PSYC 400 Chapter 10: Course Design

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29 Dec 2020
Week 10: Course Design
Course design through constructive alignment (University of Guelph)
Constructive alignment: approach to course design that begins with the end in mind
o Assumes outcomes improved substantially when course learning outcomes, assessment
methods, teaching/learning activities intentionally aligned
Students must be provided with opportunities to actively select and cumulatively construct own
5 curriculum recommendations to maximize quality of learning -> Develop courses to provide
students with materials, tasks, experiences which…
o Are authentic, real-world and relevant
o Are constructive, sequential, interlinked
o Require students to use and engage with progressively higher order cognitive processes
o Are aligned with each other and the desired learning outcomes
o Provide challenge, interest, motivation to learn
5 principles of course design:
o Challenge higher level of learning by defining objectives at high cognitive level
o Use active forms of learning
o Give frequent and immediate feedback
o Use structured sequence of teaching and learning activities to scaffold learning
o Use objective and fair systems of grading and assessment
Assessment tasks should hold together and sequences all other course components
o Plan teaching/learning activities that best support active and deep approach to learning
Integrated Course Design (Fink, 2003)
Knowledge of subject matter, decisions about purpose and nature of learning,
interactions with students, management of entire instructional event degree to
which these are performed well directly affects quality of learning experience
1. Identify situational factors
o Specific context of teaching/learning situation how many students, course level,
length/frequency of class meetings, whether delivered online or in-person
o General context of learning situation learning expectations of school
o Nature of subject primarily theoretical vs. practical vs. combination?
o Learner characteristics prior knowledge, life situations i.e. work, family responsibility
o Teacher characteristics teaching strengths and weaknesses
2. Establish learning goals
o Aside from content, consider impact of course on students 2-3 years after course ends
o What should distinguish students from those who haven’t taken course?
o Six major types of learning (all interactive each stimulate other types):
Learn how to learn become better student; inquire about subject; self-direct
Foundational knowledge understanding and remembering information, ideas
Application skills; thinking (creative, critical, practical); managing projects
Integration connecting ideas, people, realms of life
Human dimension learning about oneself and others
Caring developing new feelings, interests, values
3. Feedback and assessment procedures
o Educative assessment: designed to enhance quality of student learning vs. auditive
Auditive: only determines whether students learned correctly rather than helping
them learn, which educative supports
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