Blog Post

The Heroic Classroom - Recreating the Hero's Journey Through the College Course

I have been a college instructor since 2000 and I have tried a number of teaching methods and course designs while teaching the traditional lecture course, blended learning courses, and wholly-online courses. My goal was to maximize student learning and interest in the course while also keeping the instructor engaged and energized by their teaching. In the last year, I have tried a new course design based on the Joseph Campbell concept of the "Hero's Journey."

Why the Hero's Journey? The simple answer is that the Hero’s Journey with its themes of transformation and development is a great analogy of what a great college course does to a student. I first realized this when I read Nancy Duarte’s Resonate which describes how to use the Hero’s Journey to create a compelling presentation.

I first read her book to make my individual class presentations better but it was then that I realized that the same ideas could be applied to the entire course. This made more sense to me as it gave me a great organizing framework for the course and the individual sessions. It also redefines the role of teacher and student so that the student will have a more central role in their learning while the teacher can shift from being just a lecturer to a more satisfying mentor role.

So, I redesigned my course in project management communication to reflect the ideas of the Hero's Journey in presenting the lectures, exercises, and assignments to the students. In future blog postings, I will describe in detail the design process and how to assess the student's journey as they progress through the course.


1 comment

I look forward to hearing more about this!