Course Beginnings and Endings

In this week's newsletter, course retrospectives, new worksheets and Notion templates, Loom and more.

Course Beginnings and Endings

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.

Course Retrospective

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.

5 Steps to Run a Course Retrospective (and reasons why you should)
When end of course emotions are high, a 4 Ls Course Retrospective lets you know how to improve the course and what actions to take.

Student Feedback

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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

5 Steps to Run a Course Retrospective (and reasons why you should)
When end of course emotions are high, a 4 Ls Course Retrospective lets you know how to improve the course and what actions to take.
Moving past Level 3-Maximum Output
Start up and shutdown routines are needed to close open loops and get restful sleep for more creativity the next day.
10 Ways to Enjoy the Productivity Journey
While task management remains a guilt trip, nothing gets done. Here are 10 ways to enjoy the journey.

Templates and Worksheets this week

Course Retrospective
What is the 4 Ls Course Retrospective?The 4 Ls 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. The 4Ls stand for liked, learnt, lacked, and longed for.After a completion of a course, …
IKIGAI Notion Template
What is Ikigai?Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.” When combined, ikigai is a term that embodies the idea of happiness in living, or living with purpose.How does it work?Click Duplicate on the top ri…
IKIGAI Worksheet (printable)
Get this worksheet for the early-bird price of $0!What is Ikigai?Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a Japanese concept that combines the terms iki, meaning “alive” or “life,” and gai, meaning “benefit” or “worth.” When combined, ikigai is a term that embodies the idea of happiness in living, or living with purp…

I’ve been learning self-growth, productivity, online education and various eclectic interests for quite a few years now, picking up incredible, life-long lessons along that way. I have decided to document some of my insights weekly in the form of one short-form article about 2-3 minutes in reading time which is enough time to finish your coffee/tea.

I’d love to have you join us!