This post was written by Kathleen Howland, who teaches in the Music Therapy Department, with a specialty in music and cognition. She is a licensed speech language pathologist and holds a Ph.D. from University of South Carolina. She maintains a busy music therapy practice, and is an active music therapist, and performs regularly on baritone saxophone and clarinet. She is in the process of writing several online courses for the forthcoming Music Therapy masters program at Berklee. She shares her thoughts on writing here.
When I was first assigned to write online courses for my department, I needed to first build capacity to do this. I had the ability, but not the know-how. These tips are to help you think through and prepare for your process. Perhaps my learning curve will be your tailwind in writing efficiently and producing the best course you can.
Taking the online course that our Faculty Learning Community (FLC) has written is an important first step in looking at your capacity, desire and drive to meet the writing demands. Writing an online course is a hybrid between brick-and-mortar teaching and writing a book. It is also unlike teaching in a traditional classroom or writing a book. You work at a very detailed level, which varies from the spontaneity of relationship-based teaching. You write in a style that is unlike a textbook. It is a cross between informal speech and formal writing. That’s why going through the FLC course is key to your success. You have to get a sense of style and timing of online courses in order to write optimally.