chapter  5
13 Pages

. Creating a New Course

The second preliminary question to pose is, “What is the context for this course and who will likely enroll in the course?” Context can be construed in several ways. It helps to know, for example, how the course fits with other courses in the curriculum. Is the course part of a sequence, and if so, what do you know about the content of the courses that precede and follow this course and how does your course fit in that picture? Context might also conjure up thoughts of where the course will be held and the physical environment of the location (room location and configuration, number of students, seating arrangements, equipment opportunities). The projection about likely students to enroll in the course is also important in designing the course. Freshmen and sophomore level courses and courses for nonmajors often serve to introduce the content of the area of study, whereas upper level courses that are designed for communication majors are likely to be more exacting in theory and research applications. Certainly, if there are estimations of the class demographics (age range, gender/sexual orientation, ethnicities, and abilities), these will provide for a more complete audience analysis around which to design the course material, discussion topics, and assignments.