I wanted to quickly explain the three main approaches that I’m taking this year to course creation. Before I do, I thought I’d quickly mention some commonalities I try to maximize in each case (discussed a little on my “Course Development” page):

  • Experiential
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Interest-based
  • Self-guided

The basic categories I’m working with so far are course based, pedagogy based, and location based. As I continue these categories will likely evolve.


Course Based:

For these ones (like our ADST Lego project), I look at the curriculum for a specific course and we design a project together that touches on all aspects based on a specific interest. I’m a big believer in interdisciplinary learning, so often we’ll include components of other courses, but for these I ensure every aspect of the course is covered by one or a set of projects. (This one is a combination of two approaches really, which I’ll disentangle in the future: Interest based projects and Course based projects).

Pedagogy Based:

For these (like the “Simple World” project), I take a specific approach to education (in that case, a combination of thought experiments and Socratic method) and design around that. These also provide a way of experimenting with different learning styles to see what works for a given student. Once I’ve written out a few more, I’ll likely try to classify them based on which learning styles, intelligences and/or pedagogical approaches are being used.

Location Based:

These ones (like the Williams Park collection) center on a specific location. These provide a fun way to tie various types of content and approaches together to build a wide ranging and deep appreciation for a specific spot.

As I continue to post course outlines and details on how we’re creating them, this overview of approaches may be handy.

I’d love to hear how you organize or think about your approaches to teaching and learning.