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Designing Your Course: Instructional Design, Course Planning, and Developing the Syllabus Danielle M

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Title: Designing Your Course: Instructional Design, Course Planning, and Developing the Syllabus Danielle M


1
Designing Your Course Instructional Design,
Course Planning, and Developing the Syllabus
Danielle Mihram, Ph.D. Distinguished Faculty
Fellow USC Center for Excellence in
Teaching dmihram_at_usc.edu
2
Effective Course Design
  • Effective course design includes the following
    key elements
  • (a) Determining what you want your students to
    learn and how you will measure what they are
    learning and
  • (b) Selecting a set of activities, assignments,
    and materials that will help you lead these
    students in their learning.
  • At the end of this workshop, instructors should
    be prepared to produce a syllabus which
  • Articulates specific aims and objectives for a
    course in their field
  • Identifies the relationship between course
    objectives, course content, and sequencing of
    material
  • Demonstrates how teaching effectiveness is
    related to student assessment and course
    objectives
  • States clearly defined mutual expectations
  • Is clear, coherent, and comprehensive.

3
A Useful and Effective Syllabus …
  • Requires reflection and analysis before
    instruction begins
  • Provides a plan that conveys the logic and
    organization of the course
  • Includes content, process, and product goals
  • Provides students with a way to assess the whole
    course its rationale, activities, policies, and
    scheduling
  • Clarifies instructional priorities
  • Defines and discusses the mutual responsibilities
    for the instructor and the students in
    successfully meeting course goals
  • Allows students to achieve high degrees of
    personal control over their learning
  • Is much more than a practical document, it has
    conceptual and philosophical components
  • Serves as a contract for learning

4
Overview
  • Instructional design Course planning A
    systemic approach
  • Planning
  • Course content
  • Course objectives
  • The Teaching Goals Inventory
  • Group work
  • Learning objectives and outcomes
  • Instructional strategies for student engagement
    and lifelong learning
  • -- Issues of Assessment
  • Examples of assessment tools
  • Identifying and assembling resources
  • Syllabus checklist
  • Useful resources

5
Instructional Design Course Planning A
Systemic Approach
  • A systemic approach to course design and planning
    includes five (5) steps)
  • 1. Analyzing
  • The situational context of your course
  • The conditions of your teaching situation
  • The characteristics of the students (both student
    organization and grouping)
  • The resources at your disposal
  • 2. Planning
  • The course content
  • The course syllabus
  • The course objectives (Formulating your course
    and what your students will learn)
  • The student learning outcomes

6
Instructional Design Course Planning A
Systemic Approach
  • 3. Conducting
  • Selecting appropriate and effective teaching
    methods
  • Ongoing classroom assessment of your students
    learning
  • 4. Assessing
  • The course at mid-term
  • The course at the end of term
  • Reflecting on your teaching
  • Course design includes the following
    Instructional Commonplaces
  • Learner
  • Teacher
  • Subject matter
  • Social milieu (learning context)
  • Evaluation

7
Analyzing
  • Conditions of your teaching situation
  • What official need(s) is the course to fulfill?
    e.g.
  • Meet the needs of the labor market?
  • Satisfy the requirements of a national
    accreditation organism?
  • Update old content and respond to important
    developments in a modern field?
  • What is the courses scope within the general
    program of study? (How does your course begin?
    Why does it begin and end where it does?
  • The requirements of subsequent courses

8
Analyzing (Contd)
  • The characteristics of your students
  • Diverse academic profiles? (the courses they
    have taken the content and pedagogical
    organization of the previous courses)
  • The degree of homogeneity of the enrolling
    students
  • Their professional (and personal) expectations of
    the course
  • Do the students know each other, and have they
    worked together previously?
  • The resources at your disposal
  • Technological support IT support for web-based
    teaching, for multi-media instruction, or for
    distance learning?
  • Use of smart rooms?
  • Departmental (or university) support for field
    trips or out of class activities?
  • Honoraria for guest speakers?

9
Planning
  • Initial questions to ask when determining course
    content
  • What are the core scholarly, or scientific, or
    field-specific findings and assumptions?
  • What are the main points of arguments? What are
    the key bodies of evidence?
  • What is the context of the course within the
    larger curriculum framework?

10
Planning (Contd)
  • (Initial questions to ask when determining course
    content)
  • Established course or new?
  • Level of course (1st year? Upper division?
    Graduate level?)
  • Is the course required or elective?
  • Based on textbook and/or course pack?
  • Requires activities outside of class?

