This week in CEP811 we were introduced to the MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course. By allowing anyone with an internet connection access to courses, we are allowing for more educational experiences, possibly for those who otherwise would not be able to afford it. After participating in a course on designing a P2PU (peer to peer university) course, I have chosen to design my own course based on something I am currently working on, and challenged by – mudding and taping drywall.

In my “Mudding and Taping for Home Remodeling Newbies” course, my peers will master mudding and taping drywall to remodel a room in their home by working on different setups of drywall and posting updates via twitter and a personal blog.

Course Topic: mudding and taping drywall; home improvement; remodeling; drywall joints

Course Title and Photo: Mudding and Taping for Home Remodeling Newbies

photo (8)

[photo credit: Whitney Cornelli]

Who is coming to your course? What will attract them? Why would they want to participate in this experience?

My course is designed to attract those who are interested in, or in the process of, remodeling a room in their home. With the recent and catastrophic flooding of southeast Michigan this past August, anyone who suffered flood damage in their basement and is not hiring a contractor to fix-up the space will want to take my course. My husband and I are still working on remodeling our basement after it flooded in August, and have become frustrated when we have to hunt all over the internet and home improvement stores to find answers to our questions. The fact that common aspects of mudding and taping will be included in one course will be very attractive to learners, as the course can be used as a “one-stop shop” for remodeling with drywall! Learners will want to participate in this experience so that they can save money by remodeling on their own. If they are remodeling with a family member, they will find the time spent learning and working together valuable.

What do you want learners to be able to do when they are done? How long is your course experience?

When learners are done with the course, they will be able to effectively mud and tape drywall to remodel a room. In order to do so, I have set up multiple learning experiences, each of which focuses on one specific skill needed in order to remodel a space. By learning each skill separately, learners can focus until they have mastered, and then move on. Though there is no time limit for when the course should be completed by, it is designed to take place in six lessons, including an introductory lesson.

The course follows Lave and Wenger’s theory of situated learning – that the learning takes place within our everyday world activities (Arsenth, 2008, p. 291). In this case, the students’ classroom becomes the room in which they are remodeling. The “Explore” part of each lesson is very hands-on, as this is the time when students will gain real-world practice of what they have just learned about. This corresponds with Lave and Wenger’s situated learning theory. Arnseth states that in situated learning, “practice is given a primary role and learning is seen as an integral part of practice” (Arsenth, 2008, p. 295). Through my course, students engage in practice, and learning through practice, with each lesson. They also will build on skills from previous lessons by applying them in new contexts in the lessons that follow.

When I was choosing learning experiences and practices for my students to engage in, I first identified what I wanted them to produce in the end (a mud and taped, drywalled room). As backwards design proposes, it is best to begin by identifying what we want our students to learn, and then build a plan to help our students to successfully reach the results, or what they should learn (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 15). Once I knew what the final goal was, I thought about how students would demonstrate their understanding and mastery – in other words, what evidence would be acceptable to show they were working towards the final goal? From there, I set up learning experiences in which they first learned about the different mudding and taping types, and then explored and practiced to gain additional understanding. These steps follow the flow of backwards design, as pictured below.

[photo credit: Thibeau, S. (30 May 2012). Backward Design Model [photo]. Retrieved from]

What will peers make?

Peers will have two choices for their culminating activity. The first choice is to create a video showing them mudding and taping their drywall areas (joints, inside corners, and/or outside corners). The learner will choose which video-creation program to create their movie with. The second choice is to create a picture slideshow using Mozilla Popcorn Maker to showcase their work from start to finish.

In terms of objectives, students will…

  • virtually design a hypothetical room to be remodeled, and gain experience with remodeling.
  • reflect on the experience of visiting a local home improvement store and speaking with an expert vs. using only the internet, focusing on which was the best way to learn.
  • demonstrate an understanding of the do’s and do not’s of mudding and taping drywall by creating an infographic.
  • socialize with peers via their own personal helpful hints page on tips and tricks for mudding and taping drywall corners.
  • create a Popplet showcasing the relationship between mudding and taping and its related components, including materials and helpful ideas.
  • create a photo slideshow or video montage of their work from start to finish, highlighting successes with mudding and taping drywall.

Now that you’ve identified skills and made projects for each skill, how do those activities hang together as a course?

In order to remodel a room, one must start with the basics – in this case, the drywall. Once hung, it must be mud and taped in order to be painted and turn into a usable room (of course, there will be some who choose not to paint the room – to each his own, but painting will help to bring the room together as a whole). From our own experience with mudding and taping, my husband and I started out by mastering mudding and taping vertical and horizontal joints before moving onto the trickier inside and outside corners. Now that we are almost finished, we will be ready to sand down the mudded areas and reapply as needed. Then, we will paint. You cannot have one step without the other – we cannot paint until the drywall has been sanded to perfection and all holes and joints are covered as much as necessary. Each lesson’s components work together to help the learner see there is more involved in home remodeling than meets the eye, but that it is all completely able to be done without the help of a professional contractor.

