Foundation for Developing A Student Centered Learning Syllabus

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Transcript Foundation for Developing A Student Centered Learning Syllabus

Foundation for Developing A
Student Centered Learning
Syllabus for Your Course
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This presentation has been adapted with permission from
Dr. Gayle Brazeau, the State University of New York at Buffalo.
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• Designing your course and developing your
course syllabus
• Developing course outcomes and objectives
• Important considerations in your course
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Resource List
• Books
• Web Sites
• Teaching and
• Other Programs
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Key: Effective Syllabus
 Work Done Prior to Putting
Syllabus On Paper
 Anticipate Student
Questions and Concerns
 It is Your Blue Print for
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Best Teachers
“Promising Syllabus”
Provides the promises and opportunities the course
offers to students.
Provides the students with a description of what
they will be doing to achieve these promises.
Provides students with the methods by which they
can understand their learning.
“Learner Centered Syllabus”
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Key Questions
Prior to Organizing Your Class
 Where does the class fit into the curriculum of
your department/ college/ school?
 What is the level of your students?
 What are the courses your students will have
prior to your course?
 How many students will you be involved with in
this course?
 What are the desired learning outcomes for your
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Where Does Your Course Fit?
• Course Ability-based Outcomes
• Department Educational Outcomes
• Mission Statement of the College Accreditation
Standards Guidelines
• Mission of the College
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Teaching Goals Inventory
• Developed Thomas Angelo and Patricia Cross
• Goal for Faculty Members
– Become more aware of what you want to
accomplish with your course
– What are the best classroom assessment
techniques and activities
– Starting point for discussion with faculty
• Community of Educators
• Online:
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What are Ability Based Outcomes (ABO)?
Integration of
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ABO is NOT an
Objective/ Competency
Integration of knowledge,
skills, values
and attitudes.
Objective/ Competency
Relatively specific, atomistic
and discrete.
Often one and/ or two
component/s of an ABO
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Write, List, Label, Name, State,
Explain, Summarize, Paraphrase,
Describe, Illustrate
Use, Compute, Solve, Demonstrate
Apply, Construct
Analyze, Categorize, Compare,
Contrast, Separate
Create, Design, Hypothesis,
Invent, Develop
Judge, Recommend, Critique,
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Starting Point ABO
Writing Objectives
---ABCD Approach
 A for Audience—Who are your learners?
 B for Behavior– What do you expect them to
 C for Condition—What will the student be
given or expected to know to accomplish
 D for Degree—How much will be accomplished
or needed to be performed?
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What about Class Activities?
• Outcome – Clear picture of what the
student will be able to do
• Practice – The assignments or
opportunities to practice what you
want them to be able to do
• Criteria – Are indicators of what will
be a successful performance
• Feedback – Recommendations on how
the student could improve
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Choosing Learning Activities
 What type of facilities
or classroom do you
 How large is the class?
 What is your own
teaching style or
 Where are you in the
--Takes time for students
to get use to these
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General Guidelines - Syllabus
Focused on “Student Learning”
“You” versus “The Student”
Being involved or an active participant in the
Easy to read and follow
Organized with appropriate headings
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Goal: Enhance Student Learning
 Provide the foundation for the course
 Pre-Requisites and other knowledge or skills you
assume students know prior to this class
 Facilitate Student Learning
 What is needed for successful completion?
Logistics of the course
How long will assignments take in your estimation
 Reduce test anxiety and exam taking skills
Sample Examination
Sample examination with components of the
 Assignments, Activities, Concerts, Programs
 Relevant Handouts or Readings
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Syllabus is Not a Static Document
Can change over the
How change should be
outlined early
 Too much change
Better to wait until
next year
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More is Better?
Personal Decision
 Departmental Expectations
 How much you incorporate in the syllabus?
 Clearer the syllabus
Avoid Student Confusion
Avoid Issues with Grading
Avoid Issues with Assignments or other
 Too much – does it limit your flexibility during
the semester?
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Before Final Version and Class
• Ask a colleague review your syllabus- Is it
• Discuss your course outcomes with others!
• Develop syllabus
– Put away and come back to see if you are
missing anything or is it clear
– Look at it from the your student’s
• Check for errors – This is your student’s
first impression of you and your class!
• Post or make available for the first day of
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In Class – Day 1 and Beyond
 Day 1 is Critical
Spend time - explain the format and design
Go over pertinent points
 Beyond and into the semester
Make it a living, useful document
Are you heading towards the course
Refer to syllabus as needed for assignments and
Modify components as needed
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Remember You are NOT ALONE
Like research - share and
discuss teaching issues,
dilemmas and successes!
– Work Together!
– Ask questions!
– Read!
– Attend local or national
meetings of similar
Teaching and curriculum is an
evolutionary process
Incorporate new technologies
Implementing new techniques
can involve scaling the wall
and taking risks!
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Teaching and Learning Center, University at Buffalo
The Center for Teaching and Learning, Stanford
Center for Teaching and Learning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Illinois at Chicago
Center 4 Teaching and Learning, Wright State University
Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota
Center for Teaching and Learning, Cornell University
Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University
The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Florida,
Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education, University of Pittsburgh,
Other Available Programs
Case Studies in Teaching, The National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Case Collection, University at Buffalo
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K. Bain, What the Best College Teachers Do, Harvard University Press, 2004
S.A. Baiocco and J.N. DeWaters, Successful College Teaching, Allyn and Bacon, 1998
R.A. Berk, Humor as an Instructional Defibrillator: Evidence-Based Techniques in Teaching and Assessment, Stylus,
R.A. Berk, Professors are from Mars, Students are from Snickers, Stylus, 2003
B.G. Davis, Tools for Teaching, Jossey Bass, 1993
J.R. Davis Interdisciplinary Teaching: New Arrangements for Learning, Oryx Press, 1995
R.M. Diamond, Designing and Assessing Courses & Curriculum: A Practical Guide, Chapter 13 Developing a
Learning-Centered Syllabus, Jossey-Bass, 1998, 191-202
W.J. McKeachie ad M. Svinicki, McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research and Theory for College and
University Teachers, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006
D. Kennedy, Academic Duty, Havard University Press, 1999
P. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Mind, John Wiley and Sons, 1997 (10
Year Anniversary Version with CD
R. Pausch and J. Zaslow, The Last Lecture, Hyperion Books, New York 2008,
Web Sites
Writing Course Objectives and Program Objectives
How to Write Clear Objectives - Penn State
Bloom et al.'s Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain
Teaching Goals Inventory
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