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iDesign | Latest News | UCLA Align Skills Mapping Tool

UCLA Launches New Tool to Speed Creation and Enhance Quality of Innovative Online Courses

LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (FEB. 14, 2023) -- The University of California at Los Angeles’s (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health, ranked #11 among schools of public health by U.S. News & World Report, today announced the adoption of Align, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) curriculum mapping and visualization tool developed by iDesign. Align, part of iDesign’s Studio learner experience (LX) design platform, streamlines the process of creating and adapting the UCLA Master of Healthcare Administration program to meet accreditation and national quality standards.

“Building courses that meet the needs of today’s constantly-changing healthcare enterprise requires that we constantly evaluate and improve our courses to ensure that they align with industry standards,” said Dr. Laura Erskine, director of the online MHA program. “This is about designing and continuously improving course offerings that respond to the ever-evolving needs of patients and communities—and stand up to the healthcare sector’s rigorous quality requirements. In addition, this tool allows us to internally map our courses to our accreditation requirements.”

The demand for online offerings has increased dramatically in recent years as the COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly every institution online. The 2022 Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) report from Quality Matters and Eduventures found that 96% of institutions have adopted quality assurance standards for online courses and programs, but most still report a gap between the adoption of standards and the quality assurance processes in place to evaluate whether or not they have been met. 

To help meet this growing challenge facing institutions and educators, UCLA faculty will use Align to create compelling visualizations to ensure the course design process aligns with critical quality assurance and industry standards. The new tool was built by iDesign, a full-service and independent instructional design firm that helps colleges and universities build their own online courses and programs.

In 2021, UCLA Fielding launched its online Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA), after working with iDesign to complete a “curriculum mapping” and course design process to translate its existing course content into a fully-online degree program for emerging healthcare administration professionals.

Align provides administrators and program leaders with powerful capabilities to effectively align and map online programs and curriculum to a range of accreditation standards—as well as internal department and program requirements—and quickly generate reports to support accreditation and compliance. 

“With online learning entering into a more mature phase of growth and reaching more students in more places, quality, program integrity and accountability must be the driving force at the core of online program design, creation and delivery,” said Paxton Riter, co-founder of iDesign. “Our new tool helps support two intertwined challenges facing institutions—the development of high-quality programs while adhering to accreditation standards.”

For more information on iDesign Align, visit

About the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health: Founded in 1961, the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health aims to build health and equity, and to drive positive change for all people. We act on this mission through initiatives in three core areas: education, discovery and service. In each of these realms, we affirm our commitment to developing leaders and evidence-based solutions, and to working in partnership with communities to promote health and well-being in ways that are innovative, respectful and inclusive.

About iDesign:

iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether they are fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled, fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and course quality. From statewide university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions pair instructional design with technologies to enable great teaching. To learn more, please visit