Planning and Teaching a College Course

Developed by Professor Terry Doyle Ferris State University Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

Teaching is First and Foremost--

A

human to human interaction

The Most Important Thing to Remember about Teaching
It

is the one who does the work that does the learning!

Learner Centered Teaching
 Each

decision made about how the course will be taught is made with the idea in mind that the decision should optimize the opportunity for the students to learn the material.

The Two Crucial Parts of Effective Teaching
Planning
    

Building Relationships
 Communication  Supporting  Challenging  Choice  Feedback

Learning Outcomes Learning Objectives Action Plans Resources Assessments

Planning and Teaching a College Course
Decisions about Teaching
Skills

Behaviors Methods, Assignments Evaluations

Content

Thinking

Planning and Teaching a College Course

Three roles that a college teacher takes on: Planner Relationship Builder Evaluator
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Step One What are Students Expected to Learn in this Course?

Identify all of the major elements ( content, skills, behaviors and thinking processes) that you want the students to learn.

Sources for Gathering this Information  curriculum guide  previous instructor’s syllabus  discussions with other instructors  textbooks  self expertise

Major Elements of a Course
 For
   

Example—Major Elements EDUC 443

Developing reading guides Understanding how a child learns to read Understanding common reading disabilities Writing Effective Questions that promote proper levels of thinking How to talk with parents about the reading problems of their children(behavior)

Step Two Topics
 Make

a list of the topics, ideas, concepts, skills and behaviors with in these elements you think need to be taught

Decisions about Teaching
Skills

Behaviors Methods, Assignments Evaluations

Content

Thinking

Topics
 Example  Major
– – – – –

Element--How children learn to read

A. Definition of reading B. Eye Health/physical health C. Text impact/syntax/vocabulary D. Home Environment E. Common Errors

Step Two -- Topics

Refine the list to include only those topics that are most important
...

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Step Three Sub topics

    

From each of these topics break the information into subtopics—these subtopics will become your daily lessons Major Element How a child learns to read Topic Eye health/Physical health Subtopics Common eye diseases Eye tests Language development Childhood diseases and reading

Step Four—Develop Learning Outcomes for the Major Elements

From these major categories write a set of learning outcomes for the course Learning Outcomes have four (4) parts Who will do the learning? When will the learning be completed? What will they learn? How will you know that they learned it?

   

Learning Outcomes

Examples By the end of the semester (WHEN) students ( WHO) will demonstrate through their written work and class presentations (HOW) the major steps a child takes in learning to read. (WHAT) By the end of the semester students will demonstrate through tests their ability to use an established clinical reasoning process to diagnosis a patients illness.

Learning Outcomes
Most

courses have between 5-10 learning outcomes

Step Five Develop a Course Time Line

Organize the Elements/Outcomes into a course time line — Which outcomes will you teach first, second, third and so on.
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Step Five

 For

each Element estimate the amount of class time you will need to teach this material— this could be hours or days
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Step Five

Take each topic/subtopic under element one (for example) and estimate how much class time you will need to teach it. This is the first step in building a lesson plan

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Time Estimates for Lesson Planning
 Major
 Topics  Reader’s

Category--The Reading Process

Health -1 hour  Reading Environment -1hour  Text -2hours  Reader’s Background Knowledge -3hours  * This time estimate should include assessment time

Time Estimates
A

3 credit course has only 45 hours of class time so much of the learning the students will do will be outside the class to use class time for the most important elements of the course—those that need your expertise

 Plan

Step Six Choose a Teaching Method

For each topic under element one decide what approach you will use to teach this material Example--LectureThe definition of lecture is to talk to students about those ideas, concepts etc. that they cannot learn on their own

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Step Six Other Teaching Methods
      

Demonstrations Small or large group discussion/activity Student presentations Guest speaker Film/video Field Trips Students Teaching each Other
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Context in which the Course is Taught Impacts Teaching Decisions

Recognize that the Context of the Course will influence your teaching decisions Number of students Design of classroom Role of the course in the curriculum Number of days per–week it meets On-Line or face to face or both Characteristics of the student population-i.e. first-year or fourth year

     

Step Seven--Resources

      

Then make a list of what materials you will need to teach this topic Lecture notes Picture/image/graphic Videos/movies Problems or cases Physical material Overheads/Power Points Handouts

Step Eight—Students’ Roles

Next decide what the students will do to learn this material.
– – – – – – –

Read in advance of the teaching Read after the teaching Assignments that follow the teaching Study for quiz/test Work in groups Make presentations Take Notes

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Step Nine Evaluation of the Learning

How will you evaluate the students’ learning of this material?

 Formative
    

Evaluations

Ungraded feedback Class discussion Individual student questioning One to one interactions Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT’s)

Step Nine Evaluation of the Learning

Summative Evaluations
      

Quizzes Tests Cumulative Exams Presentations/Individual or Group Portfolios Papers Cases/Problem Solving

Step Nine

What will be the criteria for the evaluation? Rubrics defining your expectations Grading scale Peers evaluating peers Teacher expertise Predetermined standards National Standards Industry Standards
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      

Step Ten Giving Feedback to Students

How will you give feedback?
Written responses Orally individually or as a group Rubric with comments What will you ask the students to do with the feedback? How will students use the feedback to improve?

