So, I found out that next year I will be teaching a Public Speaking course (Yeah...the subject that is feared greater than death!). I have no book for the course. In fact, the only frame of reference that I have is the Public Speaking class that I took in high school and the one I took in college (which was so horrifying that I have blocked it from my memory).
However, I DO love public speaking and have ample experience.
So once I found out that I would be teaching that class, I couldn't stop the ideas. I knew that I needed to start planning the class.
To my surprise, I was able to finish planning the outline of the entire semester in a matter of a few hours. I also realized in the process that after years of teaching, I had unintentionally come up with a process for creating classes fast.
So if you have to create a course quickly, here is the process I use:
Step 1: Figure out how many weeks your course will last. I knew that the public speaking course was going to be about 18 weeks long.
Step 2: Divide the total course into smaller sections. Spread out the topics through the weeks. With the public speaking class, I am going to tackle a different topic every week, so I numbered the weeks and started filling in the topics I wanted to cover. At this point, I didn't care too much about the order.
Step 3: Arrange your topics in a logical order. After enough ideas where down, I was able to arrange them in an order that I wanted.
Step 4: Check the topics. After you have your completed list of topics in the order that you want, make sure that they reach the goals that you want to accomplish in the class. Also make sure the class flows well from one topic to the next. Tweak accordingly.
Step 5: Theme days. For me it helps me to plan the week into theme days. Plan one main activity for each day and try to do a similar activity every week on the same day. For example in the speech class its the following:
Mondays: Watch a video of a public speaker and analyze.
Tuesdays: Be assigned a topic and discuss an area to of focus. Profe gives a small lesson.
Wednesday: Practice your speech in front of a small group. Receive feedback.
Thursday: student presentations
Friday: student presentations
This is obviously super simplified, but it will help in future steps.
Step 6: Now you take each class period and lesson plan using a template. Honestly I still have to do this step, but because I already have my themed days from step 5, this part will not be difficult. My lesson plan template include the following:
- Title of Lesson
- Objectives- What do I want the student to be able to do, know, or communicate by the end of the lesson
- Preparation needed before hand
- Presentation of Information
- Student Practice - Students are given a structured time to practice the topic
- Student Produce - Students are asked to produce an exmaple of the material learned.
Step 7: Document! Document! Document! Organize your lesson plans in folders by weeks. I do this electronically in cloud storage so I never loose my lesson plans, but you will have your own system.
Step 8: Improve the class over time. As you come up with new ideas or teach a lesson and want to improve it, go back and adjust your lesson plans.
Given, this class went so quickly for me because the students will be doing a lot of teaching, which means less lesson planning for me. However, the concepts are still the same and this is the process I will be using for other classes that I will teach next year.
What do you do differently? What steps would you add?