I spent a lot of time this week putting together an updated syllabus for an MBA course I'll be teaching this summer at my alma mater.
Developing a course is a lot of work! Choosing the right topics to cover, evaluating and selecting any case studies you want to use, determining the appropriate number of readings your students will need to complete prior to each class, getting copyright clearance for all those readings, developing interesting assignments... it's a lot of work, and doing everything well takes significant time and energy.
Here's the thing: I already did all that. I taught a "Retail Marketing Strategies" MBA course back in January 2017, which is the same course I've been asked to teach this summer. So if I wanted to make things easy on myself, I could simply not change anything and teach the same course I designed three years ago.
But I decided not to do that, for three reasons:
1) So much has changed in the world of retail over the last three years, and I feel I'd be a poor instructor -- and doing my students a great disservice -- if I didn't update some of the content to provide more recent and relevant retail examples as part of the class;
2) The summer course will be taught online, and while I'm really excited about the opportunity to teach an online course, I realize not everything that works in the classroom will automatically translate well to a Zoom video conference;
3) My last class had a lot of smart people in it, and they graciously provided me with some great feedback on how the course could be improved... and I'd be a fool to ignore it.
Re-doing something you've done before is almost always easier.
But easier isn't always better.
What can you do better next week, even if it won't be easy?
(Especially if it won't be easy...)