Designing a GNL activity

Photo by Will Scullin

Photo by Will Scullin

Once you have a partner institution and instructor, you will work with them to design the activity appropriate for your courses and consistent with the objectives, course material, available technology and timeline. (words in bold link to further descriptions).

Step 1

Each instructor should write answers to the following questions and exchange their answers as a way of getting started.

For Fully Collaborative Courses

(courses created by two instructors at different institutions)

  • What is the title of the course?
  • What are the learning outcomes of the course?
  • How many modules should there be and what should their topics be?
  • Who should be responsible for teaching each module?
  • Who should be responsible for facilitating the interactive activities and assessing the students?
  • Are there any pre-requisites* in terms of knowledge, experience or skills?
  • What technology* is available? What online platforms will you use?

For Hybrid And Single Instructor Courses

  • Which aspects of your existing course best lend themselves to GNL?
  • What are the learning objectives for the GNL module for your course?
  • What collaborative activities to you envision for the module? Will students in both locations have the same responsibilities or complimentary responsibilities?
  • Who will distribute the content and post instructions to students? Using what technology*?
  • Are there any pre-requisites* in terms of knowledge, experience or skills?
  • How will the students be assessed*? Will the marking rubric be the same or different for the two courses?

Step 2

Using the answers to the above, the instructor(s) should discuss various possibilities for activities and whether they fit their objectives, available technology and timeline

See a list of possibilities below.


Self Reflection and Course/Assignment Evaluation Exercise

Here is a word document containing a selection of questions you can use to design an appropriate reflection and evaluation of your activity.

Timing of the Activity

  • What is the timeline for the activity?
  • Will the activity be synchronous, asynchronous, or both?
  • Are there any scheduling conflicts between the two institutions’ calendars that may prevent students from working together or completing the project?


  • Do you have students in your class with special needs? How can you accommodate them so that they can be full participants?


  • Will students need practice communicating or using specific technologies before they are expected to perform the activity or complete the assignment?
  • What course material is necessary to have learned before completing the activity or assignment?


  • Will students be using course communication software?
  • Will students be encouraged or required to use a specific platform or program?
  • Will students be expected to communicate informally?
  • Will students use free collaborative software (cloud computing, video conferencing, social media, etc) or the course LMS system?
  • Are any required media resources available in formats and languages comfortable to learners in both universities?


  • Will you ask peers to evaluate each other’s work, will instructors evaluate the work, or will there be a combination of both?
  • Will students from different institutions use the same or different rubrics?
  • Will you ask the students to assess the activity? Formally (questionnaire, survey) or informally (class discussion or one-to-one discussion).