Prepare for Day 3

Continue working on aligning your learning outcomes and assessment plans.

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. Spend time exploring the resources on Teaching and Instructional Strategies (we've curated a resource list for you, here on the wiki, Day 3 Resources). As you explore the materials think about the types of learning activities that will support your learners, seeking alignment with your learning outcomes and assessment plans. Look at the instructions in the CDI Workbook to help you with this phase.

1. As you explore the resources, identify some strategies/techniques you've used in the past, and some you are interested/considering using. Write 2 of the strategies you've used before on the BLUE cards. Write 2 of the strategies you're interested in using on the YELLOW cards. Bring these cards to Day 3.

2. Update your course design plan, integrating your ideas for learning activities into Column 3 of your 3-column course plan. These ideas can be drafty at this point, and you will work on alignment of learning activities on Day 3.

3. Read: Bart, Mary (2015) A Learner Centered Syllabus Helps Set the Tone For Learning - Faculty Focus

4. Revisit your One-Sentence Challenge. Revise into a course description--describing 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.


Day 3 Learning Outcomes

Theme: Exploring the “How”: Possibilities for Engagement

Essential Question for Day 3: How do I design and/or select activities that support student learning?'

On Day 3, you will adopt a teaching strategy that has potential for addressing your identified challenge and is aligned with learning outcomes and assessment processes. You will articulate a brief learner centered course description for a syllabus, and in design feedback groups offer and integrate feedback on this (the syllabus) as well as course design plans.

By the end of day 3, you will have:


Welcome and Review

9:00 - 9:30 am with Gillian

Exploring Active Learning

Sue introduces (all support ) - 9:30 - 10:15 am

Active learning engages students in the process of learning through activities and/or discussion in class, as opposed to passively listening to an expert. It emphasizes higher-order thinking and often involves group work. Freeman, et al - in large meta-analysis of undergraduate STEM education courses.

In this activity you'll have the opportunity to further develop your knowledge of instructional strategies and active learning techniques.

Purpose: an opportunity to implement active learning strategies to promote learning.

Modified Gallery Walk / World Cafe:

Round 1 (15 minutes):

Round 2 (15 minutes):

Final Round

Work on Course Plans: Learning Activities & Alignment

10:15 - 11:00 am

Based on input from the active learning session, revise your ideas for learning activities, being mindful of alignment. This can be individual work, paired, or any other small group combination that allows you to progress on your course plans.

Reflections on a Course Design: John Vigna (part 2)

1:00 - 1:45 pm

John will talk about the alignment of his course, further iterations of the course, and his application of techniques learned in the CDI to other course design work.

Alignment of course plan

1:00 - 1:30 pm

Continue working on your course plan. We encourage you to pair up, or in a group of 3, to share your plan. Work on aligning your course level learning outcomes, assessment, and learning strategies. If necessary, refine your Big Ideas and Essential Questions.

Work on aligning your course level learning outcomes, assessment, and learning strategies.

a) If you pair up, ask your partner the following questions (and ask follow-up questions to clarify) [20 minutes - 10 minutes each]:

Make sure you both have a turn to give and receive responses.

Revise your learning activities, as relevant, based on your reflections, discussion, and feedback.

Learner Centered Syllabus

1:30 - 2:00 pm with Sue

Bart, Mary (2015) A Learner Centered Syllabus Helps Set the Tone For Learning - Faculty Focus

At your table groups, share your course descriptions.

Syllabus examples are included in "Next Steps". Review these after the workshop, when you begin working on your syllabus, for ideas you'd like to incorporate.

Showcase preparation

2:00-2:15 pm Isabeau to introduce

The showcase is an opportunity to share an aspect of your course plan (where you made changes) and receive feedback one last time from your peers. You will also listen to your peers' plans and provide feedback to them. For the showcase you will prepare a flipchart paper to describe an aspect of your course plan which has changed - you will have 2 minutes to introduce your ideas verbally to the group. The flipchart papers will be posted around the room and viewed during the gallery walk.

Ideas for this documentation include (but are not limited to) sharing:

Showcasing course design plans: Opportunity for sharing

2:15 - 3:00 pm

Presentation order will be established. Each person has 2 minutes to introduce their flipchart. This will be followed by a 15-minute gallery walk to view the flipcharts on the walls.

Fireside chat: parking lot debrief

3:00 - 3:30 pm with Gillian


3:30 - 4:15pm with Sue (and all)

Next Steps


You have likely assembled many of the foundational pieces you will need to finalize your course design for the first implementation.

These are a few remaining tasks which will require your attention:

  • Fine tune your design to building out your learning plans and continue checking for alignment
  • Use the Course Sequence Planning table in your CDI Workbook to help you develop the sequence of your course, identifying:
  • themes/focus for each week
  • what will learners be expected to do on their own outside of class?
  • what will learners do together during the class?
  • what sorts of resources, readings will learners need access to to help them with the weekly work?
  • Consider the diversity represented in your course content & perspectives. Your choice of course content and reading lists give students a sense of what perspectives are included in the class. Ideally, to promote belonging, a reading list would include authors of different identities and from a variety of backgrounds.
  • Consider the accessibility of your course. Examples include physical accessibility of your course and financial accessibility. Universal Design for Learning is an approach to consider accessibility.
  • Determine what sort of feedback you will need (from your students or elsewhere) in order for you to assess the first implementation and prepare for iteration.
  • Determine a grading strategy that reflects the entire scope of the learning activities and intended outcomes.

Syllabus: Describe your course in a way that will inspire your learners, in preparation for writing your syllabus. Keep it short and inspirational. Be sure to include the big idea that you are working with and any course level learning outcomes that you have developed. Consider the tone of your syllabus and whether you want to include a Equity and Inclusivity Statement and/or a statement on Territory Acknowledgement.

Additional sample syllabi with learner-centered components:

Additional Resource: File:How to Make your Syllabus more Learner-centered.pdf (A draft)

Refer to the Resource lists from each day to support your remaining work. Best of luck on implementing your course design!

Day 3 Resources

Teaching & Instructional Strategies

Blogs on Teaching

Active Learning :

Discipline-related Strategies

Expert-Novice Thinking

Group Work

  • Brickell, J. L., Porter, D. B., Reynolds, M. F., & Cosgrove, R. D., (1994). Assigning Students to Groups for Engineering Design Projects: A Comparison of Five Methods. Journal of Engineering Education, 7, 259-262. (From Brickell…. “allowing students to select their own groups results in poorest attitudes about course, their instructors, the project, and their classmates”)
  • Fiechtner, S. B., & Davis, E. A. (1985). Why some groups fail: A survey of students' experiences with learning groups. The Organizational Behavior Teaching Review, 9(4), 75-88.

Critical Thinking

Blended and Flipped Classrooms

Syllabus Design

Video and Multimedia



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