Planning your courses

What course items do you need?

If you have existing content, then your primary consideration will be identifying and filling any gaps.

If you are creating a course from scratch, you will first needs to identify your needs.

But even if you have existing content, you need to understand those needs to fill the gaps.

Mapping instructional needs to course

Start by identifying requirements such as:

  • Capability to perform tasks
  • Knowledge, awareness, or understanding
  • Preparation required for contingencies

Creating courses from scratch

  • Map requirements to courses and identify course item topics to fulfill the requirements
  • For each course item topic, identify the course item type based on subject matter (articles, presentations, videos, etc.). Consider whether subject is best learned by reading, stepping through the material, having it explained, performing exercises, etc.
  • Consider quizzes for knowledge-based courses and exercises for skills-based courses
  • Consider course length and reorganize courses as needed
  • Create draft items
  • Use the system to track progress and work towards a process of elimination

Repurposing existing content

While you should still consider the instructional goals above, repurposing content can be as easy as:

  • Create a course item library
  • Drag and drop into courses to create drafts
  • Consider whether to post items as files, article, presentations, or videos
  • Create draft items to fill any subject matter gaps
  • Add quizzes and exercises

Creating an outline

You should plan your courses in an outline that looks like this:

Course name(s)
    Module name(s)
        Item name(s) and type(s)
        Quiz or exercise in each module (optional but recommended)

If you put your outline in a spreadsheet you can track other details like contributors, number of quiz questions, length targets, etc., it convert at least some of your course development into simple data entry.


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Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing. The materials he has published have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a prolific author, frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

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