Organization and course design
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Organization and Course Design. A Discussion on this Quality Assurance Course Design Principle Facilitated by: Rosemary Rowlands, University College & Paul Younghouse, Teaching and Learning Center. Is Your Course Convertible?.

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Organization and Course Design

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Organization and Course Design

A Discussion on this Quality Assurance Course Design Principle

Facilitated by:

Rosemary Rowlands, University College

&

Paul Younghouse, Teaching and Learning Center


Is Your Course Convertible?

  • On design, built “from the ground up,” from a recent BMW ad: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YVar_5PKYPE


A Recent Example of Course Design

  • Globalization and World Citizenship

    http://webcampus.fdu.edu/

    Username: fdu

    Password: fdu


Ways to Participate

  • CTLT Dialogues

    The Blog of the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology

    http://ctlt.wordpress.com/

  • FDU-QA Wiki – A Work in Progress

    https://fdu-qa.wikispaces.com/


I. “Meaningful” units

  • Implies a kind of audience analysis, and also needs analysis. What kind of audience takes this course? Why do they need the course? What are they expected/expecting to do with the learning at the end? In other words, what outcomes can be expected?

  • This analysis provides the basis for “chunking and sequencing”


Activity I:

  • Identify five popular films or television programs you might consider using in one of your courses


Discussion:

  • How do you know that a film or TV program will be meaningful for your students in the context of your course?

  • Are there differences in meaningfulness among the students? For example, majors vs. non-majors.

  • How much would be “meaningful?”


II. The organizational device:

This device is often (not always) discipline-bound and determines the sequence in which the material will unroll over the course of a semester or session.


Some common sequential paradigms:

  • Chronological sequencing: History and Literature Survey courses are often sequenced this way from an earlier to a later date.

  • Pyramidal sequencing: Language, Science, and Math Courses are often sequenced this way with a broad foundation being laid for ever more nuanced and difficult operations over the course of study.

  • Enchainment: A number of related units are to be studied or skills developed, but there is no special order in which they must be addressed or presented.


Activity II:Based on curricula in your discipline, program, or department (work with a partner preferably from a different discipline/department):

  • List three courses that require careful pyramidal sequencing;

  • List three courses that can be enchained relatively arbitrarily;

  • List three courses that usually follow a chronological sequence


Discussion:

  • Did you find that any of these courses needed a combination of organizational devices?

  • What kinds of transitions/connections can be made between/among units in these courses?


III. Levels of difficulty and complexity:

  • An excellent guide for considering difficulty and complexity is Bloom’s Taxonomy. Here’s a handy graphic:


Here are some verbs that describe intellectual activity on each level.

  • Knowledge: arrange, define, duplicate, label, list, memorize, name, order, recognize, relate, recall, repeat, reproduce state.

  • Comprehension: classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, restate, review, select, translate,

  • Application: apply, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, operate, practice, schedule, sketch, solve, use, write.

  • Analysis: analyze, appraise, calculate, categorize, compare, contrast, criticize, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, examine, experiment, question, test.

  • Synthesis: arrange, assemble, collect, compose, construct, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, organize, plan, prepare, propose, set up, write.

  • Evaluation: appraise, argue, assess, attach, choose compare, defend estimate, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value, evaluate.


Activity III: Referring to the verbs in the previous slide and based on one of your classes:

  • Devise Discussion Board questions or another Performance Task that will permit your students to “betray their mastery of the material” at each of the ascending levels of the taxonomy.


Discussion

  • Share some of your more brilliant questions.

  • How do these questions demand cognitive function at the given level of difficulty?


IV. Sequencing: The Final Chapter (the Stealth Factor)

  • However you decide a course should be designed and sequenced, there is one rule to keep in mind: Never violate the sequence of Bloom’s guide to the progression of cognitive skills. You can skip a level, but if you go from a higher order skill to a lower one, or if you move too quickly from a lower to higher order task, chaos will ensue. This implies, alas, that we must all be able to synthesize and evaluate our own material.


Activity IV: Create a mini-sequence for a 3-session course

  • Choose from among your own courses. Limit the sessions to three modules and provide a performance task for the students that:

    • Demonstrates that they have completed the module;

    • And addresses a higher order cognitive level than the previous module did.


Thank you!

We have enjoyed working with you today!

-Rosemary

Contact: [email protected]

X 2079

http://edweb.fdu.edu/faculty/RowlandsR/

And

-Paul

Contact: [email protected]


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