As stated earlier, the course design was influenced by situated learning theory and backwards design. Students will be practicing within the room they are remodeling – thus, the learning takes place outside of the classroom and inside of a situation where they may apply their skills. They will develop learning through practice in a real-world context, consistent with situated learning theory (Arnseth, 2008, p. 291). Smaller steps (what Wiggins and McTighe, (2005) refer to as the “content, methods, and activities” (p. 15)) were designed with the end result in mind, as is clear in backwards design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005, p. 15). Students are set up to demonstrate an understanding of how to remodel a room based on the activities and explorations I have set up for them in the course.

How will peers help each other in your course?

Peers will help each other in a couple ways in my course. The first way is through twitter – by following home improvement stores and classmates, students can tweet out questions/issues that arise and share insightful tidbits that they have found useful through their own remodeling work. Another way peers will help each other is by reading one another’s blog posts. Each week, a blog post will be created that will be an update on how their remodeling work is going. At the end of each blog post will be a question posed to classmates – either something they are struggling with, or something to push their classmates’ thinking. Students will be expected to read and comment on one blog post each week.

What is the design architecture for your course – how will each week’s modules be organized and why have you designed it in this way?

The course is designed to be completed in six lessons. There is no time limit on how long to spend on each lesson, though following my recommendation of a week minimum will allow for extra practice, while only working for a short while each time. Students will first explore the many materials needed for mudding and taping and must choose the most appropriate tools for their needs. They will learn how to mud and tape regular joints first before moving onto more challenging corner joints (working with both inside and outside corners are included in this course). All students will then engage in the sanding and reapplication stage. The course is designed to start basic and work your way towards the final product.


Arnseth, Hans Christian. (26 September 2008). Activity theory and situated learning theory: contrasting views of educational practice. Pedagogy, Culture and Society, 16(3), 289-302. doi: 10.1080/14681360802346663. Retrieved from

Thibeau, S. (30 May 2012). Backward Design Model [photo]. Retrieved from

Wiggins, G. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, Expanded 2nd Edition.  Prentice Hall.  pg 13-33.

The course layout is as follows:

**Pre-course: set up twitter account, blog. Share links to both here!

**Lesson 1: So, you’re ready to remodel?


Please read the following articles about the advantages of DIY projects.

Article #1

Article #2

Please read the following articles on the basics of remodeling with drywall. Familiarize yourself with the different kinds of drywall available.

Article #3

Article #4 

Article #5 

Click here to learn about your final, culminating project!


Now that you’ve learned about DIY and drywall, explore the Lowe’s virtual room designer or autodesk homestyler. Have fun designing a hypothetical room of your own! Then, head to your local home improvement store to purchase your drywall.

Lowe’s Virtual Room Designer

Autodesk Homestyler


Put together a plan for the room you will be remodeling. You may choose to draw by hand or use one of the “explore” links to virtually create the room. Please include on your blog a short explanation of the assignment.


Post your room plan and short explanation to your blog, and tweet it to your followers with the hashtag #mudandtape. Don’t forget your question for your peers to ponder!

Comment on one classmate’s blog and answer their question.


Autodesk Homestyler (n.d.). Autodesk Homestyler (program online). (website). Available at

Dorling Kindersley Limited. (2009). All About the Different Types of Drywall, excerpted from Do it Yourself Home Improvement. DIY Network (website). Retrieved from

Lowe’s. (2014). Virtual Room Designer (program online). Lowe’s (website). Available at

Ning, David. (24 January 2012). The Many Benefits of DIY. WiseBread (website). Retrieved from

The Home Depot. (1 October 2013). Choosing Drywall. The Home Depot (website). Retrieved from

The Home Depot. (22 September 2013). Installing Drywall. The Home Depot (website). Retrieved from

Trent. (18 March 2012). Why Do it Yourself? Digging into the Value of DIY. The Simple Dollar (website). Retrieved from


**Lesson 2: What do I need to mud and tape?


Please view the following article which details the materials needed to mud and tape.

Article #1 

Please read the following article on the mesh vs. paper tape debate to familiarize yourself with the different taping options available to you.

Article #2


Head to your local home improvement store and gather mud, tape, and other materials. Speak with someone in the department and be specific with your questions about what you will need (do you need everything from the links provided in the “learn” section?). You will reflect on this in your blog post.


Write a blog post (in two parts):

  1. Reflect on the experience of going to the store to ask an expert about what you will need. Did you need everything on the list? What helpful tips did the expert provide? Would you rather rely on just internet, just store employee, or both?
  2. Share your side of the mesh vs. paper tape debate using one of the two hashtags: #debateformesh #debateforpaper. Which type of tape did you decide to use, and why?


Post your reflection and tape choice to your blog and tweet it to your followers. Don’t forget your question for your peers to ponder!

Tweet out a teaser picture of your materials with a witty caption to your followers.

Comment on one classmate’s blog and answer their question.