11
Overview
  • Instructional design Course planning A
    systemic approach
  • Planning
  • Course content
  • Course objectives
  • The Teaching Goals Inventory
  • Learning objectives
  • Instructional strategies for student engagement
    and lifelong learning
  • -- Issues of Assessment
  • Examples of assessment tools
  • Identifying and assembling resources
  • Syllabus checklist
  • Useful resources

12
Planning Course Content
  • Be clear about what is most worth knowing (What
    do students need to know in order to derive
    maximum benefit from this educational
    experience?)
  • Describe the content that students will be
    required to know
  • Discuss the content that you will make available
    to support individual student inquiry or projects
  • Provide content that might be of interest to a
    student who wants to specialize in this area
  • Develop a conceptual framework (theory, theme,
    controversial issue) to support major ideas and
    topics
  • Decide what topics are appropriate to what types
    of student activities and assignments

13
Planning Course materials
  • Selecting pertinent course materials
  • What do you and your students do as the course
    unfolds?
  • About what do you lecture or discuss, or present
    as case studies? What is left up to the students
    more generally?
  • What are the key assignments or student
    evaluations?

14
Developing Course Objectives
  • General objectives A course objective is a
    simple statement of what you expect your students
    to know.
  • Determining the objectives is the most important
    aspect of course planning (Ask yourself, What do
    students need to know in order to derive maximum
    benefit from this educational experience? What
    educational outcomes do I want a graduate of this
    course to display?).
  • Plan backwards from where you want students to
    end in terms of their new knowledge, attitudes,
    and skills.
  • List these as learning objectives (student
    learning outcomes) by the end of the course you
    will be able to….
  • Design the course in a logical and scaffolded
    sequence of learning activities (reading
    assignments, lectures, quizzes,
    technology-mediated experiences, formative
    assessments…)

15
Developing Course Objectives (Contd)
  • Course Objectives are based on various learning
    modes the AVK Model of Learning
  • Hearing (Audio), as in lectures, seminars and
    discussion sections
  • Seeing (Visual), as in reading and observing
  • Doing (Kinesthetic), as in performance, practical
    and laboratory work (which may involve taste and
    smell as well).
  • (Students learn in highly individual and complex
    combinations of AVK.)
  • Each discipline and subject has its own AVK
    requirements, but incorporating some A, V, and K
    learning into your course syllabus not only makes
    for a more interesting class but, pedagogically
    speaking, also helps to maximize the learning
    potential of each student.

16
Developing Course Objectives (Contd)
  • Verbs that can be used to help construct concrete
    objectives for your class.
  • analyze appreciate classify collaborate
  • compare compute contrast define
  • demonstrate direct derive
    designate
  • discuss display evaluate explain
  • identify infer integrate
    interpret
  • justify list name
    organize outline
  • report respond solicit
    state
  • synthesize
  • (N.B. not an exhaustive list)

17
Examples of Course Goals
  • Discern the differences between personal writing
    and writing for academic and other audiences, and
    show awareness of and aptitude with voice and
    style appropriate for these audiences
  • Understand the relationship of the visual to the
    textual learn to "read" images
  • Integrate technology in a rich and meaningful way
    into the research and writing process
  • Encourage students to write for a "real world"
    audience beyond the classroom, if possible for
    campus or local publication.

18
Actual Examples of Course Goal Statements (for
you to evaluate)
  • "Fin de sicle sic 1800, 1900, 2000 Three
    Modern Turns in Mythic National Cultures
  • … we will see how each era privileges certain
    classes of texts, defines the individual, the
    citizen, and the human in particular ways,
    inscribes that individual into the public sphere
    of the nation through education and other
    institutions, and offers a vision of history that
    legitimizes or challenges the group's identity.
    We will learn as scholars how to situate central
    texts of culture within precise, illuminating
    historical, sociological, and narratological
    contexts, in awareness of how ideological
    premises become naturalized by disciplines,
    theories, and the institutions adapting them to
    the service of the nation, as well as by a
    characteristic "order of texts" (Chartier) -- a
    set of textual or artifactual "performances" that
    disseminated those ideologies.
  • http//www.utexas.edu/courses/arens/1800/1800index
    .html

