The 6 Habits of Effective Course Designers


1. They insist on performance problems.

Does it really matter if someone doesn't know something? Does it matter to the student? Does it matter to society?

A project to teach something that can't be justified is doomed.

2. They consider the obstacles to learning.

Is something worth teaching? Why can't people learn it for themselves? Is it fear? Is it arrogance? Is it lack of technical background? Is it lack of concrete experience? Is it a conflict with other priorities?

One design does not fit all. Each category of obstacle suggest very different designs.

3. They choose activities and remediation from a wide variety of options.

If arrogance is the issue, show the students the folly of their ways. If fear is the issue, start gentle, or put the student in a different role. If lack of concrete experience is the issue, run lots of scenarios and tell lots of stories.

4. They constantly watch out for the lures and pitfalls of curriculum design.

Th Lure of the Cosmic Idea. The Lure of the Neat Gimmick. The Lure of the Received Wisdom. The Pitfall of the Pop Quiz. The Pitfall of the Helpful Tool. The Pitfall of the Fun Failure. The Pitfall of the Omnipresent Guide.

5. They become their audience on a regular basis.

Is this fun? Is it confusing? Are my choices the choices I expect and/or want?

6. They tell a story with a punchline.

What do I win? What do I accomplish?


Comments? Send mail to Chris Riesbeck.