Effective teaching begins with effective course design, which takes advantage of the growing body of research about how people learn. For a thorough treatment of the course design process, go to the Cutting Edge pages on Designing Effective and Innovative Courses, which include a Course Design Tutorial and a Course Goals and Syllabi database. NOTE: Each of these links opens in a new window, because they take you off of the Cutting Edge "Early Career" Teaching pages, to the Cutting Edge "Course Design" pages.
Additional Course Design Resources
- Integrating Research into Courses is a wonderful overview of why and how you can integrate aspects of original research into courses at any level, and includes an extensive list of references as well.
- Some Students Will... is a post on the Earth and Mind blog that focuses on writing learning objectives.
- Articles from the Tomorrow's Professor Mailing List:
- Designing Courses briefly describes learning-centered course design, in which the teacher designing the course first identifies the learning goals of the course, and then "works backwards:" figuring out how best to help students achieve these goals.
- Science Education for Everyone: Why and What? addresses the question of what general science education every student ought to have – particularly those who will never become scientists.
- Building Cognitive Assemblies: An Exercise in Course Design is a model for course design based on the premise, "You are not done preparing a course when you can't fit any more material into it, you are done when you can't take any more material out of it."
- Supporting Student Success Through Scaffolding describes and gives examples of five scaffolding strategies to help novice learners. Novice learners, like construction workers, need structures of temporary support during their efforts to build something new; once the initial phase of construction is in place, the scaffolds can be withdrawn.
- Eleven Things You Could Start Doing Today for the Benefit of Your Students' Writing describes a list of simple practices that can transform the ways you assign, discuss, and comment on student work.