19
Actual Examples of Course Goal Statements (for
you to evaluate)
  • Principles of Psychology
  • The goal of this course is to provide a broad,
    general introduction to psychology, which is the
    scientific study of behavior and mental
    processes. (…) You should emerge from the course
    with an increased awareness of the broad range of
    phenomena investigated by psychologists and with
    a greater ability to understand and critique
    psychological research. Special emphasis will be
    placed on applying psychological principles to
    everyday life.
  • http//www.southwestern.edu/giuliant/intro.html
  • Fundamentals of Cognitive Neuropsychology
  • In this course, we first will examine
    traditionally-defined topics in cognitive
    psychology (e.g., visual perception, attention,
    executive function, memory, motor control,
    language, consciousness), and address (a) how
    available cognitive theories have shaped the
    investigation of cognitive disorders in brain
    damaged patients, and (b) how the resulting
    neurological data has shaped (or reshaped)
    cognitive theory. Although the focus of this
    course will be on findings from studies of
    cognitive disorders in patients with localized
    brain damage, we will also seek converging
    evidence from complementary techniques that allow
    examination mind-brain relationships in normal
    individuals, including functional neuroimaging
    (e.g., PET, fMRI) and neuromonitoring (e.g.,
    ERP).
  • http//www.columbia.edu/cu/psychology/courses/syll
    abi/3480.html

20
Actual Examples of Course Goal Statements (for
you to evaluate)
  • Corporate Finance
  • This course provides an introduction to the
    modern theory and practice of corporate finance.
  • Marketing Management
  • The goals of this course are to introduce you to
    the substantive and procedural aspects of
    marketing management, and to sharpen your
    critical thinking skills.
  • Strategy and Organization
  • The primary objective of this course is to help
    you learn to diagnose management situations so
    that you will be able to transfer this skill to
    your work experience.

21
Course Objectives The Teaching Goals Inventory
(TGI)
  • Includes considerations of six major components
  • Higher order thinking skills
  • Basic academic success skills
  • Discipline-specific knowledge and skills
  • Liberal arts and academic values
  • Work and career preparation
  • Personal development

22
Course objectives The Teaching Goals Inventory
(TGI)
  • Found in
  • Angelo, Thomas A. K. Patricia Cross (1993).
    Classroom Assessment Techniques - A Handbook for
    College Teachers. San Francisco Jossey-Bass (2nd
    ed.).

23
Course Objectives The Teaching Goals Inventory
(TGI)
  • Purposes of the TGI
  • To help college teachers become more aware of
    what they want to accomplish in individual
    courses
  • To help faculty locate classroom assessment
    techniques they can adapt and use to assess how
    well they are achieving their teaching and
    learning goals among colleagues
  • To provide a starting point for discussion of
    teaching and learning goals among colleagues
  • See pp. 393-397 in
  • Angelo, Thomas A. K. Patricia Cross (1993).
    Classroom Assessment Techniques - A Handbook for
    College Teachers. San Francisco Jossey-Bass (2nd
    ed.).
  • Online Access to list
  • http//www.siue.edu/deder/assess/cats/tchgoals.ht
    ml
  • http//fm.iowa.uiowa.edu/fmi/xsl/tgi/data_entry.xs
    l?-dbtgi_data-layLayout01-view

24
Course Objectives The Teaching Goals Inventory
(TGI)
  • Group work
  • Teaching Goals Inventory and Self-scorable
    worksheet
  • (Handout)
  • A. Each participant
  • Considers ONE course you are (or will) teach
  • Responds (by circling in pencil) to each item on
    the TGI in relation to that particular course
  • B. Participants form small groups
  • Explain your responses to team members
  • C. General discussion what have we learned?

25
Actual Examples of Course Goal Statements (for
you to evaluate)
  • PHYS345 Electricity and Electronics
  • Course Objectives
  • As a result of this course, I hope that you can
    better
  • Realize the importance of electricity and
    electronics in everyday life and value its
    benefit to society.
  • Access the fundamental physics available for
    dealing with engineering problems in the
    electrical domain.
  • Apply selected physical concepts important in
    designing and using electrical and electronic
    circuits.
  • Analyze and solve realistic problems, use
    mathematical techniques effectively in their
    solution, and reason accurately and objectively
    about the physical domain.
  • Translate verbal and graphical descriptions
    of physical systems into appropriate mathematical
    models.
  • Analyze and draw valid conclusions from
    experimentally obtained data.
  • Apply spreadsheet or modeling software to
    organize data, perform calculations, and display
    results graphically.
  • Communicate technical ideas effectively, both
    in writing and orally.
  • http//www.physics.udel.edu/watson/phys345/frame/
    index_syllabus.html

26
Learning Outcomes
  • What your students will learn within the content
    of a body of knowledge
  • Each course objective should lead to an
    actionable learning outcome A short statement,
    formulated from the professors point of view,
    beginning with a verb and providing actionable
    outcomes
  • Introduce students to … so that help student
    discover … and then develop the ability to …
    so as to transfer … to … give students a
    theoretical and practical overview … to ….
  • See The Teaching Goals Inventory (TGI)

