Effective college teaching begins with strong and intentional course design. The best-suggested
practice is to start with clear objectives and student learning outcomes that use
action verbs to describe what students will be able to perform at the end of the semester.
From these objectives, faculty members can work backwards — a clearly written objective
will guide the instructor to three necessary things: what to tell the students, how
the students will practice, and how to assess the students. Without clear objectives
and an intentional strategy to meet them, instructors run the risk of relaying content
with no assurance that students are able to master it.
The Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence (ATLE) is happy to assist faculty members with translating course objectives into an actionable backward design. Click here to learn more about Backward Design.
In addition, ATLE may be able to assist you with course redesign initiatives.
Instructors should know how their courses fit with the larger departmental (major/minor) curriculum, which is articulated in the Academic Learning Compacts (ALCs) held centrally at the University.
Best Practices from YouTube
The following YouTube videos contain some valuable, practical wisdom related to course design:
- Alignment and Backward Design
- Designing Integrative Learning into Your Courses - Part 1
- Effective Course Design
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