diary Teaching

Tips for Preparing a New Course (Part 1)2 min read

A Reflective Prompt

This week, two colleagues interviewed me regarding my experience of setting up two brand-new courses over the course of my (so far) short lectureship.

These colleagues were tasked to write a short blogpost about the tips from a colleague who recently set up a new course as part of a training programmes that they are both attending together. Since my tumultuous lectureship started with creating two courses from scratch over the course of two years, I turned out to be a prime candidate for their weekly assignment. Always happy to help, their questioning prompted my mind to perform a little bit of self-reflexion on my own experience.

After all, I could also write this blogpost and share these insights with you.

A Bit of Context

First, I suppose that detailing what my experience consists of on this topic.

I started my lectureship in August 2017, following a successful interview at the School of Engineering from the university of Edinburgh. The recent opening of the MSc Electrical Power Engineering (EPE) – sister MSc programme to the established and successful MSc Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) – supported the creation of a new academic position (which I took) but was also accompanied by a host of new courses to support the new MSc proframme.

Within the first month of my appointment, I was tasked with creating the new ‘Distributed Energy Resources and Smart Grid‘ course which was authorised by the board of study before I was even interviewed for this position. This meant creating the structure, taught material, exam, and coursework for this course whose learning objectives were already set.

For the second academic year, more new courses had to be created and I ended up being once again course organiser / creator of the ‘Advanced Control for Power Engineering‘ to provide more optional courses for the MSc EPE and differentiating its programme from those of the MSc SES. This also meant creating everything but I benefitted from my own expertise being more aligned with this course’s content compared to the first one.

All in all, these experiences provided me with a crash course into how to create new courses. There is still so much for me to learn about pedagogy and teaching matters but I do have these unique experiences, which are worth sharing.

Closing Words

This blogpost is getting quite long and I have listed a lot of points to share. So I suppose this is going another multihpart post.

What do you think I’ve learned from these experiences? Which parts would you like me to specifically share in part 2 of this blogpost?

Thank you for reading. See you tomorrow.

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