One Week, One Course

Now in its 7th year, One Week, One Course is an initiative designed to bring faculty, instructional technologists, and developers together for an intensive development period. The goal of this “sprint” is to condense the typically difficult initial development period for an online course into a short timeframe where everyone is focused on the tasks needed. One Week, One Course is built off of the idea used by George Mason University in their One Week One Tool project, which they referred to as a quote “digital barn raising” (see for details).

One common problem with online course development is that faculty members do not have a lot of time to work on developing a course – especially during the school year. This initiative brings them together during the summer session where they are able to focus for a sustained period. Early trials with this type of development have been successful, allowing faculty to generate what’s often the most difficult part of building an online course in a rapid manner with the help of experts.

In order to facilitate a quick start to the program we invite each faculty member in for an hour to two-hour consulting session a week or two before the sprint. This allows us to gain some knowledge about how the faculty member teaches and what they’re to incorporate in their online course. Program staff are then able to prepare ahead of the sprint, and allow the faculty member or to gather the materials they need to bring to the session.

During the sprint, sessions start at 9 AM and run until about 3:30 PM each day, allowing the program staff to focus on problems that might need to be solved while the faculty members work on content development during the evening hours. Each day we have opportunities to share updates, tools, strategies, etc. The week culminates with the completion of a structure and the beginnings of the content development for the course. Over time the program staff will help to continue to build the course content that faculty members have provided while the faculty are able to return to their other duties.

One Week, One Course is currently administered by Assistant Director Kate Sonka and the CAL Academic Technology Staff. More information available at