Spring Cleaning Isn’t Just for Housekeeping

An article came in my email news-feed that had me thinking about spring-cleaning. As I read the article from Inc.com, 5 Simple Steps to Do a Spring Cleaning on Your Mind, a thought crossed my mind…spring cleaning doesn’t just have to apply to housekeeping or spiffing up your home and airing it out from the dull stuffiness of winter.

So, I thought to myself, “Spring cleaning can be applied to courses as well!” Spring is a great time to think about doing some ‘housekeeping’ in your courses, spiffing up your content, and bringing some life into your course. This is great timing, because it’s also close to the end of the Spring semester, leading into summertime when faculty tend to have more time to prepare for their courses.

Spring cleaning your courses is also a way to spruce up your teaching pedagogy, learning activities, learning outcomes or teaching technologies. Think about how amazing you feel when your home has gone through a spring cleaning. You'll feel the same after you have spring cleaned your courses. An even better outcome of this spring cleaning; your students will feel welcome and prepared to learn in your spruced up course.

In all this thinking, I came up with 5 Simple Steps to Spring Cleaning Your Course. Here they are:

  1. Set aside 15 minutes per day for a month to review your course and make notes of what you would like to change, delete, add, modify.
  2. Once you have reviewed the course and made your notes, ask yourself “Is there something new I can add to the course?” How about adding a new teaching tool such as video, lecture video, or a neat tech tool/toy?
  3. Clean out any outdated material. Depending on the subject you teach, ask yourself ‘How relevant is that 10-year-old article?
  4. Clean up your assignments and assessments. If you have been using the same exam for your course for the last five years, it’s time to spring clean and spiff up that exam.
  5. Get some help. Spring cleaning is a really big chore! Reach out to an Instructional Designer or Instructional Technologist for assistance.

Take some time this spring and refresh your courses. Once you have done some spring cleaning, your courses will feel refreshed and current... and you will feel like a rock-star instructor!

~Branka Manojlovic

Instructional Designer, Rush CTEI