syllabus and course design

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  1. 1. A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH Syllabus and Course Design By the end of this lesson, you will be able to Compare aspects of course design with those of a research project Define key elements of a learner-centered syllabus Formulate a syllabus for a course in your discipline ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  2. 2. Steps in Planning a research project: Determine possible funding agencies and their interests Choose objectives based on these interests as well as your expertise and interests Choose scope and content based on time and money constraints, as well as the needs of your academic community a course: Determine background and interests of students Choose objectives based on these backgrounds, on knowledge and skills appropriate to teach, as well as your expertise and interests Choose scope and content based on time and money constraints, as well as the needs of your academic unit (typically a department) ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  3. 3. Steps in Planning, continued a research project: Develop research plan to achieve objectives (theoretical work, experimental work, etc); design experiments, methods for data analysis and interpretation Develop project evaluation plan; disseminate findings (papers, presentations, etc.) Prepare final proposal based on above. a course: Develop learning experiences to achieve objectives (lectures, in-class activities, group projects, readings, homework) Plan feedback and evaluation of student learning through tests, written reports and other assessments Prepare syllabus based on above ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  4. 4. Student Backgrounds Determine the backgrounds and interests of the students who are likely to enroll A priori knowledge is very important in learning Prior knowledge is often inaccurate, missing, or incomplete Students have trouble organizing information, which gets in the way of learning They are novices, not experts ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  5. 5. Course Objectives Choose objectives based on students backgrounds and interests, on the knowledge and skills you decide are appropriate to teach, as well as your expertise and interests Also consider needs of department (accreditation requirements, knowledge and skills for follow-on courses, etc.) ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  6. 6. Blooms Revised Taxonomy The Knowledge Dimension The Cognitive Process Dimension Remember Understand Apply Analyze Evaluate Create Factual Knowledge List Summarize Classify Order Rank Combine Conceptual Knowledge Describe Interpret Experiment Explain Assess Plan Procedural Knowledge Tabulate Predict Calculate Differentiate Conclude Compose Meta-Cognitive Knowledge Appropriate Use Execute Construct Achieve Action Actualize From Blooms Taxonomy, Mary Forehand, University of Georgia http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Bloom%27s_Taxonomy ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  7. 7. Course Objectives similar to Learning Objectives but more general By the end of this course, the student will be able to This is followed by an action word Use action words grouped by Blooms Taxonomy as a guide For a 3-credit course, there could be as many as 10 12 overall course objectives (and as many as 40 specific learning objectives within lessons) ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  8. 8. The Role of the Syllabus The syllabus serves as a contract with the students The promising syllabus (rather than the demanding one) will present objectives as promises and opportunities that the course offers to students (You will be doing Heres what you will be able to learn/achieve) The syllabus goes on to identify what the students have to do to realize those promises (requirements), allowing students to maintain a sense of control over their education It should summarize how the instructor and the student will evaluate the progress of learning ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  9. 9. Reasons for Writing Course Objectives Identify critical course material Organize presentation Allot appropriate time per topic Identify and delete extraneous course material Facilitate construction of in-class activities, out-of- class assignments, and tests Assure comprehensive approach to course and coordinated assessments Exercise all Blooms levels ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  10. 10. Reasons for Writing Course Objectives Tell faculty colleagues what they can expect students who pass this course to be able to do Teachers of follow-on courses New instructors, adjunct instructors Curriculum planning committees Accreditation coordinators ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  11. 11. Learner-Centered Syllabus Expression of learning rationale and goals Teacher accessibility Collaborative opportunities Feedback processes Grades Respective roles of teachers and students Policy focus versus outcome focus Experiential opportunities ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  12. 12. The Syllabus What must be included: Course number, name, semester Instructors name, office number Information on accessing instructor (office hours, email policy, etc.) Attendance policy Teaching assistants names, offices, office hours Course description Prerequisites, departmental restrictions Required texts and materials (computer requirements, etc.) Policies and procedures for assignments and grading Honor Code and Academic Integrity statements Accommodations for students with disabilities Equal opportunity statement (Title XI requirements) Be sure to check your universitys requirements for what goes into a syllabus ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  13. 13. The Syllabus What may be included: Topical outline and/or concept map Course objectives Specific learning objectives for each lesson/topic Dates for tests, drop/add deadlines Assignment schedule Supplementary references What other ideas do you have? What have you seen on a syllabus that was helpful? What ways can a syllabus be organized that are helpful? ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  14. 14. Examples of Syllabi All course syllabi at Clemson must be posted each semester in the Syllabus Repository as part of our institutional assessment materials: http://www.clemson.edu/assessment/syllabus_repo sitory/ Group discussion and critiques of syllabi In groups of 2 4 (preferably with others in your discipline or a related discipline), find a syllabus on the Syllabus Repository in your discipline or a related discipline. Critique the syllabus based on required elements and aspects of learner-centeredness. Suggest ways to improve the syllabus. ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  15. 15. A note about academic integrity Students, especially freshmen, are often confused and/or conflicted about what constitutes cheating Excerpt from Chapter 6 of My Freshman Year by Rebekah Nathan Discussion points: What aspects of course, syllabus and lesson design can help avoid academic integrity infractions? ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015
  16. 16. Syllabus Assignment Write a syllabus for the course that your final project (microteaching and report) falls within Include all required syllabus elements for your university At Clemson University, these guidelines can be found at http://media.clemson.edu/administration/ugs/class-regs.pdf Consider class discussions (syllabus best practices brainstorming, syllabus critiques, academic integrity) Submit to the Syllabus assignment on Blackboard (within Module 3, Lesson 2) ESED 8200 Online Summer 2015