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PLAID: Peer-Led Analysis of Instructional Design

PLAID (Peer-Led Analysis of Instructional Design) is a tool for thinking about online, hybrid, and web-enhanced classes. You can use it yourself, or better yet, come hang out with the fun Faculty-in-Residence to swap ideas, tricks, and consulting, customized to the needs of your course.

PLAID can be used a number of different ways:

  • Self-diagnostic: download the rubric and review your course,
  • Peer/group diagnostic: work with colleagues to review your courses together, kick around some ideas for teaching online, then make changes as a group, or
  • Collaborate with us: We'll also review your course, talk about it with you, and help with any changes. (This process is as confidential as you want it to be.)

How do I start?

Choose which version of the rubric


  • Download the rubric (above), and begin reviewing your course.
  • Contact us, or drop by CanvAssistance, for help with the rubric or to bounce around ideas. We love thinking about how to change our own courses, too!
  • Reap the rewards!

Peer/group diagnostic:

  • Download the rubric (above), along with your group members, and begin reviewing your courses.
  • Meet to discuss, and talk about possible improvements.
  • Contact us, or drop by CanvAssistance, to chat about ideas for the courses. Really, contact us. (Frankly, we’re sick and tired of talking to each other about teaching. We need someone else to talk to.)
  • Reap the rewards!

PLAID with Faculty-in-Residence:

  • Download the rubric (above), and use it to review your course.
  • Contact us when you're ready to share. (You can choose a specific member Educational Technology, if you wish).
  • One of the faculty-in-residence will look over your course too.
  • We meet and discuss.
  • We create a plan to make the changes.
  • We meet again as much as you want to.
  • Reap the rewards!

Who can PLAID?

Well, you! Your friends and neighbors. And us. Everything's better with company, right? PLAID is designed for anyone teaching web-enhanced (face-to-face, using Canvas), hybrid, and online courses at Highline. It's open regardless of faculty status: full-time, part-time, ABE, ESL, professional/technical, transfer, you name it.

And if you've creating training with Canvas, we're also happy to work with you. We'll adjust the rubric accordingly.


PLAID began when we started to wonder if our Canvas courses were as well-designed as we thought they were. Using a rubric we created, we evaluated each other's courses and, indeed, found ways to make them better. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes really helps find helpful changes. We took that idea, revised it a bit, chose a better acronym, and now we're offering that same peer support to faculty across the Highline campus.

What's in it for me?

You’ll get fewer "how-do-I" emails from students. Students will turn in better work. You'll have less to maintain every quarter in your course! And you get peace on Earth! Okay, maybe not peace on Earth, but a reduced risk of students storming your office with pitchforks and torches. Also, you'll find useful stuff for your teaching portfolio and a department outcomes assessment report.

Wait. Who are the Faculty-in-Residence?

The Faculty-in-Residence are faculty who have dedicated time for helping other faculty. They're expert Canvas users and instructors, who've taught online, hybrid, and web-enhanced classes for many years. They are:

  • Sarah Adams, Mathematics
  • Maurea Brown, ELCAP
  • Sue Frantz, Psychology
  • Tarisa Matsumoto-Maxfield, English/DGS
  • Avery Viehmann, English