Course lengths may vary depending on the term length and the designated course length. Typically courses in the fall, winter and spring terms are 12 weeks long. Starting in 2018, the summer term is 10 weeks long. The college also offers 6 week courses which are offered every term. The 6-week courses may be offered back-to-back in a 12-week term.
If the content copied over from a previous course is not the same number of weeks as the current term, then you will need to modify your course content. This is an excellent time for you to reflect on your current course design and consider what has been working well and perhaps what has not been working well.
- The first step is to review the Academic Credit Hour Policy which will give you a general idea of how much instructional engagement should be provided based on the number of weeks and credits. For example a 12-week 4-credit course should have 12.5 hours of instructional engagement per week whereas a 10-week 4-credit course should have 15 hours of instructional engagement.
- Next, consider how you might either expand or condense your content. CUNY offers some excellent guidance on how to approach your redesign strategy. See Redesign and Revision. See tips below for specific tips for GSC courses.
If you need further assistance, please consult with the GSC Instructional Design team. For quickest service, submit an IT Support request selecting Instructional Design support for the service type.
Tips for Expanding your course from 8 to 10 weeks
- In teaching the course in 8 weeks in the past, are there any modules that were too cramped with activities? Could students benefit from having an assignment broken into smaller parts over two weeks?
- Consider moving your final project/research paper to week 9. Have it due by Monday of week 10. This will give you a full week for grading.
- If you have a final paper due in the last week, add an activity for submitting a completed draft in week 9. Go through the completed draft submissions and return them with feedback, then set the final week for revisions and final submission.
- Use the last week of the course for reflection or self-evaluation. How do you want to bring closure to the course. What activities might help students to reflect on what they have learned and/or apply it to their work or future courses?
- If the subject matter lends itself to it, use the final week for students to post something to the open community of practice or some other social knowledge facility (like Wikipedia). If students have a Twitter account, have them post one of the most useful resources they used in the course. Have them share the tweet URL with the class in a forum (other students do not need a Twitter account to view non-private tweets).
- Consider depth and relevance rather than simply “more”. See Redesigning a shorter course for a longer period from the CUNY article.
Tips for Condensing your course from 12 to 10 weeks or 8 to 6 weeks
- Review the required outcomes of your course and the general instructional engagement hours (~15 hrs/wk for 4 credit 10WK course).
- How do your activities align with the outcomes. Are there any redundancies that you could remove?
- Review the “Student Resource Usage” Report 270 in the “My Reports” block of the course you taught previously (12-week or 8-week course.) This will help you see the frequency in which resources are used in your course.
- See Redesigning a longer course for a shorter period in the CUNY article.