3. Working Documents: throughout the 3 day program you will use the Working Docs to help with your redesign. Download the file (above, under the 3-day schedule), and complete page 1: Planning your Course: things to consider.
Plan Your Course: Big Ideas and Essential Questions
Course Design Working Doc: Key Question 2: What Core Understandings Guide the Learning?
This is your opportunity to identify the big ideas (enduring understandings) and essential questions relevant to your course.
FIRST: Review your Course Considerations document:
Imagine it is two years from now and you've run into one of your students who had taken your class this year. He's telling you that the most important thing he learned in your class was X. What do you hope the X is? Try to give an immediate response. Think about the ideal qualities, attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, skills that your student of the future might possess. Write this down.
NEXT: Reflect on your course. Ask yourself:
What is worthy of understanding in my course?
What do you hope endures for students long after your course is over?
Why should students take it - why should they care about what you are teaching?
What's the "why" of your course?
Remember a few outstanding students you had. What attributes did they have, and what did they know and were they able to do that others couldn't? What did that student 'get' that other students did not get?
With a pair or group of 3, share your big ideas and essential questions. Help one another to refine those.
"What does it take to think like an expert in your field?"
Brainstorm your course design using concept mapping. Once have identified the big ideas, you can begin to map out the course concepts and explore what learners need to understand, know, do, to align with the big ideas of your course.
Starting from your enduring understandings/essential questions - work out from there (in concept map fashion) to identify:
what concepts will students need to learn in order to articulate the big ideas and essential questions?(resources/concepts, etc)
what do I need to provide?
what can they reasonably learn about/reference on their own?
what can they make, do, experience to help them learn?
Tips on this process:
Intensive writing/listing (5 minutes) anything that comes to mind – Don’t stop, but do consider what concepts your students will need to know/work with in the process of building knowledge to access the big ideas of your course
Circle core items and record individually on a sticky note
Arrange sticky notes on flip chart paper/folder, and begin to identify relationships between concepts
Prepare draft concept map with labelled nodes and lines
Transfer from the concept map to your Working Docs. Prioritize your concepts into the categories provided (Know, Do, Apply, Be Familiar with)
Pair up and share with a colleague. Take 10 minutes each to:
Provide overview of your process (what did you do/focus on in the solo time?)
Reflect on: What stands out for you at this stage?
Articulate what are your next steps (before Wednesday morning)?
Share anything else that you feel compelled to share
End of day debrief
Recap of Day 1
Formative Assessment of the day
Homework for Day 2
Homework for Day 2
1. Review your work so far on your Working Docs. Before Day 2, you should have completed Part 1: Key Questions 1, 2 and 3. Please review and revise as necessary. Be sure you have determined the priorities for your course. You should be prepared on Day 2 to begin Part 2 of the Working Doc.
2. WatchRoselynn Verwood's screencast on iterating your syllabus and aligning course outcomes. We will debrief the screencast on Day 2 as an introduction to how to align your course.
Welcome, Agenda, Debrief Feedback from Day 1
Iterative Design: Table Group Discussion
Purpose: to debrief the concept of iteration.
Group discussion: at your tables, discuss:
What stood out for you from the Verwood screencast - what was important in the demonstration?
What are the implications for your course design process?
Try writing 1 learner-centred learning outcome for your course based on criteria.
"Learning Outcomes" - Feedback
Share your learning outcome with your partner:
Is it a clear statement of the evidence that learners are expected to produce in order to demonstrate their learning & understanding?
Write 3 more learning outcomes for your course based on criteria. Share with a partner (the same or someone new).
Purpose: an opportunity to get feedback on learning outcomes as you refine them.
Gallery Walk: Learning Outcomes - Feedback
Write your 3+ learning outcomes on Flipchart paper for your colleagues to read.
As you walk around the room, ask yourself:
Are my colleagues learning outcomes a clear statement of the evidence that learners are expected to produce in order to demonstrate their learning & understanding? Are mine? What am I noticing?
Large group debrief before lunch.
