Biotechnology hybrid course development: focus on content

Our hybrid course development group consists of two primary instructors (Steve and Dave) and two “content providers” (myself and Michael). Our four-person subgroup tends to meet after the larger hybrid course group meeting. As a first stab at gathering current, relevant online content, Michael and I were given free rein to browse and to nominate various content that fit under headings in a previous ecampus course syllabus. At our last subgroup meeting, we presented our ideas. What we had all previously known – that the listed topics were already to numerous to cover in one term – became even more apparent as we talked about various topics on the list. After the meeting, Steve and Dave worked to streamline the topics list and produce a revised syllabus. With this list, and with the directive to include selected content from the ecampus course reading list, Michael and I are now armed to begin building the Blackboard framework for the course. I had to ask myself whether the initial content-gathering effort was worthwhile, as it is unclear to me at this point whether any of that content will be used. I concluded that the exercise of gathering content and presenting it to the instructors served a different purpose: it gave the instructors space to re-familiarize themselves with the topics list and to rethink the topics and their order of presentation. It’s a good thing that we have an archive of content from which to draw, and proper placement of any new content will now be more clear with the revised syllabus. The content-gathering effort also inspired me to think of a different type of biotechnology/philosophy ecampus course that I think would be fun to develop.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Hybrid Course Content. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Biotechnology hybrid course development: focus on content

  1. bovbjerv says:

    Agreed, it sounds like a useful and yet time consuming effort. I’d be curious to learn how you reviewed and evaluated the newly identified content. That is always a challenge in my field–there is so much stuff that could be great material, that it is difficult to come up with a satisfying triage system.

  2. Cub Kahn says:

    I hope you’ll pursue the online biotech/philosophy course idea. It sounds wonderfully interdisciplinary. I’ll be glad to discuss!

  3. strausss says:

    Because there is so much online content related to biotechnology and toxicology and all its safety, benefit, and risk issues–from many perspectives–its hard to find and review it all. Also because high quality video content would be very useful, but is also time consuming to review, its hard for an instructor to take the time to find and evaluate more than a few of them. Thus the help from Kelly and Michael is very useful, especially as we move toward a 300 level where the science reviews/essays Dave and I tend to come across in the journals we read are perhaps too difficult. But at the end of the day it just hard to get assistance for course design from anyone on issues as technical and controversial as these. Thus we have asked for 5-10 possible pieces for each session of the course, from which Dave and I can choose. The main change from the initial mission was to get more specific as we found that general web sites don’t help much in deciding what students should read/view and do. Whether the content finding/sorting is working or not, we’ll let you know. Thanks / Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *