Everyone is rushing to put their courses online, or has already done so. But, if you were designing your course from scratch and knew it would not be a face to face class, would you have thought about it differently? Would your institution have allowed you to think about it differently? For this upcoming term, do you need to keep teaching your material in the same way or could you approach it in a completely different way? We should find ways to connect students more with what is happening right now around them as an important part of their education.
Why not organise your next term around a project? Depending on the level students are in, the project could be very broad or narrowly defined. Incoming students could even have to propose a project as part of their application or formulate one once they start. For the duration of the term, whether students are on campus or not, students need to work on their project. Projects would have to be inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals and relate to social, environmental or economic issues they see in their communities but would adapt and change throughout the term. The one topic decided on would also be looked at from different lenses depending on which courses the students has signed up to for the term. So, if they have signed up for Finance, they would need to look at a finance angle, if they sign up for Operations Management, they would have to explore that angle in their project. Students would know what other students are working on and have the opportunity to regularly share their progress, interesting insights, overlap parts of their project and work together. They could even organise mini speaker series within the classroom inviting speakers who could help them with their project, or inspire others with theirs. Lecturers would be there to provide some lectures as scheduled that help students with their projects but also to help make connections and provide student with additional resources and feedback they would need. At the end of the term, depending on how the situation is, they may be able to continue their projects by adding a practical element; bringing it to life, or even starting a masters/PhD or business because of it.