Alignment, 3-column course planning, and Assessment for Learning
Choose a higher-level (course-level) learning outcome that you will be able to develop an assessment plan for during the rest of the afternoon.
does it support the big idea for your course?
does it have enduring value (will it be something they can use/apply/be beyond the life of the course)?
Imagine your students have reached/attained that learning outcome. What is the evidence that your students can perform or produce that demonstrates learning the learning outcome? What is the authentic assessment?
Once you have reflected on your own, turn to a neighbor and review the ideas you brainstormed. Talk about the authentic assessment you came up with for your students learning. Does your neighbour have other ideas for you? Decide on the authentic assessment option you think is best.
Go to the last page of the Course Design Working doc and work from 3-Column Course Planning Doc. Fill in the learning outcome and the evidence/assessment section.
Two Stage Exams (CWSEI, UBC) a good overview of the process and associated effective practices.
Design Feedback Small Groups
What concepts in your course are repeatedly challenging?
Do your 3-4 lesson-level learning outcomes from the morning help them learn these concepts?
If not, do your learning outcomes need to change? Or will an educative assessment technique help them learn it better?
What educative assessment techniques could your course include to help them achieve the higher-level learning outcome you chose for STEP 1?
Identify at least 1 educative assessment that assists your students' learning process for a learning outcome.
Now that you have identified a) the learning outcomes b) the educative assessment(s) that will help them achieve the learning outcome (s), and c) the kind of authentic assessment/evidence that might be useful, fill out the “three column planning” document.
Large group debrief.
Aligning Assessments: Carnegie-Mellon's (Eberly Centre) resource for checking alignment between learning outcomes, assessments and activities.
Day 3 will be about integrating learning activities to support the outcomes you have defined for learners and the evidence they are expected to produce. You will also be thinking about potential "learning pitfalls" that your students may experience and identify strategies for addressing those that you can incorporate into your course design plan.
1. Continue on your course design planning. You should aim to complete at least 4 of your learning outcomes and have them aligned with assessment strategies. Plan to share this with the group on Friday.
2. Identify a learning challenge or pitfall that students may face in the course. In your opinion, what are the factors that contribute to this learning challenge? Identify 3 key words that represent this challenge. Be prepared to submit this (in writing) on Day 3 so that they can be themed into groupings of "like" challenges.
Additional information: Learning challenges or pitfalls may arise from (for example):
misconceptions about an aspect of the subject matter
Describe your course from a learner centered perspective (in preparation for writing your syllabus). Write it out in order to share. Keep it short and inspirational.
5. Begin to consider a sequence for how your course will unfold - what should come first/last/in between. (Resource: Fink's Instructional Strategieshandout) - note: the course concept mapping activity you did on day 1 may help you with this.
Activity: Addressing a Learning Challenge: Modified Jigsaw
This activity is complex. By the end of it, you will be able to:
find examples of learner-centered, active, constructivist approaches to designing a learning environment to further develop your course design.
align a learning activity with a learning outcome, evidence and assessment method.
propose a rationale for why your chosen activity shows promise in addressing the learning challenge you have identified.
Step 1: (25 minutes) Join your assigned group (based on the themes identified in the challenges you submitted). Present the student-learning challenges to each other. Then, independently research activities that may help to address the root of your defined learning challenge. Choose a promising activity to help you address the learning challenge you have identified.
BREAK 10 minutes
Step 2: (10 minutes) Propose a rationale for your selection and get feedback from one of your groupmates on your rationale. Take a few minutes to integrate the feedback into your activity.
Step 3: (20 minutes) Form a new group (based on colour coding): each participant to share their active learning strategy/activity by describing (in a maximum 3 minute presentation to your group):
What is the learning challenge you're aiming to address?
What teaching strategy/learning activity seems promising in helping you address this challenge?
Why did you choose this activity?
Step 4: (15 minutes) Align your activity with one of the learning outcomes in your course plan. Adjust learning outcomes and assessment methods as necessary. Assess the fit with your enduring understandings - how does the activity support broader learning goals?
Resources on Teaching Strategies to Address Learning Challenges