Happy New Year!

Before you check your calendars and diaries, you’ll only ‘get’ the title of this post right away if you have a special type of diary – an Academic Diary. It is of course, the start of the new Academic year 2014-15.


My son recently started senior school and as we all know, this is a big milestone in every young life. We have spent the summer break ordering uniforms, buying new stationery and searching out a store that still has stocks of German dictionaries!

So while we have been heavy preparing for the new year ahead at school, countless Trainers and Instructional Designers have been enjoying the quietness of August to take stock and begin mapping out the changes to roll out for the new season.

Meanwhile back at Litmos, we saw a large spike of new users logging in for the first time in early September. This helps prove that adult and workplace learning certainly does follow the same pattern of the academic year.

How do you manage the Maintenance of your Courses?

When I managed an active program of training courses and events that were being delivered week in week out, I kept a project notebook with tabs to separate each topic, just like this:


This was where I recorded all the annoyances I had with my courses, or the great analogies and humour that I stumbled on while delivering countless hours of classroom training. When a practical exercise wasn’t always working out and I found ways to explain it better, I would note this down. If one of my screen shots in the exercise manual was incorrect, I’d record a note to fix it.

Of course you can guess where I’m going here – the notepad was my August project. I used the notepad to update all my courses during the month and it was with great pleasure that I would roll out my new versions every September. I’d take pride in congratulating my first students for being lucky enough to receive the newly updated course manuals.

Managing Online Courses

Just because we are all beginning to deliver some of our courses online and via eLearning, it doesn’t mean the project notepad no longer has a place. I still use the same practice but must confess I have since discovered Evernote. However a traditional, physical medium is still favoured by many to record these little nuggets as they occur, be it on the job, during the commute, at a learning event, wherever.

Do you utilise this type of approach to maintaining your courses? How do you celebrate the New Academic Year? I’d love to hear from you.