I want to make good on my promise from May 6th to share more information from the Hybrid Workshop we hosted this term. Specifically, the topic of content mapping, or “backward course design” is one that at best, may completely revolutionize your course, and at worst, may validate what you’re already doing well.

Think of the components of your course like wheels on a car. If they’re not all pointing in the same direction, the car, like your course, will shake wildly and the passengers (your students) will wonder what on earth is going on. Similarly, if we don’t align our learning activities with our learning outcomes, students will question the purpose of the assignments and you may end up wasting valuable time assessing something that isn’t important to the course.

To avoid this misalignment and keep your course tracking, use this template, which guides you to:

  1. Start your course planning with the end in mind. Design meaningful and purposeful student learning outcomes (SLOs). What knowledge, skills, and abilities should your students emerge from your class having accomplished?
  2. Design both formative and summative assessments that align to your SLOs. Students should have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning along the way and at the conclusion of the unit/class.
  3. Plan your instruction, assignments, and active learning opportunities to support student success on your assessments. Better yet, include which learning outcome each assessment aligns with right on your syllabus. If a current assignment doesn’t directly address an SLO, replace it with one that does.
  4. Once you’ve carefully planned your course using the approach above, THEN choose the technology tools that support your course design. Don’t use technology for the sake of using technology if it doesn’t enhance the course that you have so painstakingly created. (Flower & Nolan, The Teaching Professor, Feb. 17, 2017)

Again, this template, adapted from the OSU Ecampus Hybrid Course Planning Chart, will be incredibly helpful as you (re)plan your courses for next year!

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