Hack Your Syllabus

Since I give training sessions on topics that have complex work flows involving federal regulations, VCU policies, and processes, I’ve changed some of the “syllabi”, which for me are more of a table of contents or set of learning objectives, into flow charts using Visio.  I don’t think of one as replacing the other but present both at the beginning of the training session.  Here’s an example from a Post Award Accounting Training:

Training Table of Contents:

G&C Beginner Training v10

Graphic Table of Contents:

Visio-g&c overview flowchart

This changeover is an attempt to show the relationships between the processes that connect the accounting piece of post award grants management (setting up an account to handle procurement and salaries charged to a grant, collecting funds from sponsors, etc.). I guess the “why” would be to clarify the topic,  increase engagement, demonstrate momentum, and boost appeal to visual learners.

Would like to try the video trailer idea as well.  I’ve made how to training videos using  Camtasia for VCU’s grants management system (RAMS-SPOT).   Perhaps next, I’ll look to add creativity (thanks for all the great examples, OLE!) yet be careful not to distract from the overall goals of the training which can be challenging to absorb, especially for those new to the field of research administration.

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