The Minimum Viable Course
While this is presented as something of a provocation, we also want to note the reality that some instructors will face next year.
The Simplest Online Course was originally created by Beth Seltzer, Academic Technology Specialist, building on projects like WSU Vancouver's Dirt Simple Mini-Course.
The Simplest Online Course
You can survey if you want, but you can also just assume equity will be an issue.
Step 1: Put Your Content in Canvas
Organize it by week.
Step 2: Add Discussion Boards for Each Week
Add ~3 discussion questions about the material for each week.
Step 3: Rethink Assignments
Distribute points as evenly as possible across weeks: chunk big papers into pre-work, divide exams into weekly quizzes.
Step 4: Teach Your Class
Write actively in the discussion boards each week, posting and responding to students. Grade promptly. Answer student questions quickly and compassionately.
If you would like to adopt this model, consider the following in your course planning process:
- What appeals to you about this model?
- What do you dislike about it or feel you would most miss?
- What part (an activity, an assignment, a teaching practice, a reading) in your upcoming courses feels most stressful or unmanageable?
- Would you still be able to meet your learning goals without it?
- Could you cut it and still have a course that is timely, engaging, accessible, connected and humane?