Perry Cook’s latest article on online music education is about autograding, good online curriculum, and some of our inventions for creative critique. This final part of his series really wraps up some of his boldest ideas about the future of learning. Here’s a snippet:

After over 30 years of conventional teaching, I had a wonderful realization when creating my own Kadenze class. Every “lecture” doesn’t need to be an hour long! And every “week” doesn’t need to have exactly three lectures. Some weekly sessions need over 2 hours total video time, while others are more like an hour.

It’s totally freeing to cover what needs to be covered, and send the students off to work on their assignments and projects. Breaking videos up into small 2-10 minute chunks is really important. We live in a world where the most popular online articles take 3-6 minutes to read, so allowing our learners to drop in and move forward in a course at their own time and pace is essential.

And we have to make our courses interesting and fun. In the creative coding world, Dan Shiffman of NYU and the Processing Foundation is a master of this. Dan has made and offered courses and modules to teach Processing since 2012, and he’s always churning out new videos and initiatives. When I visited him at NYU, I was amazed that his faculty office IS a green-screen video production studio.

Speaking of green screens, one of the ways that online video teaching can differ from the classroom is in the use of motion graphics, special effects, and artful editing. Like it or not, since online courses live in the internet world, we must compete with kitty videos on YouTube, or whatever Kanye is doing. A teacher, seated at their office desk, with a webcam pointed up their nose, with annoying background noise and bad lighting, might have been OK in the early days of MOOCs, but no more. We must make our videos and coursework as interesting, artful, and professional as possible.

Read the rest of Perry’s final article of this three-part series about online music education on Class Central.