Course formats

How to think about structuring your Maven course

Chelsea Wilson avatar
Written by Chelsea Wilson
Updated this week

Summary

  • You're able to pick the format you want to use for your course: Classic, Weekend Seminar, and Hybrid.

  • Read below to see the benefits of each format.

Course format types

Generally, cohort-based courses follow 3 general formats:

  1. Classic: these courses have about 4 live sessions and might be lighter on asynchronous materials, resources, or videos. Learning happens mostly during live sessions.

  2. Weekend Seminar: these courses occur over a weekend with longer sessions (usually 3+ hours). They may or may not have a project.

  3. Hybrid: these courses are a mixture of live sessions and asynchronous projects and resources. Learning happens through projects and actively consuming asynchronous content.

Regardless of which format your course follows or whatever variations of these examples you use, your course should be designed around rigorous and actionable course outcomes that can be achieved in about 1-3 weeks or over about 6-8 hours of live sessions.

You might be wondering if the course structure impacts the price of your course. You can read more about pricing your course here. Generally, pricing is based more on the outcomes of your course than the format of it.

Which format you use is up to you, and each one has its benefits for your students. There are many successful courses on Maven that follow these formats, as well as many that use their own variations.

Classic courses

Example courses:

This format works well when the course outcomes are best met through live workshops. This is also an ideal course style for your first cohort when you'll likely not have as many asynchronous assets yet. In a Classic course, you can focus your time on creating engaging live sessions and interacting with your students.

Classic courses typically have the following elements:

Live sessions

Projects

Resources

2-3 per week

Typically 2 hours or less in length

At least 1
โ€‹
The project may be done in a live session or independently

Typically organized in modules grouped by course outcome

Workshop-based; follow an "I do, We do, You do" structure

Feedback might be provided asynchronously or in live sessions in peer breakout rooms

Might include:

  • pre-recorded videos

  • related readings (curated or written by the instructor)

  • templates or frameworks

If you're offering this type of course, focus on:

  • Designing engaging live sessions.

  • Facilitating collaboration and interaction directly with students (usually during live workshops).

  • Providing foundational information in short pre-session lessons or videos and using live time to dig deeper on more complex topics.

Weekend Seminar courses

Example courses:

This format works well when the course outcomes are best met through discussions. It is also ideal for busy students, like executives. Weekend Seminar courses are dense and fast-paced, so students can walk away with insights and skills to implement immediately.

Weekend Seminar courses typically have the following elements:

Live sessions

Projects

Resources

2 sessions

Typically 3+ hours in length

Maybe 1, but often none
โ€‹
If you offer a project, it may be done in a live session or independently after the course

Typically organized in modules grouped by course day

Workshop-based; follow an "I do, We do, You do" structure

Typically, very dense material with deep discussions

Feedback might be provided asynchronously or in live sessions in peer breakout rooms

Might include:

  • related readings (curated or written by the instructor)

  • templates or frameworks

If you're offering this type of course, focus on:

  • Designing dense and engaging live sessions.

  • Facilitating collaboration and interaction directly with students (usually during live workshops).

  • Providing opportunities for discussion, usually during the live workshops.

Hybrid courses

Example courses:

This format is best for course outcomes that students meet by producing several artifacts and completing well-designed projects that require them to apply their learning.

This style of course typically has the following elements:

Live sessions

Projects

Resources

Usually 1 per week, sometimes sessions are optional; typically 1 hour or less in length

Several, usually 1 per course outcome

Usually in modules arranged by course outcome

Q&A based; there is usually ample time to review work on projects and answer specific student questions

Specific feedback is given on all projects

Typically include:

  • pre-recorded lessons covering foundational information or anything that's related to knowledge transfer

  • related readings (curated or written by the instructor)

  • templates or frameworks

If you're offering this type of course, focus on:

  • Designing authentic and rigorous projects; projects should have ample guidelines, rubrics, etc. This is where the majority of learning will happen for students.

  • Giving feedback on projects: you can give feedback asynchronously or during a live review session.


Additional resources

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