A quick guide to keeping your courses up-to-date
Jul 18, 2019 11:28 AM
Well, Summer is officially here - at least for those of us in the northern hemisphere 🙂
It's the perfect time to reflect on your courses and consider updates, improvements, and general housekeeping. Teaching digital courses, whether in marketing, sales, communications or entrepreneurship, means keeping up with a pretty punishing amount of changes and information.
Below is a quick guide to refreshing your course, with a definite focus on staying on top of industry trends and new business best practices. The way I think about is to start zoomed out - looking at what is going on in the world - and then zoom in progressively farther.
What's going on in the world (of business)?
The definitive (to me) resource in what's going on with the world, at least in regards to the intersection of technology, business and society, is Mary Meeker's Internet Trends report. This is a veritable gold mine of insights, statistics, and extrapolations of what the future might look like. If you are looking for eye-popping charts that will help simplify the state of the world and get your students to think critically, this would be my first stop.
Next, I would look to Ben Thompson's work at https://stratechery.com/ and his podcast, Exponent. Ben is (IMHO) the most insightful analyst discussing and dissecting the intersection of technology and society. I would consider the Topics section of his website a pretty comprehensive crash course in how the internet has transformed the way people shop and buy, the way companies sell, and how people consumer information.
After that, I'd check out the various businesses that create annual reports. Shopify's State of Commerce Report, HubSpot's State of Inbound, Deloitte's Tech Trends are all great examples. Curious what other ones folks follow and find insightful.
What's going on in business strategy and best practices?
While it can be tricky to navigate through all of the noise, company blogs can provide lots of insights into how businesses are going to market today. Quick trick - if you go to G2 crowd you can find the industry leader in just about any space, and their blog is likely a good source of industry relevant information. How you decide to organize that information is a whole different story.
Another way to do this is to build your own "advisory board" for your course. Many faculty build strong connections with local businesses and agencies to create a direct source of information on how industry is changing. You can also keep in touch with students after they graduate, inviting them to guest lecture, participate in a panel to grade final projects and more.
What industry events and conferences do you attend?
Improvements to courses and pedigogical trends
There are many established best practices for improving courses based on feedback. What I'd like to highlight are some insightful faculty who are very open about sharing their strategies for building great courses. Specifically, Karen Freberg, Matt Kushin, Keith Quesenbery and Randy Harrison are four that come to mind, thought we'd love to hear more in the comments.
Who else do you know that shares insights in teaching digital?
Another great source of best practices are academic conferences and journals. Alas, this is not my area of expertise - so, I will ask the group: What do you recommend here?
Please comment: How do you keep your courses up-to-date?