Although this example comes from a highly specialized program at an elite institution, the underlying idea might be useful in other contexts. What I take away from this is that these folks have worked to perfect a protocol, an approach to delivering a certain kind of learning in an unusual manner. It's helpful to recognize that this is one of the things we might be designing - that is, transportable formats - as well as seeing the particular lessons in this one - both how it is set up and the need it highlights: short, intense, effective transfers of knowledge.
(from Harvard Medical School)
What is a nanocourse?
Nanocourses are quick mini-courses lasting for two days. They meet for a minimum of 6 hours over a period of 2 days. The first session is lecture-based and is taught by 2 or more faculty members over 3-4 hours. The lectures are contiguous and aim to provide an advanced level of knowledge on current research areas, specific experimental approaches and new technologies. This lecture-based session is open to the entire Harvard community. The second session is discussion-based and is intended only for students taking the nanocourse for credit. The format of this second session, which lasts for 3 hours, is flexible. It may include discussion of relevant papers, brainstorming about future research, or whatever is deemed appropriate by the course director to assess student progress.