Teaching Adaptive Management Network:
Getting A Course Started


Agendas and other resources for
considering starting a course

Photo Credit: John Morrison

Getting a Course Started


Getting an adaptive management course up and running at a university or other academic institution can be a daunting task. Experienced CCNet coaches have developed useful tips to get you started, a detailed comparison of various course formats to help you design the right type of course for your circumstances, and a sample suite of resources just for you. Use the links below to access these helpful resources:

General helpful resources

Here are some documents that might come in handy when preparing a course

General material

  • Tips for Starting a Course – a running list of tips from university course instructors
  • Menu of Course Formats – great for comparing course formats!
  • Sample Syllabus – the Summer 2014 syllabus and schedule for the University of Wisconsin-Madison course
  • FOS Training Manual – a training manual developed by Foundations of Success and designed for online courses in Steps 1 and 2 of the Open Standards
  • Limited background literature – selection of relevant articles, papers, guidance documents!
  • Information on project (needs to be provided by you and/or partners)

Specific course material

  • Example Course Agenda (English)
  • Full set of PowerPoint Presentations (English)
  • Sample Session Outlines (English)
  • Sample Groupwork Instructions (English)

1 to 3-Day Pilot Course

University Examples: Duke, Yale, Univ of California Santa Barbara
Duration: 1 to 3 full, consecutive days

Content Covered: Parts of Steps 1 & 2 of the Open Standards (OS)

Practical Component: Limited practice of Steps 1 & 2 or Practice on a few tools (e.g., Conceptual models and Results chains) on a simple project

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of OS broadly
  • Some experience applying (some) tools for Steps 1 & 2
  • Where to find more information
  • Awareness of Miradi and its functionality

Ideal for:

  • Introducing students and faculty to OS
  • A starting point for establishing a more complete course
  • Students traveling from various regions

Not ideal for: Anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the OS and the skill set needed to apply the OS on their own

Student Deliverables: none

Miradi Use: Interested participants can volunteer to navigate Miradi during group work

Approximate Time Requirements (for coaches already familiar with the OS):

  • Prep: 2 day
  • Course Delivery: 3 days
  • Follow up: 0.5 days
  • Coaching Assistance: not essential

Number of European Credits (ECTs (1 = 28 hrs): 4-6

Likelihood of accreditation: not likely

Student Testimonial: “I came to the Nicholas School to get applicable skills and the workshop provided a great introduction to the Open Standards framework and the Miradi software. I applied critical thinking in this workshop than in most courses I have taken thus far.” -Anonymous, Nicholas School for the Environment, Duke University

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5-Day Workshop

University Examples: Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Univ of Maine, Tropical Andes Alliance

Duration: 5 full days, Full instruction with some time for practice

Content Covered: Steps 1 & 2 of the Open Standards (OS)

Practical Component: Practice of Steps 1 & 2 on a simple, real-world project project, using Miradi

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of OS broadly
  • Some experience applying Steps 1 & 2
  • Where to find more information
  • Awareness of Miradi and its functionality

Ideal for:

  • Students with limited time (e.g., those with full-time employment)
  • Inviting guest instructors, participants, and project reps
  • Students traveling from various regions

Not ideal for: Anyone wanting a deeper understanding of the OS and the skill set needed to apply the OS on their own

Student Deliverables: Some components of a draft management plan and final presentation or Written review/critique of existing an management plan

Miradi Use: Some participants rotate practice with Miradi throughout course as part of group work

Approximate Time Requirements (for coaches already familiar with the OS):

  • Prep: 3 days
  • Course Delivery: 5 days
  • Follow up: 2 days
  • Coaching Assistance: ideal, but not essential

Number of European Credits (ECTs (1 = 28 hrs): 4-6

Likelihood of accreditation: likely (e.g. Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development)

Student Testimonial: “In international development and conservation work you rely on strategic planning. I often come across the open standard approach and miradi software I learned during my studies and can apply this structured thinking at my work.” – Katrin Toepfer about the OS course at the University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde. She now works at GIZ (German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation)

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10-Day Intensive Workshop

University Examples: Organization for Tropical Studies, Smithsonian-Mason

Duration:

  • 10 full days
  • Full instruction with ample time for practice and interaction with project team

Content Covered: Steps 1 & 2 of the Open Standards (OS)

Practical Component: Practice of Steps 1 & 2 on a more complex, real-world project with interaction with project team and use of Miradi

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of OS broadly
  • Experience applying Steps 1 & 2
  • Where to find more information
  • Skilled use of Miradi

Ideal for:

  • Integration into Summer or Winter terms
  • Inviting guest instructors, participants, and project reps

Not ideal for: Students with full time employment

Student Deliverables: Final presentation covering Steps 1 & 2

Miradi Use: All participants rotate practice with Miradi throughout course as part of group work

Ideal Group to Coach Ratio (up to 6 students per group):

Approximate Time Requirements (for coaches already familiar with the OS):

  • Prep: 3 days
  • Course Delivery: 10 days
  • Follow up: 2 days
  • Coaching Assistance: essential

Number of European Credits (ECTs (1 = 28 hrs): 4-6

Likelihood of accreditation: Possible (e.g., Smithsonian-Mason)

Student Testimonial: “Taking this course with FOS & OTS was an awesome learning experience. Working with a local conservation organization and other students from around the world made this one of the best courses I have taken!” – Rebecca Aicher, Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California – Irvine (OTS course participant)

“This course was a perfect complement to the education I receive at my university and the experiences I’ve had in my dissertation research. It really felt like I was ‘filling in the gaps’ in my head about how to do conservation well.” – Matt Muir, Ph.D. Candidate in Ecology, Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California – Davis (OTS course participant)

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Semester-Long Module

University Examples: University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Univ of Florida, Univ of California Davis

Duration:

  • 12-14 weeks of once, weekly sessions
  • Full instruction, full practice and interaction with project team

Content Covered:

  • Steps 1 & 2 of the Open Standards (OS)
  • Fundraising and Workplanning

Practical Component: Practice of Steps 1 & 2 on a more complex, real-world project with interaction with project team and use of Miradi

Learning Objectives:

  • Understanding of OS broadly
  • Experience and skills applying Steps 1 & 2
  • Where to find more information
  • Skilled use of Miradi

Ideal for:

  • Integration into graduate program
  • Universities interested in building in-house capacity to deliver the course (faculty training)

Not ideal for:

  • Universities with no local or in-house instructors
  • Students coming from various regions

Student Deliverables: Draft management plan and final presentation covering Steps 1 & 2

Miradi Use: All participants rotate practice with Miradi throughout course as part of group work

Ideal Group to Coach Ratio (up to 6 students per group):

Approximate Time Requirements (for coaches already familiar with the OS):

  • Prep: 4 days
  • Course Delivery: 14 days
  • Follow up: 3 days
  • Coaching Assistance: essential

Number of European Credits (ECTs (1 = 28 hrs): 4-6

Likelihood of accreditation: Possible (UMD is close, but no faculty on record)

Student Testimonial: “I think that a lot of us do parts of this process innately but it can be overwhelming when starting a new project on where to begin and I liked that the course provided clear stepping stones in how to achieve a desired outcome…” – Anonymous, University of MD CONS Program

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