I have created my own content many times. I bring my firsthand knowledge of starting and operating a business to the class and from that have created assignments. Such a the “Mixer Field Trip,” where students are required to attend a chamber of commerce or other networking mixer and report back on the experience. They have to give details of the event (date, location, host, topic), introduce themselves to others and share who they met and then talk about how they felt and what they learned from the activity. In my face to face classes this is an oral presentation and in my online courses it is discussion board they post the required information then reply to classmates.

Advantages that I see to creating your content is that the assignment and or activities can be specific to your discipline and geared to the course objectives as in the case of my mixer field trip. You can personalize it, you can let your personality come through the assignments and I think that is a plus. You don’t have to worry about copyright laws.

Disadvantages would be the time it takes to create it and the limit of your own scope of knowledge. Other concerns as shared from Flexible Learning are:

  • Is it worth the investment of your time to create content that is specific to your context? Do you need to make it easier for students to use?

  • What is your budget? Is the content an investment in a reusable object, adaptable for multiple purposes?

  • Can you adapt existing content to suit your needs? Do you have the skills and time to do this? Is the content easy for student to use?

Using others content opens you up to greater pool of activities/assignments, different approaches to the subject matter and in some cases tools and resources that perhaps you do not do well, such as this week’s podcasts.