Model Courses were formerly termed “Master Courses”; the name has been changed in recognition that “master” carries echoes of slavery and other forms of racial injustice. That name is still commonly used outside of the Champlain College Traditional programs, and may also appear in older Canvas model course shells.
What is a Model Course?
A Model Course is a course that meets these criteria:
- There are multiple sections of the same course being taught the same way (using the same content, assignments, assessments, etc)
- These sections are taught by multiple faculty members
- These faculty members wish to build a single Canvas shell that they can copy into all the sections and tweak for their own individual classes
Model courses do not include:
- Multiple sections of the same course that are taught by different faculty using substantively different content, activities, structures, etc
- Multiple sections of the same course taught by the same faculty member, even if the faculty member is building a single shell and duplicating it into all their sections
Am I Teaching a Model Course?
You may be teaching a Model Course if your course meets the first set of criteria above. If that applies to you and you have not heard from peers or your Program Director about helping to build a Model Course, check in with them.
Most faculty do not teach Model Courses. In all likelihood, if this applies to you, you have already heard about it.
What Should I Do If I Am Preparing a Model Course?
The following summary was prepared by Josh Blumberg for faculty teaching Model Courses.
We recommend that you consider developing the content collaboratively with other faculty teaching the same course. The process we recommend, and many of you are familiar with or doing already is:
Pick a single course section to serve as the “model version”. Prepare this shell completely and then copy it to the other sections. We recommend copying after the Course Review and Technical Review as this will ensure that you don’t need to duplicate any updates in multiple sections.
Determine who is the point person for this project. Things tend to get done when someone is willing to take the lead. Having a point person who can review everything will ensure that the components of a course add up to more than the sum of their parts. It will also help coordinate communication and planning.
Involve everyone who is teaching a section. It is hard to teach someone else’s course. Include all of the faculty teaching sections in the Design Check-In and Course Review meetings.
Split up the work. Assign different parts of the course to different people. One person can develop the midterm and final, one person can develop reading quizzes, one person can develop the lectures/readings for specific weeks, etc….
Leave space for different teaching styles. Everyone has different teaching styles and it is hard for us to teach in a style we are not used to. If two people want to do a unit of study or an activity differently it is ok. Focus on the elements that you agree on. Faculty can personalize their section after the model version is developed.
Plan to build the entire course by mid-August. Allow time for the technical review, copying the course into all the sections, and individual alterations instructors may want to make.