How to start
Determine how much time you can commit to the session or course you’re planning, and be prepared to modify your project accordingly. See below for more information on estimating timelines and time commitments, or consult with SMILI support staff to help build an estimate of the work. Project planning and organization are critical to the success of larger undertakings, like “flipping” an entire course or developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
Timelines and time commitments
Developing interactive sessions or an online course can be a major time commitment. It can take up to several hours per hour of classroom time to design and create an interactive curriculum, and full online courses can take 300-500 hours or more from the instructor alone. To get a more accurate estimation of planning timelines, refer to the table below, and contact SMILI support staff to discuss your specific project.
When to Start Planning
|1-5 interactive classroom sessions||At least 3 month in advance of the first interactive session.|
|5-10 interactive classroom sessions||At least 4 months in advance of the first interactive session|
|10 or more interactive classroom sessions||At least 5 months in advance of the first interactive session|
|Creating an online course (non-MOOC)||At least 5-6 months in advance of the course launch date|
|Creating a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)||At least 6 months in advance of the course launch date|
|Converting an entire course to an interactive learning format||At least 6 months in advance of the course launch date|
There are a number of logistical factors to consider when planning an online course or interactive sessions. You'll need to choose the methods, technologies, learning spaces, and people involved in developing and delivering your idea, and determine the work needed to complete it. These things can vary widely from project to project, but the SMILI support staff can help you work through them. Keep in mind that there is often more coordination involved than is typical for lecture-based courses.
Factors that can affect logistics include:
- The format you are using (Flipped classroom, limited-seat online course, MOOC, etc..)
- Whether you are designing a cohort-based course that lasts for a set amount of time, or ongoing self-paced materials.
- The number of instructors involved in delivering the course
- They types of materials you'll use in the course (video, illustrations, interactive activities, etc..)
- Interactive Learning Roadmap - A document outlining the basic steps to creating your interactive learning materials: pedagogy, planning, content development, production, delivery, evaluation. Also included are guiding questions and a target timeline.
- Estimating Course Production Hours - A document that estimates the hours needed from instructors and TAs to produce video content for video-centric online courses. These estimates are not necessarily accurate for those doing a flipped approach.
- Template Interactive Learning Project Plan - Use this as a checklist for your project. It will guide you through all the necessary steps. If you are interested in using an editable version of this document, please contact Pauline Becker
Who can help?
If you are part of the Stanford School of Medicine or Stanford Hospital and Clinics, the SMILI support team can help you plan your project. Please contact us to get started.
There are also other organizations at Stanford who are equipped to help with these projects:
- School of Medicine EdTech (part of SMILI support)
- Stanford Center for Medical Education Research and Innovation (SCeMERI - part of SMILI support)
- Vice Provost for Online Learning