CETLUniversity of Cincinnati


Course Design: The Practical

Semester Conversion Support

Fine Tuning

  • Be careful to make meaningful, well-considered changes, taking into account proper assessment, and how to go about addressing change.

  • Consider getting early semester feedback to assess your students' learning.

Faculty Course Development Workshops

The Practical 1: The Teaching Syllabus

The Practical 2: Pacing

  • 10 Key Points for Rethinking Your Course
  • Assessment shows that most students need feedback within the first three weeks of a course
  • Rethink numbers of exams, assignments, etc.  Traditional midterm and final may not be the best for student learning (Students would have to retain 8 weeks rather than 5 weeks of material for midterm and final)

The Practical 3: Early Term Student Feedback

The Practical 4: Student Engagement, Rethinking Lecture & Class Time

  • Don't throw the baby out: lecturing can be effective
  • Consider retooling lectures for the new pace of semesters
  • Work to identify circumstances under which lecturing stops being effective
  • Find and develop alternative strategies that make use of content you've already developed
  • Consider your uses, and types, of student assessment such as Classroom Assessment Techniques (an intro to CATs via the Schreyer Institute). Are there more informal, low stakes opportunities for you to assess and improve your students' learning (see here)?

The Practical 5: Alternative Teaching Strategies

The Practical 6: Articles on Teaching Worth Your Time

  • Dee Fink's A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning: A step-by-step guide to integrated course design, which will help you create effective and achievable learning experiences for your students.
  • Metacognition and Student Learning: This Chronicle of Higher Education article illustrates the importance of early and on-going formative assessments feedback for students and how it helps students improve their understanding and perform better on exams and other high-stakes assignments.
  • Standing Up for Teaching: Read how faculty in the STEM disciplines at Johns Hopkins are integrating active-learning approaches in their courses to improve (already terrific) retention and graduate rates.