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Make the Most of Your Course Preparation Time This Summer

Posted by on Thursday, June 5, 2014 in News, Resource.

Summer time is here, and many faculty members have a break from their usual schedules, a chance to slow down a bit and start planning their fall courses.

If you have a breather, you may find this an opportune time to review and refresh your teaching plans and practices.  The Center for Teaching is open all summer, with consultants ready to help you review your classroom accomplishments this past year and consider how to recreate your course designs.

We tailor our consultations to your specific needs, based on a “backward design” process described in Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.  This useful framework works “backwards” by starting with what we usually consider the last phase of course development, the desired results.  Identifying the outcomes you want from the course—the learning goals you set for your students—lays a solid foundation for an effective learning experience.  Then you proceed to creating targeted assessments that provide evidence that they’re making progress toward those specific goals.

You end by designing assignments and activities that give your students practice in using their learning to initiate that progress.  In sum, you

  • Identify desired results (learning goals).
  • Determine acceptable evidence (assessments).
  • Plan learning experiences and instruction (assignments and activities).

Come in today and we’ll help you fine-tune your current designs or create brand-new courses.  Call 322-7290 to schedule an appointment.

In addition to consultation, the CFT website contains a wealth of useful resources like our collection of guides, online documents in which we synthesize and condense some of the research and resulting practices of specific topics in teaching and learning. These guides support our mission by contributing to two main areas in our programs and services:

  • Identifying, sharing, and advocating for research-based practices in university teaching and the resources that support them, and
  • Fostering campus conversations on teaching and learning that are informed by national and international higher education developments.

Visit the CFT website and discover new ways to structure and organize content, evaluate student learning, and create activities to better engage students with the course material. Our 68 guides are organized into five categories.

Some of our more recently added guides include:

We have an ongoing process of revising existing guides and developing new ones, so keep your eyes open for announcements here and on our blog. If you have any questions or comments, or if we can help facilitate a conversation using any of our guides, please contact us at 322-7290.

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