Course Design RSS Feed

course design


Adding Choice to Assignment Options: A Few Course Design Considerations

No, the objective isn’t to make assignments optional, but two benefits accrue when students are given some choice about assignments. The first is motivational—when students select the method they will use to master the material, they can pick an option they think they’d like to complete. And if an assignment option looks appealing, that increases the chance that students will spend more time working on it and more learning can then result. Second, the practice confronts students with themselves as learners. With teacher guidance, they can be challenged to consider why they find some assignments preferable. They can be encouraged to consider what skills the assignment involves and whether those are skills they have or need to work on developing. A strategy such as this moves students in the direction of autonomy and maturity as learners.


How Can I Create Meaningful Assignments for My Students?

How Can I Create Meaningful Assignments for My Students? Program includes a CD with the video presentation, plus supplemental materials, PowerPoint slides, and complete transcript • $99 ”Practice is the best of all instructors.” That’s according to Publilius Syrus, a writer and speaker in the 1st century BC. Although there have been many innovations in


Course Satisfaction for Adult Students

What course characteristics “satisfy” adult students? What expectations do they have for their courses? These questions are important because more and more adults now attend higher education, and many are participating in programs designed especially for them.


Avoiding Information Overload: Remembering Course Goals

In more than 20 years of teaching, I have learned that too much information frustrates rather than inspires students. Today, however, with a few clicks of the computer mouse, any teacher can retrieve an overabundance of information. What is more, courseware makes distributing this information to students amazingly easy. As a result, teachers risk (unintentionally) giving students much more information than they can reasonably digest, including electronic texts, supplementary texts, and background information. The key to avoiding information overload is remembering course goals.


Do Students Work Less in Courses Offered in Compressed Time Frames?

This is an important question because so many institutions now offer regular courses in shorter time frames. It might be a course offered in a monthlong summer session or one taught in January between regular-length semesters. It’s also important because there is a perception among students that shorter courses are easier. How could you possibly do as much work in a four-week course as in a 15-week one?


Recent Seminars


Why Students Cheat and What We Can Do About It

Cheating happens because students have the opportunity and the incentive to do so. If it was harder to cheat and if cheating didn’t benefit students by leading to higher grades, it would not happen as often. During this seminar led by James M. Lang, PhD, you will learn the concrete steps you can take to strategically revise your course designs and classroom practices to stem cheating and increase learning.

Online Seminar • Recorded on Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Universal Design 4-pack

The Universal Design 4-pack will help you give all students equitable opportunity to engage with your course content, participate in course activities, and demonstrate their knowledge.


How Can Backward Design Make My Courses More Accessible?

Why struggle to remove barriers to learning when you can get things right the first time with backward design? Focusing on what you want students to get out of your course, through backward design, will help you develop creative and accessible assignments that help all students, whether or not they have a disability.


How Can I Make My Course Content More Accessible?

Designed for faculty who are new to the subject of accessibility and making accommodations, this session combines a conceptual approach with real-world tested practical advice. You’ll enhance your awareness of the drawbacks inherent in the most common ways of presenting course content and learn specific techniques for making material more accessible.


How Can I Make the Activities in My Course More Inclusive?

Designed to help you give all your students an equitable opportunity to engage with course activities, How Can I Make the Activities in My Course More Inclusive? will show you how to think about your course in a more inclusive way. You’ll see this process applied in common classroom situations and learn practical tips to help you revise modes of engagement in light of learner differences.