27
Student Learning Outcomes - Specific Objectives
  • Specific objectives from the students point of
    view (Learning goals and outcomes)
  • What the student must be able to do or achieve
    during or at the end of a learning situation or
    section (in order to attain the general
    objectives).
  • These objectives are linked to each of the
    courses themes and general objectives
  • Permits you to link a given subject and student
    performance
  • Each objective must be linked to an action or
    outcome

28
Student Learning Outcomes - Specific
Objectives An Example
  • (Course Using Technology in Science Education)
  • At the end of this course, you should be able to
  • 1. List and contrast current models of science
    teaching and learning using technology.
  • 2. Critique current models of teaching and
    learning using technology in relation to your
    personal philosophy of science education.
  • 3. Analyze curricular technology models for
    alignment with published standards.
  • 4. Identify effective assessment models for
    evaluating technology.
  • 5. Discuss how pro-active strategies can
    establish safe classroom environments where all
    students are encouraged to participate and
    express their views.
  • http//faculty.washington.edu/jrios/TEDUC20513/Ge
    neral20Course20Information.html

29
Actual Examples of Learning Objectives (for you
to evaluate)
  • Be able to compare and contrast earnings and cash
    flows as measures of performance.
  • Identify and use three format techniques to
    increase the effectiveness of a written business
    communication.
  • Understand the mechanics of the cash flow
    statement.
  • Conduct independent research and write a
    publishable article for a newspaper or
    professional journal.
  • Understand the implementation of SOX on US
    businesses and the resulting changes.
  • Prepare and deliver a persuasive presentation
    using logical and emotional arguments.

30
Actual Examples of Learning Objectives (for you
to evaluate)
  • Art History - Survey II
  • Learning Outcomes and Performance Objectives with
    their methods of measurement as used to
    determine the students mastery of those
    outcomes.Learning Outcomes/Performance
    Objectives/Measurements
  • A. The student will identify vocabulary, media,
    and general theories related to the history of
    art from the 14th century through present day.
    Evaluation written assignments, including
    research papers, and written exams.
  • B. The student will distinguish and classify
    works of art and architecture within the context
    of the individual, society, time, place and
    circumstance within the time frame covered in
    this course. Evaluation written assignments,
    including research papers, museum/gallery visits
    and written exams.
  • C. The student will describe the material,
    cultural and conceptual conditions involved in
    making and using works of art and architecture.
    Evaluation written assignments, including
    research papers, museum/gallery visits and
    written exams.
  • D. The student will interpret works of art and
    architecture by synthesizing formal analysis with
    scholarly research. Evaluation research papers,
    exhibit and/or resource critique.
  • http//www.accd.edu/sac/vat/arthistory/arts1304/s
    yllabus.htm

31
For Access to Syllabi in all Fields
  • … Go to
  • World Lecture Hall
  • http//web.austin.utexas.edu/wlh/browse.cfm

32
Overview
  • Instructional design Course planning A
    systemic approach
  • Planning
  • Course content
  • Course objectives
  • The Teaching Goals Inventory
  • Group work
  • Learning objectives
  • Instructional strategies for student engagement
    and lifelong learning
  • -- Issues of Assessment
  • Examples of assessment tools
  • Identifying and assembling resources
  • Syllabus checklist
  • Useful resources

33
Instructional Strategies
  • The core question How to develop a challenging
    and supportive course climate that builds on
    students interests, exemplifies the big topics
    in the field, teaches interpersonal and
    collaborative skills, and develops the capacity
    for lifelong learning (learning how to learn in
    the field).
  • Decide on a mix of strategies to shape basic
    skills and procedures, present information, guide
    inquiry, monitor individual and group activities,
    and support and challenge critical reflection
  • The chosen strategies must fit with the outcomes
    you hope to achieve
  • Examples of general instructional strategies
  • Training and coaching
  • Lecturing and explaining
  • Inquiry and discovery
  • Field work and community-based work
  • Experiential opportunities (such as internships)
    and reflection (portfolios)

34
Encouraging Active Student Involvement and
Lifelong Learning
  • Are course topics related to content, or process,
    or both? What embedded activities will help
    students to learn the tools of the discipline or
    field?
  • Activities and products that can involve students
    in sustained intensive work, both independently
    and with one a other might include
  • Group research projects
  • Reaction papers on one of several topics
    provided by the instructor or suggested by the
    student(s)
  • Challenging the students to improve the
    syllabus by adding or omitting a reading
    assignment or two (with a rationale for doing so)
  • A learner-centered approach changes the students
    role by encouraging acceptance of personal
    responsibility for learning - intentional
    learning (this can be difficult for students
    who have been educated as passive learners).

