I am building a class, “Introduction to Computer Science for Mobile Apps,” focusing on the Swift programming language. The defining characteristic of this class (as it relates to the Mellon Grant) is that the entire class will be self-paced and online with lectures and labs posted on the internet. While the primary audience will be Austin College students, the course material will be open to anyone. As a result, this will have some advertising and recruitment benefits since people who are not enrolled at Austin College will have a better sense of what Austin College classes have to offer. Since I was approved for this class during last summer, I have not yet had time to prepare all of the materials. That being said, I have had time to figure out how to record and edit profesional-caliber lectures.
While the idea of a zero-credit online class will not work for every department, I think there are a few takeaways that can have broader impact. First, lecture-based classes that are ancillary to a department are prime to presented in such a manner. After the class is hosted online, we’ll have a better idea of how current and potential students respond to such a class. Second, I hope this class will provide another framework for faculty to produce and edit additional supplemental online content for their classes.