Initial Publication Date: August 25, 2006

If you have dropped in from somewhere else, you might wish to start with the either the introduction to our Course Design Tutorial itself or the introduction page for faculty professional development for those who want to adapt or adopt our Course Design workshop.

Alternative workshop formats

Faculty member at course design workshop
What if you don't have a block of time to devote to a four-day, face-to-face workshop? Here are some alternatives, in decreasing order of face time.

Several one-day workshops

  • Our workshop can be divided into day-long chunks during which participants come together for instruction and guidance, with participants working independently between workshop sessions.
  • Spreading the workshop out across several weeks or even a semester means a shorter block time commitment that may be appealing to faculty members. The disadvantage comes in the lack of focus and intensity and the tendency of faculty members to drop out along the way.

A one-day or day-and-a-half workshop to get people started

  • For participants, the most challenging parts of our course design workshop are setting overarching goals and choosing content to achieve overarching goals. In our workshop schedule, we take participants through both of these aspects of course design in the first day of the workshop.
  • A one-day workshop can take participants barely through the most challenging parts of the process but offers little opportunity for work time, feedback, and discussion. We have found that a day-and-a-half format is more successful, taking participants to the point where many are enthused and confident that they can follow through. Some participants, though, have not made sufficient progress after this short time and are less likely to follow through than if they had taken a four-day workshop.
  • This short format does not allow time for exploration of teaching strategies and assessment techniques or for guidance in course plan development. Participants could use our Online Course Design Tutorial independently after the short workshop to fill in the gaps.

A 90-minute catalyst presentation

  • If all you have time to do is offer a presentation to excite people about the possibilities and provide a catalyst for individual course design projects, it is possible to give our entire course design PowerPoint presentation (PowerPoint 1.2MB Mar16 10) (minus most of the task slides) in 90 minutes and still make the presentation somewhat interactive by giving the audience a little time to work on their own overarching goals and have a discussion of a few examples.
  • We gave just such a catalyst presentation at the Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) 2004 Summer Institute, and the session was the highest rated session in the entire five-day Institute.
  • One way to follow up on a short catalyst presentation is to encourage people to work with our Online Course Design Tutorial independently after the presentation or to attend a follow-up face-to-face workshop.

An online workshop

  • We have used our Online Course Design Tutorial several times as a fully online course design workshop for a group of faculty members from around the country. Although the email list archives and discussion board are password-protected, you can view the workshop structure and assignments at our online workshop website
  • You could use a similar format locally and use your college or university's course management system for discussion board postings.
  • We have tried two approaches, one that spread the workshop out over four weeks and one that took place over four days (the same length of time as the face-to-face workshop). We found that the four week schedule did not work very well, because several people drifted off over that period of time as other demands arose. The intensive four-day format, on the other hand, worked quite well.

Independent work with the online tutorial

  • And, of course, as a professional developer, you could encourage interested faculty to work independently with our Online Course Design Tutorial.

Go back to main developers page


©2005 On-line Course Design Workshop and Tutorial developed by Dr. Barbara J. Tewksbury (Hamilton College) and Dr. R. Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary) as part of the program On the Cutting Edge, funded by NSF grant DUE-0127310.

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