We want to help students learn problem-solving skills, like programming. First, we set course goals. We choose target tasks, decide on transfer ranges, and list the schemas, procedures, and facts that students will need. Students have limited time, and learning problem solving is harder than you think. When in doubt, throw that course goal out.

Classes are flipped in the skill course design model (SCDM). No lectures. Face time is for personal interaction. Meetings can be traditional face-to-face, or synchronous online.

There are three elements to a SCDM course:

  • Lessons. Didactic, worked examples, reflection, or simulations. Activate prior knowledge to make learning stickier.
  • Exercises. Many of them, with individual formative feedback, and resubmission. You need a grader.
  • Instructors. Help, encourage, evaluate, and monitor.

Skilling is open source software that can help you make and run good skills courses.

If you have questions or comments, contact Kieran Mathieson at mathieso@oakland.edu, or @kierancyco on Twitter. Want to try out Skilling? An idea for something to add? A good joke? Let’s talk.

Section contents

Course improvement