35
Considering Issues of Assessment
  • (To be discussed at greater length in another
    session)
  • Demonstrations of learning should include
    multiple ways to represent knowledge and skills
  • Consider the role and rationale for individual
    and group assessment opportunities
  • Provide worked examples and grading rubrics where
    possible so that all learners know what
    constitutes good (successful) work
  • Consider using both formative and summative modes
    of assessment

36
Examples of Assessment Tools
  • Products (essays, research reports, other
    projects)
  • Performance assessments (music, dance, dramatic
    performance e.g., role play, science
    experiments, demonstrations, debates….)
  • Process-focused assessment (journals, learning
    logs, reflective statements, oral presentations)
  • Assessment of recall and application at the
    highest cognitive level (Blooms et al.
    taxonomies)
  • Examine the CET website for more helpful
    information on assessment
  • http//www.usc.edu/programs/cet/resources
    /assessment/

37
Overview
  • Instructional design Course planning A
    systemic approach
  • Planning
  • Course content
  • Course objectives
  • The Teaching Goals Inventory
  • Group work
  • Learning objectives
  • Instructional strategies for student engagement
    and lifelong learning
  • -- Issues of Assessment
  • Examples of assessment tools
  • Identifying and assembling resources
  • Syllabus checklist
  • Useful resources

38
Identifying and Assembling Resources
  • Consider ways to include the full range of
    knowledge nodes (some of which may include
    alternative and conflicting perspectives). These
    would include
  • Lectures, panel presentations, case studies,
    demonstrations, facilitation, discussion, online
    discussion boards
  • books and readings, films, multimedia, maps,
    libraries, museums, theaters, studios, labs,
    databases, Internet sites, ….
  • Involve outside individuals, communities, or
    officials for guest lectures and service learning
    opportunities where appropriate (For example
    USCs Joint Educational project JEP.)
  • Assign projects that will tap into students
    personal interpretations by challenging them to
    search for further information or new, even
    contradictory, points of view.

39
Overview
  • Instructional design Course planning A
    systemic approach
  • Planning
  • Course content
  • Course objectives
  • The Teaching Goals Inventory
  • Group work
  • Learning objectives
  • Instructional strategies for student engagement
    and lifelong learning
  • -- Issues of Assessment
  • Examples of assessment tools
  • Identifying and assembling resources
  • Syllabus checklist
  • Useful resources

40
Syllabus Checklist Expanded from Grunert, J.
(2007). The Course Syllabus…
  • Course Identifiers
  • Instructor Contact Information
  • Purpose of Course
  • Course Goal and Learning Objectives
  • Course requirements, Prerequisites, Co-requisites
  • Required, Recommended Materials
  • Assignments and Exam Due Dates
  • Evaluation specifics
  • Grading criteria
  • Policies, Expectations
  • Missed exams, quizzes
  • Attendance
  • Other, as required
  • Detailed Schedule
  • Reading list with reference

41
Useful Resources on Course Design and Syllabus
Creation
  • Grunert, Judith (2007) The Course Syllabus A
    Learning-Centered Approach. San Francisco
    Jossey-Bass.
  • Prégent, Richard (2000). Charting Your Course
    How to Prepare to Teach More Effectively.
    Madison, Wisconsin Atwood (English ed.).

42
Useful Resources on Course Design and Syllabus
Creation
  • Angelo, Thomas A. and K. Patricia Cross (1993).
    Classroom Assessment Techniques A Handbook for
    College Teachers. San Francisco, CA Jossey-Bass
    (2nd ed.).
  • Richlin, Laurie (2006). Blueprint for Learning
    Constructing College Courses to Facilitate,
    Assess, and Document Learning. Sterling, VA
    Stylus.

43
Useful Resources on Course Design and Syllabus
Creation
  • Teaching and Learning Resources on the website of
    the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching
  • http//www.usc.edu/programs/cet/resources/
  • Syllabus and Course Design
  • http//www.usc.edu/programs/cet/resources/creating
    _syllabi/
  • USC Office of Curriculum - Sample Syllabus
    Template
  • http//www.usc.edu/dept/ARR/curriculum/handbook.ht
    ml

44
Review
  • Instructional design Course planning A
    systemic approach
  • Planning
  • Course content
  • Course objectives
  • The Teaching Goals Inventory
  • Group work
  • Learning objectives
  • Instructional strategies for student engagement
    and lifelong learning
  • -- Issues of Assessment
  • Examples of assessment tools
  • Identifying and assembling resources
  • Syllabus checklist
  • Useful resources
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