Course Maps: Semester and Session

Semester maps are holistic overviews of the course which contain materials, notes, and waypoints for the teaching staff.  These are different from course outlines, which are student focused, and are aimed at providing additional notes regarding key waypoints in the Semester.  For example, a course map could include O-Week onboarding activity, Week 1 tutorial and group formation, and a number of assessment task preview and review weeks

Semester MapTask
Week 0Induction to the course Setting expectations for participation Explaining how to use the course for learning Establish mutual obligation and mutual expectations Demystify the subject Establishing the timing and structure (live events, release dates, assessment dates)
Week 1Cohort Onboarding Introductory presentation thread (post short video in forum to introduce self to peers)  
Pre-Assessment WeeksOnboard requirements for the assessment task Explain purpose of task in terms of Applicable Learning Outcomes, Application to Discipline / Field / Practice, Mindset training (how to think like a member of the discipline)Skill sets (behaviours to be practice)Engagement (doing this assignment connects you to peers / industry / other course / professional development) Onboard practical requirements Submission requirementsPoint of submissionTechnical requirements of the task  
Post-AssessmentFeedback sessions How to act on feedback in this subjectTask specific feedback for what has been submittedBroader feedback to what gets submitted next

Session Maps

Session Maps are a good practice inherited from a range of sources, and with the bi-modal nature of teaching in S2 2020 and beyond, mapping the weekly journey expected of the students is useful to consider how the notional 10 hours will be deployed.

The chart below breaks down a possible session map strategy across four outcomes. Timing indicates whether it happens before, at or after a time sensitive real time event.  The style of action is indicative of key behaviours that can map ot learning outcomes, and the suggested activities map to the learning behaviours.  Lastly, the nature of the activity is listed out in further detail since it encompasses different ways to have the cohort interface with the university via the subject.

  • Active: Requires participation and engagement for outcome
  • Bi-directional: Between teaching staff and student
  • Cohort cohesion: Engagement with other students
  • Dynamic: Reactive in real time
  • Multidirectional: Conversation between students, to teaching staff and from teaching staff
  • Proactive: Requires students to take active steps to complete ahead of real time event
  • Reactive tasks: requires preceding activity and content to complete
  • Self directed: Requires students to take ownership of own outcomes
  • Unidirectional: one way broadcast
TimingStyle of ActionSuggested ActivityNature
Pre-Sessions (asynchronous+) Any activity I want the students to complete before a live eventSense making (understanding concepts and content)Pre-reading (eg a textbook chapter, set reading, link)Proactive (requires students to take active steps to complete)
 Embedded content (materials provided)Pre recorded video (eg class video, Voice over PowerPoint, Case study Video, YouTube content)Unidirectional (one way broadcast)
 Self Assessment (formative activity on sense making)Pre-Class Quiz, Reflective JournalingProactive (requires students to take active steps to complete)
Live Sessions (synchronous) Zoom based tutorials, seminars or socially distanced face to face eventsAnnouncementLecturer broadcast (eg Setting expectations for session, explaining instructions for task, wrap up and summary)Uni directional
 AnalysisCase study method, presentations from break out groupsBi-directional / Multidirectional
 DiscussionSmall break out groups (eg Discuss the reading, Answer Q5)Engagement with other students; cohort cohesion
 CritiquesStudent led discussion points on prereadingsBi-directional / Multidirectional
 Demonstrable attainment of Learning Outcome / assessment goalsDemonstration of skills in presenting, group work, or other real time taskDynamic
 Question and AnswerStudent centric questionActive, Bi-directional / Multidirectional
 Viva / Oral DefenceConversational assessment (formative or summative)Dynamic, multidirectional
 Guest Speaker / WebinarPresentation and Q&AActive, Bi-directional / Multidirectional
Post-Session (asynchronous)ReflectionWritten journals  Reactive tasks
  Online formative or summative reflective tasksReactive tasks
 Self-EvaluationPost-Event Quiz (eg content recall)Self directed Reactive
 ConsolidationProgression of personal assessment tasks,Self directed
  Self guided studyReactive tasks
  Forum Discussion Posts (eg write up and review of learning, follow discussions)bi-directional, multi-directional

The aim of any toolkit, such as the table above, is not to force people into believe they have to do everything, but rather provide a set of indicative and creative solutions to get student engagement with content, context and cohort.