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The Manual




Creating a Course


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Course Creation

Courses are templates that serve to structure active, meaningful learning experiences.

You'll find plenty of info in previous sections of the Manual about how courses are facilitated and maintained. Here's more detail about what makes a great course, and how they get made!

Why to Create a Course

There are of course lots of motivations for learning something. Here are a few reasons we think it's worth taking on the challenge of creating your own course:

  • Great opportunity for experimentation; when you create your own course, you have full permission to try something weird!
  • Space for in-depth, structured learning, where you can shape things any way you like to make a fun and effective learning experience
  • Build a community of people who care about a topic, and become a leader in this niche
  • Make money by facilitating cohorts of the course

How to Create a Course

  1. First, read the rest of this page to get an idea of what kind of courses we're looking for.
  2. Next, propose a course by creating a new topic on in the Course Garden. No worries if it's a full outline or just a rough idea — use this as a space to engage with and be inspired by others interested in creating courses!
  3. Keep developing your idea and exchanging feedback on the forum until you have a) a clear idea for the topic of the course, and b) a solid idea for how you'd structure the curriculum.
  4. Once you're ready, send us an email (or we may reach out first!) and we'll set up a time to chat. We'll tell you more about the Meta Course — a special invite only course we run regularly to workshop courses and get them ready to go live on Hyperlink. Details here.
  5. In each cohort of the Meta Course, a small group of prospective course creators meets with Hyperlink staff in three calls over the course of two weeks. You'll share your course proposal, give and receive feedback, and put a final layer of polish on your course.
  6. Once you complete the Meta Course:
    • If you feel ready: You can publish your course! We'll help get everything set up, and after publishing you'll be able to make further tweaks from the course settings.
    • If you don't feel ready: Don't worry, take all the time you need! You can even retake the Meta Course if you like. Just email to let us know if / when you want to launch.
  7. Once your course is made, it will have a page on Hyperlink that contains all its details, as well as a public course forum which you can use for general discussion about the course. Next steps:
    • Go Live: When we first add the course on Hyperlink, it's not yet publicly visible. This gives you a chance to do a final review of the course details — when you're ready, hit the "Go Live" button at the top of the page!
    • Read the Maintainer Guide: You're now officially a course maintainer! Find out what that entails, and what powers you have, in our Maintainer Guide.
    • Schedule the First Cohort: You're also this course's first facilitator! Schedule a new cohort in the course settings, and get ready to take this thing for a test drive — hopefully the first of many. Learn more in our Facilitator Guide.

Course Structure

There are a lot of elements that go into a good course. Here are some things to keep in mind when thinking about a new course idea.

Hard Facts

Specific structural elements you'll want to make clear:

  • Schedule: How long does it take to complete a cohort of the course? Two weeks? Twelve?
  • Cost: How much does a learner pay to participate in a cohort? Hyperlink's platform fee is 20% of the course cost; the remaining 80% goes straight to compensating the facilitator.
  • Requirements: Are there any prerequisites — things a learner should already know or have in order to get the most out this course?
  • Time: How much time and commitment are you asking of learners? How much from facilitators? The more specific you can be here, the better.
  • Resources: What resources will learners need? This may include readings, software, etc. Make sure to include links where possible, and be clear about any required resources that come with additional costs.

Loose Constraints

We believe there's a huge possibility space for what learning can look like. Hyperlink can't explore all of it, so we encourage courses aligned with our core Principles.

Great Hyperlink courses:

  • Continuously improve: The more a course is run, the better it gets. Each cohort should contribute back to the course and make it better. Experimentation encouraged!
  • Embrace structure: Constraints help focus a learning experience; the more structure and scaffolding you provide the more smoothly it will be to facilitate the course. Be as specific as you can in defining a course's structure.
  • Encourage active learning: Learners should do something in the course. Group projects, collaborative brainstorms, written explanations, compelling conversations — the possibilities are endless.
  • Outputs artifacts of successful learning: Each course should specify some measurable output — specific artifacts, transformative conversations, final projects, or other evidence of successful learning.
  • Evolve with the community: It's okay for course facilitation to require certain specific skills or knowledge, but ideally a course is reproducible. The more times a course can be run by a diverse set of facilitators, the more it can improve.
  • Learn in the open: As much as possible, a course's curriculum and output should be openly shared. Hyperlink strongly supports open source (see our code base here!) and we're interested in extending this ethos to the learning process. Learners should retain full control over things they create, and it's up to a course to determine how its artifacts are shared; this isn't a rule but an aspiration for courses and their participants.