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Course Design


Title: Testing and Grading Author: Robyn Wright Dunbar Last modified by: Robyn Dunbar Created Date: 9/14/1999 11:00:31 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Course Design

Course Design
Preparing a Syllabus
  • Once you have a sound course design, your
    syllabus almost writes itself.
  • -Teaching at its Best
  • L. Nilson, 1998

Course Design
What will I cover?
What will they learn?
Course Design
Course Design
  • Students learn how to find knowledge, they do not
    wait for faculty to provide it
  • Ongoing student and course assessments show
    faculty where teaching is effective and
  • Students performance on activities and
    assignments is assessed by more people than a
    single instructor
  • Students construct the questions they need to
    ask, rather than expecting teachers to choose
    what students ought to know
  • (Allen, 1996)

Course Design
  • Students become active and participatory
    learners they are not just audiences for teacher
  • Students have opportunities to learn through
    teamwork and to be rewarded for group efforts,
    not just for their own activities
  • Academic effort is measured by how much students
    learn, not how many hours faculty teach
  • Faculty guide students, helping them formulate
    fruitful problems and questions and uncover
    effective ways to learn answers (Allen, 1996)

Course Design
The General Design
  • Consider your audience
  • Establish tiered instructional objectives
  • Evaluate content options and appropriate readings
  • Determine class format
  • Develop assessments

Course Design
  • Consider your audience!
  • What preparation will most students bring? Do
    prerequisites guarantee this?
  • Attitudes? Required course? Elective?
  • What are the student expectations? Are these
    appropriate? Can they be incorporated into your
    teaching plan?
  • Student long-range goals?
  • Can flexibility be built in to accommodate this?

Course Design
  • Establish tiered instructional objectives
  • An instructional objective is a statement that
    gives instructional focus and direction,
    establishes guidelines for testing, and conveys
    ones teaching intent to others.
  • -Stating Objectives for Classroom Instruction
  • Gronlund, 1985

Course Design
  • Establish tiered instructional objectives
  • Course Design by Objectives
  • First define your ultimate end-of-course
  • Then work backwardswhat will students have to be
    able to do before they can accomplish each
    ultimate objective?
  • Continue working backwards to the most basic
    performances they must master to achieve the above

Course Design
Course Design
Course Design
Instructional Objective (for a specific group of
Skills (what students will need to be able to do
in order to attain this objective)
Class Format
Assessment Format
Syllabus Does your syllabus share with your
students the thinking process that you followed
to design this course?
Course Design
  • Establish basic learning objectives
  • Students will learn to appreciate their natural
    surroundings and will know that underlying
    geologic structures control the landforms we see

Course Design
  • Translate these, if needed, to become effective
    instructional objectives
  • After working with slide images and through
    field experiences, students will be able to
    locate and identify faults, fractures and folds
    present in an unfamiliar landscape.

Course Design
  • Identify the skills needed in order for students
    to be able to achieve the objective
  • Recognize the surface expressions of different
    geologic structures AND how expression varies
    with topography
  • Critically observe and analyze an unfamiliar
    landscape for diagnostic geologic contact

Course Design
  • Blooms Taxonomy
  • Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956)

Course Design
  • Finks Taxonomy
  • To Improve the Academy (2001)

Course Design
  • Writing objectives
  • Many Fewer
  • Interpretations Interpretations
  • To know To write
  • To understand To recite
  • To really understand To identify
  • To appreciate To sort
  • To fully appreciate To solve
  • To grasp significance of To construct
  • To enjoy To build
  • To believe To compare
  • To have faith in To contrast
  • from Mager (1975) in Diamond (1998)

Course Design
  • Evaluate content options
  • Rank the topics
  • (rank highly your essentials AND those that
    meet student needs or expectations)
  • Slash, burn distill
  • (this always hurts, but designing courses
    backwards will help establish priorities)
  • Compare to your full array of content options
  • is something missing that you value? Are you
    missing a major learning goal?

Course Design
  • Evaluate readings
  • Consider the level (and financial resources!) of
    your students
  • What is the purpose of the reading? How will it
    support the course? How often will students use
    this resource?
  • Read a variety of texts
  • ...unless you wrote the text, you wont find
    exactly what you need BUT...
  • Is a course reader better?
  • ...can better suit to your needs...but takes a
    huge effort to integrate well...

Course Design
  • Determine the class format
  • Lecture based?
  • Discussion based?
  • Need labs or experiential components?
  • How and when will student inquiry take place?
  • What does the phrase knowledge transfer conjure
    up for you?

