Course Design: What the Big Picture?

Report
Lia Conklin Olson
Objectives of the Session
Upon conclusion of the workshop, participants will
be able to:
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Articulate the processes needed to design a course
Discuss needs assessment tools & how they inform course
design
Use backwards design to articulate the content that meets
learner needs
Form clear course objectives and goals
Discuss course assessment tools
Organize course content for instructional delivery
Conceptualize a course syllabus to communicate course
objectives & timeline to students
Objectives Task
Please look over the objectives on your handout, and
rate your proficiency for each AT THIS POINT
(We’ll return to these at the end!)
Warm-up
Why do we do what we do?
Who are the stakeholders in what
we do?
What’s at Stake?
 Promoting Learner Transitions to Postsecondary
Education and Work: Developing Academic Readiness
Skills from the Beginning: Betsy Parrish and Kimberly
Johnson, Hamline University, St. Paul, Minnesota
April 2010
 Study of instructional alignment surveyed MN ABE
instructors and college & university faculty in the fields
of developmental education, health care, and trades and
technical education.
 To identify expected skills at postsecondary level and
types of skills taught in ABE classes
Instructional Gap
 Responses showed that many academic skills expected
of postsecondary students are receiving limited
attention in ABE programs
 Reading
 Listening
 Organizing information
 Taking notes
 Thinking critically
Why do we do what we do?
 Look at the Transitions Wordle
 Turn to the people around you and discuss these
questions:
 Which words are most prominent?
 Which words represent the needs of your students?
 Which words represent what you do in the classroom?
Course Design Processes
 Think about your prior experience with course design
or lesson planning. What processes have you used?
Assessing Needs
Different types of needs
 Program needs / requirements
 Target needs
 Student considerations
 What needs assessments do you already use?
 How do they inform your teaching?
Course Goals
Identify desired results…
 Goal: Improve CASAS scores
 Goal: Align course with CASAS life skill themes and
competencies
 Goal: Make life skills more authentic/applicable
 Result: Life-skills theme-based curriculum with
highlighted CASAS competencies and real-life tasks
Learning Targets
 Share your course’s learning targets.
 Discuss why those targets were chosen.
 Are they still priorities for your course?
 Are there other skills that merit an “I can” statement?
Course Goals
Determine acceptable evidence…
 CASAS test scores
 Student demonstrations of life-skills tasks scored with
a rubric
 Student self-evaluations pre/post unit
 Benchmark tests for language modalities
Assessments
 Discuss and evaluate the tools you developed/are
developing to assess the Learning Targets.
 Have they been effective? Why or why not?
 Is the level of mastery required appropriate for the level
of instruction?
 Other?
Housing Unit Example
Section Product 0.5
Section Product 6
*Set unit goals &
action steps;
*Numeracy: Write
out checks for bills; Practice test-taking
Measure the
perimeter of a room. Final Product
Section Product 1
* Label a floor plan
with rooms &
furniture
* Complete a
simulation of looking
for an apartment,
Section Product 5
talking to a manager,
*Practice valuable and filling out a rental
work skills within the
application.
housing career field.
Section Product 4
* Ask & answer
questions about
specific rentals with
an apartment
manager.
Section Product 2
* Ask classmates
about what items
they have in their
homes.
Section Product 3
* Ask & answer
questions about
housing problems
Course Goals
Organizing and Sequencing the
Content
 Housing Unit Example – Product-based Design
 Started with language-modalities-based
curriculum
 Aligned it with CASAS competencies
 Added authentic life skills goals: Housing Unit
 Embedded work skills and soft skills:
Final Housing Unit
Organizing and Sequencing Task
 Imagine that you’re teaching a Business English class.
The final student product is to type and present an
outline or power point of a viable business plan.
 Think about what content (skills, language, etc.)
students need in order to complete the product.
 Choose one of the templates, and begin to organize
the content you’ve just brainstormed.
Conceptualizing Content
What could be included in a course?
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Skills: reading, writing listening, speaking
Competencies (life skills)
Functions
Grammar
Pronunciation
Vocabulary, jargon, slang, idioms
Learning strategies: journals, word webs
Study skills: research, test taking, note taking
Paralinguistic features: body language, gestures, non-verbals
Cultural competence
Soft skills
Transitions skills: self-management, navigating complex systems
Others?
Organizing and Sequencing Task
Jigsaw
 In a small group look at the curriculum document
example you were given and answer the questions on
your handout.
 Now form a new group composed of one member of
each of the previous groups. Share your curriculum
document and evaluation. What do the other
members of your new group think?
 What documents are good models for the course you’re
planning? How would you tweak them? Take notes on
your Curriculum Design Plan of Action.
Formulating Goals and Objectives
 What are some basic “how-to’s” for writing learning
goals & objectives?
 Long-term vs. short-term goals: Level of specificity
 Measurable “verbs”
 SWBAT: Students will be able to…
 Think back to the Business English class. Write 1
general goal. Then write 3 more specific goals.
Course Organization
 Use a template of your choice or your own design to
begin organizing the structure of your curriculum
 Help each other out…
 Ask for help…
 Have fun!!
Course Syllabus Examples
 Look at three examples of a course syllabus.
 Who is the intended “audience” of each syllabus?
 What components does each syllabus contain?
 Which components do you feel are important for a
syllabus to have?
Course Syllabus Components
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Course name, time, start & end date, etc.
Teacher name & contact info
Learning Targets
Other skill sets: technology, life skills, transitions skills, etc.
(Course content skills)
Themes
Timelines
Expectations for students
Materials
Assessments
Progress indicators (communicate progress to student)
Course Syllabus Brainstorm
 Take a few minutes to think about and jot down some
ideas about your course syllabus.
 What components will your syllabus have?
 How will you organize those components?
 Any ideas yet for timeline of course content?
 How will you share student progress with them?
Objectives of the Session
Upon conclusion of the workshop, participants will
be able to:







Articulate the processes needed to design a course
Discuss needs assessment tools & how they inform course
design
Use backwards design to articulate the content that meets
learner needs
Form clear course objectives and goals
Discuss course assessment tools
Organize course content for instructional delivery
Conceptualize a course syllabus to communicate course
objectives & timeline to students
Thank You!

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