One Week, One Course


One Week, One Course (OWOC) is an initiative designed by the College of Arts & Letters to bring faculty, instructional technologists, and developers together for an intensive development period. Established in 2012, the goal of this “design sprint” is to condense the typically difficult initial development period for an online course into a short time frame where everyone is focused on the tasks needed. By the end of the session, faculty will come away with a full course outline, at least one completed module, and various artifacts ready to be used in their course.

One Week, One Course is built off of the idea used by George Mason University in their One Week One Tool project, which they referred to as a “digital barn raising” (see for details). In One Week One Course, however, the intent is to allow the teacher to focus on an individual course for a week. This may or may not result in a finished course, but rather allows for the intentional focus and support that aids in moving course development forward.

Faculty Support Types

OWOC begins with an application process where faculty self-identify where they are in the course planning process. In general, there are three Faculty Support Types (Novice, Emerging, and Expert). As part of the application process, facilitators consider each faculty member and adjust the program to be responsive to those needs. Some workshop sessions might make sense for all, but some will be tailored to the specific needs of that faculty group.

  • NOVICE: never taught online before, moving their face-to-face course online for first time
  • EMERGING: may or may not have taught online before but are comfortable with the needed elements to be successful
  • EXPERT: confidence and facility teaching online in general, potentially just need support with specific elements

Logistics of Delivery

OWOC employs a cohort model where faculty are in cross-disciplinary small groups as a way to encourage fruitful conversations around innovative pedagogy. The program uses an adaptive flipped classroom model where faculty need to complete tasks before coming to the synchronous session and also have “homework” at the end of each day that they need to complete before returning.

A general outline follows, but each day a different topic is covered and the daily schedule includes:

  • Mini lesson on the daily topic(s) that last less than a half hour each. Several topics can be scattered throughout the day.
  • Quickfire challenge where faculty produce an artifact related to the topic(s) of the day that can be used in their course. This gives an opportunity for a “Take Away.”
  • Share out what progress they have made or ask questions of the cohort about their course.
  • Co-work for some amount of time where they can continue to ask each other questions or share ideas as they come up.

General Outline

  • Here sample of outline for a typical week. To avoid fatigue and ensure faculty attention is not divided, OWOC is condensed into half day sessions and/or combines smaller chunks of both asynchronous and synchronous moments.

This outline can be modified for what is best suited for the Faculty Support Types. For example, Novices might not be ready to dive into deep conversations about video production, but Experts would be.

  • DAY ONE – Getting Started
    • Intro to Program
    • Personal goal setting
    • Online overview – common approaches – interactions mapping
    • Intro to Quality Matters Rubric
    • Intro to Universal Design for Learning and accessibility
  • DAY TWO – Course Design
    • Intro to Backwards Design
    • Examples of sample course structures
    • Engage in course mapping considering: course objectives, weekly objectives, activities, assessments
  • DAY THREE – Assessment
    • Aligning assessment with learning objectives
    • Using the LMS to support your assessment
  • DAY FOUR – Engagement / Interactions
    • Student to student
    • Student to instructor
    • Student to content
  • DAY FIVE – MSU-supported media

Publications / Presentations

OWOC has had many collaborators over the years that have helped to make it successful:
Scott Schopieray, Kate Sonka, Jeremy Van Hof, Sarah Wellman, Stephen Thomas, Jess Knott, LaTonya Motley, Bob Matson, Ryan Yang, Brandon Blinkenberg, Rashad Muhammad, Sue Halick, Anderson Day, Emily Cervone, Darrell Williams, Mika Byar, Howard Fooksman, Donté Smith, Madeline Shellgren, Jason Archer, Valeta Wensloff, Candace Robertson.