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Steps Toward Redesigning Your Traditional Course

Course Objectives

Alicia Tucker

Alicia Tucker - Instructor, History

Find your Course Content Summary.

Consider what students should learn in your course. Make a list of objectives. Choose one objective at a time to work on.

Sample Course Objectives:

  • Math 151: Perform operations on sets and Venn diagrams and solve problems utilizing set operations.
  • English 112: Recognize and employ different parts of an argument including concession, refutation and confirmation.

For help with writing assignments corresponding to your Course Objectives, see Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives.

Learning Activities

Now think about a few Learning Activities (that can be face to face or online) that you typically use in class. Make a list.

Sample Learning Activities:

Lecture, class discussion, writing workshop, peer review, exercises, drill and practice, case studies; simulations, debates, student presentations, lab work problem solving

Blending Face to Face and/or Online

Once you have decided on your objective and have a few learning activities in mind, decide how you will blend the instruction effectively through face-to-face and/or online activities. Face-to-face and online learning activities should be integrated and interwoven, feeding back and supporting one another (see Comparison Worksheet).

Sequence the Blend

Divide learning activities into discreet sections:

  • before class (online)
  • during class (face to face)
  • after (online)

During Face-to-Face Class

  • Engage students during the class: activities, questions, discussions, group work, etc.
  • Lecturing should be kept to a minimum: 10-15 mini-lectures.

After Face-to-Face Class

  • Create assignments for student reflection and contact with material:
    • Short writing assignments
    • Homework problems
    • Online quizzes
    • Write test questions

Sample Redesign Transformation: English 112

Course Objective:
Recognize and employ different parts of an argument including concession.

  1. Different Learning Activities that could be used to achieve the objective:
    • Mini-lecture on the “concession” in an argument,
    • Reading assignment: “concession” examples in editorial arguments
    • Class Discussion of reading about “concession”
    • Class debate: practice arguing and “concession”
    • Writing assignment: write a “concession” and peer review
  2. Face to Face or Online / The Blend:
    • Face to Face: Mini-lecture on the “concession” in an argument (face to face – short lecture so I can answer questions and confusions, so I can see their faces, eye contact.)
    • Online: Reading assignment and online discussion: “concession” examples (out of class assigned reading and online discussion)
    • Face to Face: Class Debate: (face to face – students assigned sides in class; play devil’s advocate; practice their “concessions”)
    • Online: Online Reflection (online—students write reflection on the face-to-face debate on Discussion Board
    • Homework: Writing assignment (out of class homework - students write the “concession”part of their argument)
    • Face to Face: Writing assignment due (face-to-face peer review of their “concession”)

Adapted from a similar document by Ike Shibley Penn State University - Berks