The Meta Course Curriculum

The Meta Course is a course that itself facilitates the creation of great courses! We learn to design and implement effective learning structures for the ideas and skills most interesting to us.

It’s also a great way to participate in a community of people who care about creating high quality learning experiences on a variety of interesting topics.

Goals

  • Produce a thoughtful, and (mostly) polished course, with a complete curriculum draft, ready to schedule your first cohort
  • Get to know a community of awesome course creators, and exchange useful feedback
  • Learn about Hyperlink — our vision, and how the platform works

Prerequisites

  • Have a clear idea for a course topic, and rough ideas for its scope, curriculum, and structure

Structure

Overall

  • 3 weeks; each week a group call (60–90 minutes)
  • Asynchronous forum discussion and feedback
  • Optional one-on-one calls and “Test Runs” for facilitation practice

Check each cohort’s details when you enroll for exact meeting times and dates.

Week 1

  • Preparation: Before we meet, jot down some notes for your course idea: What parts seem clear? What questions and concerns would you most like to address? Please prepare a few specific things you’d like to talk about leading up to our first group call.
  • Call 1: Introductions (~ 1 hr): We’ll briefly introduce ourselves and our ideas. Then each participant will draft a topic with initial thoughts for their course goals and proposed structure. Finally, we’ll go over specific areas of concern and questions to discuss.
  • Week 1: Feedback: After the initial call, each participant will take some time over the coming days to read each other’s drafts, and exchange thoughts and feedback on the forum.
  • Test Runs (Ongoing): Each participant can schedule a Test Run — a short session to practice facilitating one small part of your course. See below for details!

Week 2

  • Call 2: Midpoint Check-In (~1 hour): We’ll have a check-in call to review progress. Each participant will talk through potential tweaks to course structure, based on feedback, and any issues still to be resolved. We’ll also get into some details about course logistics.
  • Week 2: Refining Ideas: We’ll continue asynchronous discussion and refine our course ideas with another round of feedback. The goal for the end of Week 2: a draft course proposal you’re happy with!
  • Assignment: Curriculum Draft: based on feedback, Test Runs, and our group discussion, complete a revised draft outlining the full curriculum for your course.
  • Test Runs (Ongoing): If you haven’t yet scheduled a Test Run, now is the time to get one on the calendar! We can also do a quick one-on-one chat if you feel that would be useful.

Week 3

  • Call 3: Final Review (~1 hour): In our third and final group chat, each participant will present their final course proposal. We’ll also explore next steps, whether that’s launching your course, or continuing to workshop ideas (either is okay!) Finally, we’ll do a quick retrospective on the Meta Course itself.
  • Week 3: Next Steps: At this point, you’re welcome to polish your course and schedule a live cohort, or chat with us further about possibilities. You can also continue posting on the forum for feedback. See below for details on getting your course launched.

Test Runs and One-on-Ones

Test Runs: If you’re not an experienced teacher or facilitator, often the most challenging part of designing a course is not writing the curriculum itself, but experience what it feels like to actually guide a group discussion or activity in a realistic setting.

This experience will come over time, as you run the course — but we can jumpstart it with a Test Run. This is a live session where you can practice facilitating a representative portion of your course. Pick a ~30 minute part of your course you’d like to try, and schedule an event where other Meta Course participants can join, learn with you, and give feedback.

One-on-Ones: You can optionally schedule a one-on-one call with a member of the Hyperlink team at any point during the Meta Course. If you’re feeling uncertain about your course, want to talk through details we didn’t have time to cover in the live calls, or want to chat about anything else, feel free to reach out!

Epilogue: Publishing your Course

No fresh graduate from the Meta Course will have a perfect course. As it’s run repeatedly with real cohorts, your course will improve over time, so it’s ok if it’s still a bit rough around the edges — it’ll only get better from here!

After our Week 3 call, if you feel good about your course, let us know (email contact@hyperlink.academy or PM on the forum) and we’ll set you up with a draft course on Hyperlink! You can set up your curriculum and other info, then go live and schedule cohorts. See the Hyperlink Manual for more detail on course facilitation and maintenance.

If you don’t feel ready quite yet, don’t worry! Take your time and work on the course at your own pace. If and when you want to launch, send us a note.

You can take the Meta Course again if you’d like more feedback, or want to explore a different course idea. We’re also happy to chat more any time.

Some ideas for curriculum tweaks here—

  • Maybe Call #1 starts with intros (keep it quick, a few minutes each) then build in a good amount of time (20 mins or so) for each participant to draft a topic for their course idea? I feel like we haven’t been clear about doing this work ahead of time and probably useful to include time for it.
  • First call could end w/ explicit call to action e.g. right now take a few minutes to read others’ proposals and comment with any quick initial ideas. (Maybe also build this into the call? In general, could prob get more done if we did say 90 mins for each call)
  • Can also be more clear about logistics in first call — both what Hyperlink is and what we support currently (and that we’re open to ideas for new features etc!) and stuff like the “Test Runs”, bringing that up earlier so people have time to prepare
  • Maybe a reminder like half-way through the first week, gentle nudge…
  • Call #2 I think we can have a bit more structure to keep the time reasonable, like explicit limit on time per person, and get into further detail on the optional calls
  • Build in time here to schedule a Test Run or a one on one call…
  • Call #3 I think worked nicely how we included the time for quick retro feedback. Not sure if we should additionally do like 10 mins to collectively compile artifact?
  • And being more explicit about next steps may be useful (or at least we should follow up sooner afterwards!)

This alll sounds good to me! The big open question for me is what to do with folks inbetween sessions. I think a nudge to do things is a good idea but also maybe some kind of distinct activity?

Also I think we could get people to schedule test-runs even immediately after the first call, if they have a clear enough picture of their course to do so. We should say everyone has to do at least 1.