OpenLab Model Course Initiative 2022: Fellowship Syllabus and Agendas

Welcome, 2022 OpenLab Model Course Initiative Fellows!

What are Model Courses?

  • OpenLab courses that faculty can clone to use with their students, via the OpenLab’s “shared cloning” feature.
  • Built by/with course coordinators and/or other faculty, reviewed by colleagues, and assigned a “Model” badge by the OpenLab team.
  • Contain course information, example assignments, resources for students, and other materials, and are designed to help faculty meet recommended best practices for digital pedagogy.
  • Created as freely-available open educational resources (OER): faculty can choose to use them in whole or in part, adapting and remixing them to meet their needs, and they can be accessed by all, including faculty and students using Blackboard.

What are the goals of the Model Course Initiative?   

  • Give students access to high-quality course content that provides a unified approach to distance, hybrid, and in-person teaching.
  • Help to ensure continuity across the various course modalities, including asynchronous, synchronous online, face-to-face, and hybrid.
  • Encourage the use of open educational resources and open pedagogies.
  • Lower barriers to entry for faculty who have less experience with digital pedagogy.
  • Promote the use of best practices and consistent approaches.  
  • Reduce redundant work for course coordinators and teaching faculty.

What will you be doing?                   

  • Fellows collaborate with the department chair, course coordinator and others as needed to design a model course for a selected multi-section course. 
  • Fellows create the model course on the OpenLab, in consultation with the Model Course Initiative team. Additional materials such as a course hub may also be created.
  • Fellows conduct outreach to faculty teaching the course in Fall 2021, and provide guidance to help them adopt it (OpenLab team will provide technical support). 

What will you learn about during the program? 

  • The goals of the OpenLab model course initiative, what model courses and course hubs are, and how they are used.
  • Open educational resources (OER) and how they’re different from free materials, including copyright and Creative Commons licenses.
  • Accessibility, universal design, and usability, and their importance in developing open materials that are easy for anyone to use and adapt. 
  • Best practices for teaching using the OpenLab and how to incorporate these into model courses and course hubs. 


  • Participate in meetings and on OpenLab.
  • Complete and execute OpenLab Model Course Initiative work plan (attached).
  • Provide peer feedback on materials produced by other participants.
  • Implement model course (and possibly course hub) on the OpenLab, following guidelines provided by the Model Course Initiative team, and incorporating peer feedback. 


Fellows will be compensated at the applicable non-teaching adjunct rate for full participation in the program; hours and deliverables will be agreed with the Model Course Initiative team. 


The OpenLab

We will use the OpenLab for asynchronous communications via this Model Course Initiative 2022 project

Zoom link

Synchronous meetings will take place on Zoom.


Jody and Jonas will work with you in the sessions, as well as in small groups or one-on-one outside of the sessions. Reach out to Jody and Jonas any time if you have a question or concern! 

Additionally, if you have OpenLab questions, you can ask Jody and Jonas, as well as the OpenLab team ( We will be happy to set up one-on-one or group sessions for you. If there’s interest, the OpenLab team can offer workshops by request.

Meetings: Pre-work & Session Agendas

Meetings on Thursdays 3/24, 4/7, 4/28, 5/12, 6/2, and 6/23, 10:00-11:30am

Before Session 1

Session 1: March 24, 2022



  • Welcome & introductions
  • Model Course Initiative overview
    • OpenLab site for the seminar
    • What is a model course? What is a course hub?
    • Responsibilities and Deliverables
  • Sharing Project Plans: fellows discuss their project plans
  • Brainstorm: Things to consider, including:
    • course modality
    • student interaction
    • version control
    • sustainability
    • accessibility (preview for next session)
  • Setting milestones
  • Q&A
  • Prep for next session
  • Reflections

Before Session 2

Session 2: April 7, 2022

Preparing Course Materials


  • Checking in
  • Project Plan review and discussion, continued
    • Updates
    • Feedback
  • Things to consider: takeaways from the shared resources
    • Usability
    • Accessibility
    • What resources to share in the model course/course hub
  • Creating a model course/course hub
  • Milestones review
  • Q&A
  • Prep for next session: what materials do we need to begin building a site? What considerations?
  • Reflections

Before Session 3

  • Read “Building a Model Course” from the Model Courses on the OpenLab project
    • Focus on steps 1, 2, 5, 6 (we’ll focus on steps 3&4 in the next session)
  • Read “Building a Course Hub” from the Model Courses on the OpenLab project
  • Update project plan and milestones as needed

Session 3: April 28, 2022

Building a Model Course


  • Checking in
  • Whole group discussion: Model Courses and Course Hubs
    • Purpose
    • Audience
    • Format
    • Course Materials
  • Building a Model Course
  • Building a Course Hub 
  • Small groups/individual work
    • Build syllabus in the Model Course/Course Hub
  • Site architecture
  • Milestone updates
  • Q&A
  • Prep for next session
  • Reflections

Before Session 4

  • Read “Building a Model Course” from the Model Course on the OpenLab project
    • Focus on steps 3&4
  • Review low-stakes assignments eg from the OpenLab, etc 

Session 4: May 12, 2022



  • Checking in
  • Whole Group:
  • Communication
    • Consider modalities, usability, accessibility, format
  • Interaction
    • Consider interaction for both Model Courses and Course Hubs
  • Engagement
  • Small Groups/Individual work
  • Milestone updates
  • Q&A
  • Prep for next session
  • Reflections

Before Session 5

  • Read “Sharing your Model Course” from the Model Course on the OpenLab project
  • Model Course building/Course Hub building
  • Visit seminar colleague’s sites
  • Seek feedback from departmental colleagues
  • Meet with Jody or Jonas

Session 5: June 2, 2022

Sharing Your Model Course


  • Checking in
  • Whole Group:
  • Outreach planning
    • Time for small group/individual work
  • Peer review/feedback needs
  • Milestone updates
    • Build in all remaining work into the milestones
  • Q&A
  • Prep for next session
  • Reflections

Before Session 6

  • Meet with Jody or Jonas
  • Finalize Model Course and Course Hub
  • Review Checklist & Submission Form
  • Review colleagues’ work
  • Seek feedback from departmental colleagues

Session 6: June 23, 2022

Final showcase


  • Presentation and feedback
  • Debrief
  • Next Steps
    • Final revisions
    • Further outreach
  • Q&A
  • Reflections