The Course Design Program is a facilitated 3-week blended program that uses evidence-informed practices to provide participants a supportive and meaningful environment to design or re-design a higher education course. The Course Design Program is offered within the EDU and is often interdisciplinary in nature due to a representation from different faculties across campus. Participants experience collaborative activities in class that focus on individuals’ course design that provide time and direction to write course outcomes, plan student assessment and select teaching and learning activities. Participants then analyze their course in finer detail with activities such as producing a concept map of their course content and conducting an initial learner analysis to inform course design decisions. The use of Desire2Learn provides participants a collaborative environment to share their work but also provide feedback to each other.
Participants leave the program with a solid course design that connects course outcomes, student assessment, and teaching and learning activities and evaluation of the course design. Recently, we have introduced a connection to NSSE to direct our focus and provide another piece of evidence from the UofC specifically to help provide context to course design.
Starting in January 2016 we have invited past participants or other instructors as guest presenters to share their expertise and experiences in course design. These presentations are directly related to concepts provide in this program and are intended to provide participants with practical strategies to implement.
Related Documentation and Materials
Course Design Manual: http://itsotlcweb01.ucalgary.ca/taylorinstitute/teaching-community/node/227
Example Participant Work
The Course Design Program uses a feedback form that collects both likert-scale and open ended questions for program evaluation. Overall, the program receives very positive feedback from participants and averages 4.4 or higher on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being very satisfied.
Participants share how valuable this program is for both new and experienced instructors as the program introduces current evidence-based theories and builds on the foundations of course design. Participants appreciate the discussions during class time that allows them to explore new ideas.
Quotes from Participants
“Very important to create excellent course delivery – even seasoned faculty should attend”
“Even if you have instructed for many years. This is a great opportunity to refresh your skills”
“The outcome-assessment alignment was really good. Lots of teaching and learning activity ideas.”
“I liked the pace: an in-class session every week followed by work at home and in-class work/discussions”
Reflection and Impact
Since it’s inception in 2008, over 330 participants have attended the course design program representing all faculties on campus as well from core services such as the library. In the past 3 years the program has consistently attracted over 40 participants a year.
The Course Design Program introduces the core foundations of course design that both new and experienced instructors can apply to their course design. Participants are also exposed to different approaches to course design through a variety of activities and sharing of experiences from different disciplines. We consistently review participant feedback and attempt to make small changes to improve the program. We review current literature and include where it will have the greatest impact. For example, to add personal value to the course design process we now include an activity early in the program based on appreciative inquiry that highlights participants teaching and learning values that we then encourage to include into their course design.
Project collaborators: Patrick Kelly, Lin Yu, Haboun Bair, Patti Dyjur, D’Arcy Norman
ePortfolio post authors: Patrick Kelly