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TEACH Symposiuim

TEACH Symposium returning soon

The TEACH Symposium will pop up again November 30 to December 4, 2020. 

Learn more

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.

(Here's how to use modules to organize by week if you like. Remember to add your syllabus using the Canvas syllabus tool.)

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. 

That’s it.


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?