Course Design. Deadlines. Managing Life.

rock climbing, fitness, sports, cliff, mountain, sports, adventure, extreme, peopleClimbing To The TOP of  Your Mountain

I’m sure this post is not so speechy in its five steps to improve behavior, communication, or any other topic.  I have been busy.  A good busy. Manageable, not crazy, and working on some pretty awesome projects.  The best part, is that I am present (in mind) for myself.  Still climbing to the top, but I have to admit a lighter load makes all the difference  when climbing a mountain.

I have the amazing task of designing college-graduate level courses for a university adding an autism specialization to its teacher education track.  Not teaching the course(s)…although it is an option for me;  But designing the courses inclusive of what student’s will read, discuss, projects, and all things in between.  Sounds good, right?  Sounds amazing, right?  Yes and Yes.  Autism Subject Matter Expert, Landria Green is pretty cool.  But, here is the thing…like any project you can get lost in the detail.  I also remember being in college and graduate school thinking “my professors are giving a heavy workload because they can”.  Here are some of the lessons I have learned and tools I used to keep myself organized and focused:

  1. Calendar.  Deadlines are real.  In order to move forward in deadlines, I live by my electronic and paper calendar.  I use an Erin Condren calendar to arrange the specifics of my day (library time for my son, take son to school, work on project A).
  2. Maintain your sanity.  The details are such that they can overwhelm you.  In designing this first course, I became so lost in the details…I was becoming ineffective to myself.  So when I found myself doodling and perusing facebook, I would give myself a “play break”.
  3. Your learning style matters in designing.  When I was in college and graduate school, I was the student who gathered all journal articles, read them, marked them up, sat down at the computer and started typing. Brain to fingertips…paper done.  I am no longer a 20 something in college, I am still this type of reader, learner, and writer.  I honored that part of me in designing and communicated this to the team I am working with to support their understanding as we hashed out the course(s).
  4. Review. Reformat with fresh eyes. I am doing this right now.  I am reviewing and thinking that one class session should go before the other so that there is better understanding.  I could only do this after reflecting, talking about it aloud, envisioning my self as the adult learner.
  5. Keep It Simple.  The heavy workload doesn’t make me a better course designer.  I want better application of those journal articles.  I want people to not Hammer through, but to actually read, apply, discuss and be better for the learning experience.  That’s how I mentor (trick is always making sure there is good intentions of the mentee….more about that another time) and how I think when reading journal articles and designing clinical programs for schools and individual learners.

Focused on THRIVING. Wishing the same for you.

Landria Green, SLP GURU

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