

Through Pulse, the MPLs will send the ID links to finished media assets. It is the ID’s job to embed the assets into the courseware.


The key takeaway from this document is awareness of the need for the ID and MPL to work closely throughout the course development process. For the ID this means pulling the MPL into early consultations and keeping the communication channels open. Cultivating a collaborative design process leads to stronger course designs and better employee morale.

Published on October 11, 2017 at 4:28:42 pm CDT. Last modified on June 06, 2018 at 3:12:18 pm CDT.