Open Course 2022 - Initial Post-Course Reflection

Open Course 2022 - Initial Post-Course Reflection

As we find ourselves in the month of May, it’s officially been one month since the 2022 SAAL open course ended. At the conclusion of the course, instructors typically gather to reflect on how the course went this year, spend the early summer reviewing course data, and then strategizing for course changes to be made before the next course run. While we typically provide a blog as a summary of the course data highlights and preview of course changes to come (stay tuned!), I wanted to give a quick end-of-course note for those curious how this year’s section ran.

For those keeping score at home, this was the sixth time we’ve ran the course. And while an aspect of the approach feels familiar, so much of this year’s administration made it feel like running the course anew all over again! Below are some of contributing elements making this year’s course administration special.


New in 2022


  1. New instructors! The first five years of the course had the same trio of instructors who facilitated the course. With much appreciation to the moving on of Drs. Ben Andrews and Emily Langdon, we acquired two new instructors to join myself (Joe Levy) in facilitating the course: Drs. Megan Bell and Greg King.


  1. Major course revisions! While we make tweaks to course content each year, the influx of two new instructors – with perspectives and expertise all their own – we had impetus to review and renew content throughout the course. Multiple videos across every course module was re-recorded to add in new content and infuse enthusiasm from our new instructor team.


  1. Grades of written assignments required to earn badge! We had feedback from past participants for more hands-on, application of learning opportunities beyond the quizzes, so we introduced writing assignments last year. Since they were new to the course, we graded assignments to offer specific feedback, but we just required people attempt the assignments as necessary to earn their badge (along with quiz scores). Using grade data from last year, we set grade requirements for written assignments to be 75% or better (like the quizzes) for this year. The course participants may not have felt it since they may not have had expectations from past course iterations, but I worried a little bit about it folks feeling pressure or stress around these assignments. They are intended to be low-stakes activities, but folks might have anxiety around written assignments. I’ll revisit this reflection when talking initial results…


  1. New partner! The open course has benefited from partnership support along the way. Colorado State University helped us get the course launched, National Louis University helped us expand to the badging structure and set up a credit for prior learning opportunity for completers, and now we have enjoyed the benefit of partnering with AEFIS Academy. Through AEFIS Academy, which is also a free online environment support assessment competency-development and community, we are able to centrally share (AEFIS Academy) blogs, module-related/inspired webinars, curated resources, and a group space for course completers to pose questions and engage in discussions with one another.


Lots of new things were added, set up, or prepared as we went into the 2022 course. For me, personally, it was refreshing and energizing to have new partners (instructors and with AEFIS Academy) to be excited for the experience. So, how’d things go?


Preliminary Results

Below are enrollment and completion numbers from the 2022 course.

  • 1047 unique participants this year.
  • 153 course completers/badge earners

With those numbers, we have a 14.61% completion rate. That’s just shy of the 15% completion rate from 2021 when the written assignments did not have a specific score required to earn the course badge. Seeing how close the scores were to last year helped ease my concern the graded assignments would limit our completers.


From Module 1 to Module 8, this year – more than ever – there was an abundance of gratitude expressed from participants. People appreciated the instructors for their roles, the relevance of the content, and how helpful, useful, and abundant the resources were. People were also very thankful to SAAL for offering this experience for free.


As I alluded earlier, there’ll be a blog later this summer with more results from the course. The welcome survey and end-of-course evaluation are analyzed, along with quiz and written assignment scores. There’ll be some data disaggregation based on participant identity to examine equity in completion and performance. The post will also share some of the ideas for course changes the instructors plan to make as a result of student and operational feedback.


Continue the Conversation

Aside from looking for future blogs about the course or information on the course website, interested folks can leverage the resources of our partner, AEFIS Academy, to stay engaged. By signing up for this free resource, you gain access to:


We thank you for your interest in the course and ask you to stay tuned for more information. A more complete results blog is coming this summer, along with eventual notification around time and dates for the next course run. SAAL’s open course site stays current with dates and details, along with an interest form you can complete to be notified when we have course news regarding launch and registration.


If not before, I’ll “see” you all again later this summer with some fresh analyses!


Blog written by Joe Levy, SAAL Open Course Manager and Instructor

Email me at if you have interest being involved with the open course.

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