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Category Archive for 'Course Design'

Requiring an early assignment be handed in and graded provides a mutual check-in for you and your students.  You students will get a preview for the bigger assessments later in the semester.  They will understand the kinds of questions you ask, the amount of time it takes to complete assignments in your discipline, and the […]

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Reflecting Back to Look Ahead

At this harried point at the end of the semester, you may not be looking ahead to the next time you will teach.  But taking a little time now to can help improve your future teaching and speed up your course preparation down the road. Even if you think you may never teach a particular […]

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With the start of the semester fast approaching we will spend this week’s post examining a simplified introduction to Backwards Course Design by focusing on determining learning goals and planning out assessment styles for a new class. And make sure to come back next week, when the topics of syllabus creation and lesson planning will […]

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In her recent two-part workshop series, Amy Buchmann–a Graduate Associate of the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning–discussed some of the fundamentals of course design.  An integrated course design (Fink, 2003) has three primary elements: (1) learning goals, (2) feedback and assessment, and (3) teaching and learning activities. Figure 1. Integrated course design model. Fink, […]

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Remember to Consider the Learning Space: The next time you write an outcome/goal/intention/objective and an accompanying assessment task, write it and then answer this question:

What type of learning space will provide the best place for learners to practice developing the skills they will need to achieve success in this task?

This will focus your attention on process – how actually will students be able to go about their learning? What conditions are necessary for them to be able to flourish under your instruction? The answers will guide you as to what kind of learning space you will create that will accomplish your objective but will allow importantly some much more richer and more personal learning to occur.

In this sense a learning space extends far beyond the physical and into the whole learning environment that we as teachers are capable of creating for our students.

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Over the next few months, members of the university teaching community will revisit and revamp their courses for the next academic year. While many know that the Kaneb Center offers one-on-one consultations, not many know exactly what this process entails. Typical conversations during a consultation are structured around designing your course/syllabus, designing early semester feedback […]

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  Thinking about designing or redesigning a course this summer? If so, you may want to consider using the backward design method. The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s ProfHacker has posted a summary of the backward design process based on Understanding by Design, Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (available for checkout from the Kaneb Center library). As described […]

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Recently, Chris Clark posted on rubrics and Blackboard’s grading form tool (Blackboards grading forms gets a B-). Chris discussed the challenges involved in creating and implementing rubrics well. One thing he didn’t mention is how they can facilitate student learning and performance. How Rubrics Help Students Learn (Chronicle of Higher Education, November 28, 2010) provides […]

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The Myth of Learning Styles (Change, September/October 2010) makes a clear and succinct case that learning styles are not a useful consideration when planning our teaching. The article starts by identifying what is true about learning styles and offers a variety of alternative student characteristics that can be more useful to us when preparing and […]

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Reading the Chronicle of Higher Education on 8/10/2010 I was reminded that, as a new semester looms, tension is building for many who will be meeting a new group of students for the first time. Perhaps you find yourself among those feeling the effects of the rapidly approaching semester? During consultations and other interactions with Notre […]

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