   

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Part Two - Teachers as Relationship Builders

Relationships are the key to Creating Classroom Community Know your students names This is a sign of respect It says I value the relationship

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Step One- Creating Community

How do I create community in the classroom?

Establish relationships— teachers to students and peer to peer

Create an atmosphere of safety and trust by giving up some control and giving students more choices

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Step One- Creating Community

How do I motivate my students to want to succeed? Find out what is already motivating them.
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Step Two-Gather Information

 Gather

as much information as possible on what your students know, how they learn, and what the students think their role is in the learning process. assume that students enter the course with the necessary background needed to learn everything.

 Don’t

Ways to Gather Information
 Ice

breakers  Background Questionnaires  Individual Conferences  Pre-tests  Writing about Strengths and Weaknesses  Brainstorming

Step Three Identify what will be Difficult

Identify the complex and difficult parts of the course and look for ways to make the material connect to students’ backgrounds.

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Step Four Connecting to Students’ Backgrounds

Work to develop examples, analogies, metaphors, images, graphic organizers and stories that create bridges to the students’ background information.

Ask Students Questions
Continually ask student to be involved in their learning :  Ask students to explain things to each other  Ask what they need more help in
 Ask

what is working or not working for them

Ask Students Questions
 Ask

what are the best ways to evaluate them them how they know they are right

 Ask  Ask

them to put the new information into their own words* very important

Step Five Keep Records

Keep records of what works Why did it work What if any changes need to be made to make it better
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Part Three Evaluation

Nothing drives learning more than evaluation (Boud, 1995)

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Step One Informal Evaluation

Use formative evaluation processes.

Learner–Centered means using formative evaluations—mostly informal and ungraded feedback that creates growth and development of the learner.

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Step One Informal Evaluation

Make the learners use the feedback to demonstrate they have improved as a result of the feedback

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Step Two Formal Evaluation
Use summative evaluation processes that are in harmony with: 1. your learning outcomes

2. the skills and content that was taught, 3. the cognitive level at which it was taught.
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Step Two

Develop evaluations that tell you what you want to know about what the students have learned. Make them as authentic as possible

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Step Two

Give enough evaluations to have a valid picture of what the students have learned.

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Step Two

Give cumulative evaluations to insure students have truly learned the information.

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Step Two

Try to evaluate students through methods that let the students show you what they know in ways that are best for them.

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Grading Process
The Grading process is socially constructed and context dependent — meaning no system is always right by some indisputable standard
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Grading Accuracy

Complete objectivity is a myth Our job is to render an informed and professional judgment to the best of our ability

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Grading Assignments

Spend enough time to make a thoughtful and professional judgment and then move on

Studies show that faculty within the same discipline will grade the same work differently Even the same professor will grade a piece of a student’s work differently at different times

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Grading System
 Ferris

has far too academically diverse a student population to use normative grading practices appropriate grading system would be criterion based— A grade is determined by the degree of success a student had in learning the outcomes established for the course.

 An

Grading Systems
 There

is no university-wide required grading system. There is published system that can be used as a model faculty use a point system that weights various assignments and test as percentages of the final grade.

 Most

Grading

Research on grading makes a clear point that no single assessment is by itself, an accurate predictor of what a student may have learned in a course The best grading systems have numerous assessments of different kinds( papers, presentation, discussions, quizzes, tests, cases etc.) A test or assignment is only a valid measure if it elicits from your students the kinds of learning you want to measure

Classroom Management

Your first and most important job as a teacher is to maintain the learning environment of the classroom so it is always optimized for learning

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Classroom Management

The classroom should be a community of learners The community needs a set of guidelines that helps it to function to its best ability These guidelines are best developed in consultation with the students (the community members)

Classroom Management
  

Key elements for effective management 1.Enforce all rules equally to all members 2.Do not ignore behaviors that disrupt the learning environment 3. Try to limit the number of changes that you make in class structure (due dates, late work etc.)

Classroom Management

Never

attribute to malice what you can attribute to ignorance

Writing Tests
 Even

the most experienced college teacher does not write tests that are highly reliable and valid— tells us only about those items we ask about—it is difficult to draw fair assumptions about students’ understanding beyond the items on the test

 Tests

Writing Tests
 1.

Write (or at least draft) tests questions the day you teach the material

 2.

Give students a practice test prior to the first test of the semester—this will improve the validity of the first test

Writing Tests
 3.

Have a peer preview your test for clarity and accuracy Don’t be afraid to throw out questions that were misunderstood by students Test cumulatively

 4.

 5.

Syllabus

A syllabus is a contract between the teacher and the student It indicates what the teacher is promising to provide to the student in terms of content and skills It indicates the ways in which the content and skills will be offered and assessed

Syllabus

It outlines the rules, guidelines and expectations for the students—including any activities that go beyond the usual classroom activities ( field trips, conferences, service learning activities)

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