Course Design
Encourage Active Learning From Davidson
Ambrose, 1994
  • Students should
  • be prepared to work hard when they enter a
  • take an active role in acquiring and maintaining
    new information during the class
  • continue their interest after class hours
  • What questions will you ask... what examples will
    you use... to help stimulate interest? How will
    you hear from students during class?

Course Design
Design Effective Learning From Davidson
Ambrose, 1994
  • Most of the learning in a typical course takes
    place outside of class
  • design meaningful after class projects, labs,
  • prepare assignments that apply class material to
    new contexts
  • How does each experience contribute to the goals
    for the course?

Course Design
Provide Prompt Feedback From Davidson
Ambrose, 1994
  • Learning is an iterative process apply, discover
    errors, try again...
  • plan to provide prompt and supportive corrections
  • keep in mind that not all feedback need be graded
  • How long will it take you to return graded
    assignments? How can you provide immediate
    feedback? How can the students themselves
    provide feedback?

Course Design
Emphasize importance of time and effort spent
learning From Davidson Ambrose, 1994
  • Everyone who wants to learn a subject must put in
    time and effort
  • Students must make effective use of class and
    study time
  • Will you discuss time management with your class?
    What study strategies will be most successful
    for the course objectives?

Course Design
Encourage Student-Faculty Contact... From
Davidson Ambrose, 1994
  • This is at the very heart of the educational
  • Allow time both within and outside of class to
    display enthusiasm, sensitivity, and command of
  • How many students will you know by name? How
    open will your office door be? How will you show
    students that you are receptive?

Course Design
Encourage Cooperation among Students From
Davidson Ambrose, 1994
  • improve collaborative skills
  • develop personal responsibility
  • enhance self-esteem
  • build confidence in science
  • Will in-class or out-of-class projects be
    assigned that require students to work together?
    What do you need to learn about directing
    successful group work?

Course Design
Communicate High, Attainable Expectations
From Davidson Ambrose, 1994
  • attendance and class participation are greatest
    in courses that demand a lot
  • students often give highest ratings to their most
    difficult (yet attainable) courses
  • What are your expectations for this course? What
    will students be able to do after this course?
    How high will you set the bar? How will you
    catch struggling students?

Course Design
Respect diverse talents and ways of learning...
From Davidson Ambrose, 1994
  • each student brings a unique set of abilities,
    interests, and experiences into class
  • people process and learn science in very
    different ways
  • What strategies will you use to reach students
    with various learning preferences? Will you
    challenge students to develop new learning
    styles? How will you discover whether or not
    your teaching style is reaching all students?

Course Design
  • Develop an assessment plan for them
  • What have your students learned?
  • How will students acquire the skills you value?
  • Let the course objectives shine through your
    assessment end-of-course objectives should map
    out your projects, homework, exams, etc.

Course Design
  • Develop an assessment plan for you...
  • Options for getting feedback (CATs) Classroom
    Assessment Techniques
  • Mid-term formative evaluations
  • Professional feedback classroom consultations,
    videos, etc.

Course Design
  • Allen, L. R. (1996) An Instructional Epiphany.
    Change, Mar.-Apr. 1996, 28 (2), 52.
  • Angelo, T.A. and Cross, K.P (1993) Classroom
    Assessment Techniques, Jossey-Bass Publ., San
    Francisco, 427p.
  • Davidson, C.I. and Ambrose, S.A. (1994) The New
    Professors Handbook A Guide to Teaching and
    Research in Engineering and Science. Anker Publ.
    Co., Bolton, MA 199p.
  • Diamond, R.M. (1998) Designing Assessing
    Courses and Curricula A Practical Guide.
    Jossey-Bass Publ., San Francisco, 321p.
  • Fink, L.D. (2001) Higher-Level Learning The
    First Step Toward More Significant Learning in
    To Improve the Academy, v. 19 Anker Publ.,
  • Nilsen, L. B. (1998) Teaching at its Best A
    Research-Based Resource for College Instructors.
    Anker Publ. Co., Bolton, MA 219p.

Course Design
Other Good Reads
  • Boice, R. (2000) Advice for New Faculty Members
    Nihil Nimus, Allyn Bacon Publ., 319p.
  • Davis, B. G., (1993) Tools for Teaching,
    Jossey-Bass Publ., 429p.
  • Reis, R..M. (1997) Tomorrows Professor
    Preparing for Academic Careers in Science and
    Engineering, IEEE Press, NY., 416p.