Earlier this year, I ran a pilot of a new course, Build Your Branching Scenario. Based on the feedback from the first cohort, I’m making some course updates for cohort 2. I’m going to be fairly transparent here about some of the things that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. This post also explains some of the adjustments for this cohort.
9 weeks long
The pilot version of the course was 8 weeks long, but this time I’m adding an extra week for writing. During the pilot, I realized that I need to break up the writing stage to make it more achievable.
This extra week will also serve as a “catch-up” week. This will allow people to finish any assignments they haven’t had a chance to complete yet.
5 hours per week commitment
One of the biggest issues with the pilot course was helping participants keep up with the course activities while also juggling work and personal responsibilities. For some individuals, the conflicts were unavoidable (unanticipated health issues, etc.). However, part of the problem is that I wasn’t as clear as I should have been about the time commitment.
For this cohort, I’m working on making the expectations clearer. If you sign up, you should plan to set aside 5 hours per week to complete the weekly projects. That’s 1 hour to attend the live session plus 4 hours of working on your scenario.
More peer interaction and feedback
One of the suggestions from the pilot was to provide more opportunities for peer interaction and feedback. In the pilot, I provided the Slack community and suggested it as a place for questions. Participants did use Slack a little bit. When they did, the discussions we had were valuable. But, the community wasn’t super active because I didn’t give them specific reasons to participate.
Therefore, for this cohort, participants will share more of the assignments in Slack for peer review. This will help everyone see how others are approaching issues. I’m hoping for some collective problem-solving and shared inspiration for this cohort. I’m going to continue to provide individual feedback for each assignment, but I also think it’s valuable to get that feedback from peers.
Updates to Twine
In the course, we use Twine for writing branching scenarios (with an option to publish the final product in Twine or migrate to another authoring tool). Twine has gone through some significant updates to the UI recently. The changes overall are good, but it also means that nearly every screenshot of Twine in the course will be updated for this cohort.
Additional course updates
Throughout the course, I’m making dozens of small changes and improvements to clarify instructions, provide additional examples, add resources, and more. The pilot of the course did what a pilot should do–helped identify a few bumps in the course that could be improved for future iterations. The overall feedback on the course was positive, but as always, I have things I want to improve each time I teach it.
Course starts September 13
The course starts Tuesday, September 13, 2022. Each week includes a live session and activities to complete on your own.
Enrollment is open now until the course officially starts on 9/13. However, I will cap the enrollment for this cohort to make sure I can provide personalized feedback to everyone who enrolls.