Curriculum Design

Refresh Your Course

"Refresh Your Course: Step-by-Step” (pdf) outlines the following steps, providing resources and specific suggestions at each step:

  • Identify your reason(s) for changing the course (student performance, obsolescence, new text, new techniques or tools, boring).
  • Gather ideas and resources.
  • Plan the changes (adding connections or case studies, increasing role of metacognition and/or active learning, updating assignments or reading, incorporating technology, etc.)
  • Plan the evaluation, implement changes, and evaluate outcomes.

Developing an Online Course

“Top 10 Rules for Developing Your First Online Course” (online article) explains ten practical considerations:

  • Provide extra detail in your online syllabus.
  • Begin with community building.
  • Design for the web.
  • Account for different systems.
  • If someone can say it better than you, then let them.
  • Use a consistent format.
  • Remember the workload parameters.
  • Provide content in different formats whenever possible.
  • Mix content and activities.
  • It takes longer than you think.

 

Taming the “Content Monster”

“Have You Tamed the Content Monster in Your Course?” (online article) addresses the problem of content “that increasingly balloons out of control each year as more and more content is added.” It suggests five practical strategies:

  • Focus on “threshold concepts” – critical concepts, ideas, and theories.
  • Re-position yourself as “content curator” rather than “content expert.”
  • Shift students from content “consumers” to content “contributors.” 
  • Use technology for out-of-class content coverage, saving class time for active engagement.
  • “Shift from ‘covering’ to ‘uncovering’ content through analysis, application, and problem-solving.” 

 

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