After my most recent talk at James Madison University last fall, Professor Wales asked me to assist him in teaching a course called “Web Venturing” this coming Fall. What an opportunity! I think I answered “yes” before he finished his sentence.
Prof. Wales spends his summers back in NY so we’ve been able to meet all summer long and work on our syllabus. We had the last meeting yesterday where we reviewed the finer points of the lectures that I’ll be giving. In a little over a month I’ll be giving my first lecture, which I couldn’t be more excited about.
The class requires that students have taken the Entrepreneurship class that I’ve given talks to in the past as a prerequisite. It’s a senior level class that he’s limited to 15 students to ensure there will be plenty of one-on-one time. The students are all – to my knowledge – business students with minimal or no web development backgrounds. By the end of the class each student will be launching their own web venture.
We’ll be teaching things like:
- Picking a domain name
- Choosing a business model (things like AdSense, affiliate programs, direct publishing, etc)
- Installing and configuring WordPress to power their sites
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
…and much more.
One of the things I love about the syllabus is that we hit the ground running. Right away the students are doing things. By mid-semester we’ve done the majority of the lecture teaching, giving them a lot of time to work on growing and improving their sites, as well as a lot of Q&A and lab time with us.
I’ll be doing most of my lectures via Skype (picked up this 720p webcam). I’ll also be traveling to Virginia in September to attend three classes. I thought it was important to get down there as early as possible in the semester and establish a personal relationship with each of the students.
This whole thing is new territory for me. I plan on posting my experiences as a first time “teacher” throughout the semester, as well as showing the progress of the students projects. Based upon what I’ve been told, we’ve got some really ambitious students in this class. I’m really excited to see what they come up with.
Should be fun. Can’t wait for the semester to start!