Drywall 101. (n.d.). Taping Drywall::Mesh or Paper? (website). Retrieved from

The Family Handyman. (n.d.). How to Tape Drywall: A color-coded guide to flat, smooth, perfect walls. The Family Handyman (website). Retrieved from


**Lesson 3: Is your drywall ready for mudding and taping?

picstitch (11)

[photo credit: Whitney Cornelli]


View the following two links to learn about filling holes and joints in drywall.

Filling Holes 

Filling Joints 


Find help forums to focus on how to determine the consistency of joint compound prior to mudding and taping.

While actually mudding and taping, think about the technique that is best for you for keeping your materials within reach

Think about what materials you might use for roughing up paint if using drywall with paint on it.

Play around with, as it will be used for your “create” assignment this week.


Use piktochart to create an infographic on the do’s and don’ts of mudding and taping (what does it look like – and what does it NOT look like?)


Post your infographic to your blog with a short explanation for your readers, and tweet it to your followers. Don’t forget your question for your peers to ponder!

Also, please take a before and after photo/video of mudding and taping holes and joints (so you will have two separate pictures/videos) and post them via twitter to your followers.

Comment on one classmate’s blog to answer their question.


Bailey, Brittany (Producer). (2 April 2013). How to Finish Drywall Seams {Mudding or Spackling Sheetrock Joints}

. Available from (Producer). (n.d.). How To Patch A Small Hole In Drywall

. Available from (2014). Piktochart (program online). Piktochart (website). Available at


**Lesson 4: What type of corner are you?

picstitch (10) picstitch (9)

[photo credit: Whitney Cornelli]


View the following links (articles to read AND videos to view) about the two types of corners, and the materials needed for mudding and taping each.

Inside corners #1

Inside corners #2 

Outside corners #1 

Outside corners #2 

Outside corners #3 


Figure out what type(s) of corners are in your room, and while working on them, think about which techniques for mudding and taping those corners (one or both depending on your situation) were helpful for you.

If you need to, head to your local home improvement store and explore the different types of corner bead available for outside corners.

Like last week, consult help forums if you need assistance with mudding and taping these corners.


Put together a helpful hints page for your peers – what tips and tricks have you discovered for mudding and taping these corners? What worked well for you? What did not?


Post your helpful hints to your blog with a short explanation for the week. Don’t forget your question for your peers to ponder and comment on one classmate’s blog to answer their question.

Take another before and after picture/video of the corner(s) and post it via twitter.


Askmediy (producer). (30 October 2010). How To Install A Sheetrock Corner bead

. Available from

Askmediy (producer). (30 October 2010). How to tape an inside corner – Sheet Rock

. Available from

Miller, Greg (producer). (27 March 2013). How to cut and install cornerbead for drywall.

. Available from

O’Brien, Tom. (n.d.). Drywall: Finishing an outside corner. (website). Retrieved from

The Home Depot. (17 September 2013). Finishing Inside Corners. The Home Depot (website). Retrieved from


**Lesson 5: When one coat just isn’t enough…


One coat of joint compound usually just is not enough. Learn about how long you should have to wait between coats, and when/how often to sand and reapply compound.

Article #1 

Article #2 


When sanding the wall, think about the material you chose to use.

Practice reapplying the joint compound after sanding. How many coats did you end up needing to do (this may take a few days)?

Try out different techniques for sanding joints vs. the inside/outside corners.

Play around with Popplet to familiarize yourself with the program.


Put together a popplet that explains the concept of mudding and taping in relation to holes, joints, and corners. Show how each step works together to remodel the room.


Embed your popplet in your blog along with a short explanation and share it via twitter. Don’t forget your question for your peers to ponder! Comment on one classmate’s blog and respond to their question.

There is no before and after picture necessary this week.


Miley, Michelle. (n.d.). How Long to Let Drywall Mud Dry. (website). Retrieved from (2013). Popplet (program online). Popplet (website). Available at

The Family Handyman. (n.d.). Drywall Sanding Tips and Techniques. The Family Handyman (website). Retrieved from


**Lesson 6: Stepping back and being proud


Read about turning your interests into careers and businesses!

Article #1 

Article #2


Is there any potential for your hobby to turn into a career? Check it out through these two sites. Search for “drywall finisher” or any other keywords you think are applicable.


It is time to put together your final project. It is a final reflection – either a photo slideshow, or video montage – of your work in the course, from start to finish. You can view the assignment description here.


Post your final project via your blog and twitter.

References: (n.d.). Beyond (website). Retrieved from

Craigslist. (n.d.). Detroit.Craigslist (website). Retrieved from

Danlandrum. (21 January 2014). My Questo to Turn Smart Craft into a Sustainable Business. (website). Retrieved from

Widjaya, Ivan. (21 February 2014). DIY: How To Start Your Home Business. SMBCEO (website). Retrieved from

All images taken by and property of Whitney Cornelli and protected under blog’s CC license, unless other credit is given and noted.


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