Course Design and Development Ideas That Work

So much of what determines the overall success or failure of a course takes place well in advance of the first day of class. It’s the thoughtful contemplation of your vision for the course — from what you want your students to learn, to selecting the instructional activities, assignments, and materials that will fuel that learning, to determining how you will measure learning outcomes.

Featuring 12 articles pulled from the pages of The Teaching Professor, the report will inspire you to rethink some components of your course, especially if it’s one you’ve taught for a few years and you are feeling in a bit of a rut.

Course Design and Development Ideas That Work

This special report Course Design and Development Ideas That Work examines this multifaceted issue from a variety of fronts to bring you proven course design alternatives implemented in courses of varying sizes and disciplines.

For example, in the article titled A Large Course with a Small Course Option, we learn about an innovative course design for a large 300-level course. Essentially, the instructor created two options: in one, students attend lectures and take four exams. In the second option, students are responsible for those same lectures and exams, but they also participate in small group discussions and complete a set of writing assignments. The second option was most valued by students who are not very good test-takers or who have a keen interest in the subject.

Is it time to freshen up your course structure?

In the article The Placement of Those Steppingstones, the University of Richmond’s Joe Ben Hoyle compares the placement of steppingstones in a koi pond to the educational processes teachers use to help their students get from point A to point B. Hoyle theorizes that “education stumbles when either the learning points are not sequenced in a clearly logical order or they are not placed at a proper distance from each other.”

Other articles in Course Design and Development Ideas That Work include:

  • A Course Redesign that Contributed to Student Success
  • Pairing vs. Small Groups: A Model for Analytical Collaboration
  • How Blended Learning Works
  • Should Students Have a Role in Setting Course Goals?
  • In-Class Writing: A Technique That Promotes Learning and Diagnoses Misconceptions
  • A Critique of Scaffolding
  • A Blog, a Physics Course, and a Change in Student Attitudes
  • When to Begin the End: The Role and Use of Summary in Course Design

If you’re looking to update an existing course, this report will give you sound strategies to consider.

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  • Educational Assessment
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  • Curriculum Development
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