Mappin’ Syllabi

Here’s my response to the Syllabus Concept Map activity found within the Teacher for Learning module in Ontario Extend


I decided to dust off my Ontario Extend workbook and jump into this activity. I’ve enjoyed browsing through others’ maps, particularly @melyoung00‘s map of the College Communications course I also teach. I think future instructors of ENG 1002 would be very grateful for such a clear overall plan and starting point.

Last Friday, I grabbed some supplies, turned on my favourite playlist, and sketched out a rough plan for a course I’m building for an online delivery. I’ll teach the course for the first time this coming Winter semester. I need to get going.



The image above is the result of my initial hour of scheming. I wonder if most instructional designers turned to digital after years spent struggling to write coherently? Are they all left-handed like me?

I got at least one strange look, as I sat on the floor, markers in hand and post-it notes everywhere, but this is my favourite process for coming to grips with a new course. I pay attention to the outcomes and objectives, and start to envision alignment with assessments. I imagine how application and content can be chunked into units of study, and think about where I might find opportunities to pull in Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP).

Basically, it’s a lot of thinking and figuring, with a bit of singing and erasing thrown in.

Make with the Map

When I came upon this Ontario Extend activity, I thought it would be interesting to convert the mess I made on the whiteboard into a digital concept map. I feel that it’s still in draft form, but here’s where I got:

Description and visual representation of SSC 1002: Thinking, Reasoning, Relating

I still need to indicate my assessment plan, and connect topics to units, but frankly my eyes were getting tired as I fiddled with colours, shapes, and lines. My brain was full of ideas though, and as I added each topic I started to have a bunch of new ideas, such as:

We could co-create a timeline using that cool tool I saw at a conference last year!

  • figure out name of cool tool
  • learn how to use cool tool
  • design a student-facing prompt

Opinion, Assumption, or Fact sounds like a gameshow

  • gamify!
  • can students come up with examples?
  • what’s an asynchronous version of Kahoot!?

and on and on…

I think it’s this phase in the course design process that’s the most creative. It’s all idea and possibility. It’s exciting to imagine all these words in rectangles becoming tech-enabled learning opportunities. This drafting / mapping combo has certainly motivated me to finish up the planning phase and move into the design phase. Plus it’s left me with a nice visual to anchor to.

I’m extending!


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