Course Beginnings and Endings
In this week's newsletter, course retrospectives, new worksheets and Notion templates, Loom and more.
I always find the end of a course a strange time because I need to think of the ending and beginning of the course at the same time. For example, at the end of a course, students are looking for final feedback and teachers are wanting feedback from the students while they are still attentive.
End of course tasks include:
- final feedback and grading of student work
- producing and handing out certificates
- on-selling other courses (or the next step) they might like
- getting their feedback and testimonials of this course
- getting the teachers and administrators feedback and review
- putting final results and feedback in your system
- fixing any quick fixes in the course for the next run
- updating your webpage or notes with new testimonials
- putting any output such as recordings in the your system
While some of this can be completed through the semester, a fair amount of the workload is at the end and beginning of a course.
A Course Retrospective is an activity for the whole course team upon completion of a course designed to understand what worked, what didn’t, and what can be improved. This is especially useful for any course that was a real struggle but equally useful for making any improvements to a course. If you are running solo for now, completing the course retrospective for yourself really clears up your own thinking and documents what could do with updating and how to update it.
It's always a good idea to get student feedback even if you fear negative feedback. There is no better review of your course than from the horse's mouth. Here are some great general questions to ask that will get them thinking and writing more information for you to review.
- What went well?
- What can we/you do better in the future?
- What did you learn?
- What will you take into practice from the course?
- How was the scheduling? Too fast paced, or too slow paced?
- What did you expect from this online course? And were these expectations fulfilled at the end of the course?
- Why would / wouldn't you recommend this online course to other students?
- What would you like to see in your next course? What's your next challenge?
My favourite things this week
- I have had a strong creation week despite the busy times with 3 worksheets/templates in my new GumRoad profile page. Two of them are a powerful exercise to find your ikigai which would be a great way to figure out courses and educational products that you are good and would fill you with joy! The other is a great Course Retrospective Notion template ready to run for your next course retrospective.
- A major discovery this week was Loom. I believe this will be a game changer for both the business world and educational world. Their motto seems to be "Show it, say it, send it" and using their cloud services you can record quick videos of 5 minutes of your screen and webcam (in a lovely circle overlay). The video is stored on their servers and each user can have up to 100 short videos. This will be great for welcome videos, showing students around, showing examples or showcasing great student work. I would imagine that students will actually pay attention to the weekly course announcement if it were a Loom video!
- Companies and agencies often have client onboarding videos and emails that teach the client what to expect at the next meeting, where to find the building and reception desk, what documents to bring, etc. I believe we should be mindful to have this onboarding process more formalised and thorough for new students of our courses having videos of the learning system, what to expect in the first week, what to bring along or think about before the first class and of course, how to log in to everything and where to find information.
Quote for the week
Yet we work more effectively, scientists have found, when we continually alter our study routines and abandon any “dedicated space” in favor of varied locations. Sticking to one learning ritual, in other words, slows us down.
— Benedict Carey (author of "How we learn")
Articles this week
Templates and Worksheets this week
Belinda Allan is an education advisor who is dedicated to empowering lifelong learners. By exploring the intersection of technology, personal development and learning futures, Belinda uses her expertise in education, IT and AI to guide individuals in creating the course or training program of their dreams. With a focus on how AI can drive productivity and well-being in the ever-changing landscape of education and work, Belinda will help you unlock your full potential.
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