As we approach the end of the semester and look forward to the next, we will provide some resources for designing future classes. We will provide suggestions and resources for the first and most important part of course design – communicating what you expect students will be able to do as the result of your class (or program). Then, all other course decisions can be based on this. Learning to write good outcomes can help you as you design your classes, take curriculum changes through the Academic Affairs and Standards Council (AASC; sometimes called Academic Council, or AC), work on your Common Course Outlines, or prepare accreditation materials.
How do I motivate students to learn what I expect in my classes? And how can I made decisions about which content to include or reduce grading work?
Many times in education, we hear the same terms over and over and get turned off by them, and outcomes may be one of those words for you. However, outcomes are the most important part of the class.
What can outcomes do for you?
- They help to make it really clear what students should be able to as the result of your class.
- They can be written in a way that motivates students to want to develop these skills.
- They can be extremely helpful when deciding what to include in your course – which content is important, which assignments to include, which book or other materials to use, which smaller assignments to require, which activities to use in class.
- They can help ensure that you class is aligned so that students understand why they are asked to complete the components of the class.
If you are working to improve or develop a course, check out the following resources:
- Attend May 15th workshops on this topic
- An online course design tutorial: http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/coursedesign/tutorial/index.html
- An online tutorial for writing objectives: http://teachonline.asu.edu/objectives%20builder/
- Dee Fink’s course design workbook
- Use Dee Fink’s book Creating Significant Learning Experiences: copies of this book are available in the CTL (T2000), and the book will be discussed in a session during Opening Days.
- Attend Dee Fink’s workshop in Chicago: http://www.deefinkandassociates.com/index.php/workshops/chicago-2015/
- Attend the Quality Matters training at MCTC on the May 18th professional-development day (you can use your faculty-development funds-talk to your Coordinator): https://secure.mnsu.edu/eventsconferences/login.aspx?EventID=1362
How do I let students see their cumulative or final calculated grade? (Thanks to Beth Jensen at Bemidji State for sharing this tip)
Final Calculated Grades are hidden from students until you release them.
- Click Grades
- Click Settings in the upper right (gear icon)
- Click the Calculation Options tab
- Under Final Grade Released, click Calculated Final Grade, and Save then Close
- Return to the Grades and click the drop down arrow next to the Final Calculated Grade
- Click the check box at the top of the list of students to select all students
- Click Release/Unrelease (to check the boxes in the Release Final Calculated Grade column)
- Save and Yes