When it comes to course design, is the goal to help your students understand concepts, enable future retrieval of concepts, or enable future retrieval of concepts and apply them in real-world situations? To create more effective learning environments, and minimize forgetting, some faculty are turning to Situation-based Learning Design (SBLD), which aligns learning context with performance context.
Donna Saulsberry was in a bind. As an associate professor of computer and information technology at Doña Ana Community College, one of her jobs is to prepare her networking students for the Microsoft® Certified Systems Engineer certification test. Having survived a Microsoft certification boot camp herself, she began instructing her students in much the same way as she was taught: lecture, practice, and multiple choice tests.
Transformative learning—learning that changes what students know, how much they know, and what they are able to do with that knowledge—can occur inside and outside the classroom and need not be restricted to any particular discipline.
Unlike their college-level counterparts, those who teach at the K-12 level spend a significant portion of their education studying the “how” of teaching. What they learn can be invaluable to college professors who enter classrooms with vast content knowledge but little (or no) background in teaching and learning. As those who teach these teachers, we’d like to showcase five teaching strategies college professors can learn from those who teach younger students. […]
Most instructors supplement their face-to-face courses with some online learning materials such as online syllabi, handouts, PowerPoint slides, and course-related Web links. All of these can add to the learning experience, but they are merely a start to making full use of the learning potential of the online learning environment in either a hybrid or totally online course. Although there is no standard definition of a hybrid course, one characteristic that makes a course a hybrid is the use of the Web for interaction rather than merely as a means of posting materials, says LaTonya Motley, instructional technology specialist at El Camino Community College in California.
How do you get the best out of your online faculty? Don’t make them re-invent the wheel each time they create an online course. Let them do what they’re best at. Free them from administrative details. Do their work for them. Give them a course template.
As an instructor at a career-focused university, I thought I had experienced it all: great classes and bad classes, classes that ran smoothly and those that required firm management, classes that were a breeze and those that challenged my patience. Despite these experiences, I was unprepared for what became my best class, the one that most changed my outlook on teaching…
At a symposium about teaching projects on our campus, one group of faculty presented a set of projects they had done that involved giving students control over course design issues. The projects had grown out of a reading group that studied When Students Have Power by Ira Shor. The faculty presenters said that they let students design the syllabus and that the students typically created a rigorous course that was enhanced by the student ownership. I think I’m a student- and learning-centered teacher, but I’m also a teacher who has determined essentially all the course structure. So a few days before classes started, I decided NOT to spend my last few hours before the opening of the semester organizing, selecting, and deciding on syllabus issues, but to step (off a cliff?) into a world where students have power. Would chaos ensue if I gave students power in my general chemistry class?
Instructional Design: Six Strategies to Make Courses More Learner Centered Without Sacrificing Content
Concerns about covering content are legitimate, but they often block a whole family of techniques that more effectively involve students and promote learning. “I know I should do more active learning, but I have all this content to cover . . .” We routinely favor involving students but we do so understanding that the content-coverage dilemma confronts faculty with difficult decisions.