Preparing and Revising a Course, by Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar.pptx
PREPARING AND REVISING
Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar http://wwwdrshadiabanjar.blogspot.com
7/25/2010 Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 1
PREPARING AND REVISING A COURSE
To design a course, the teacher may follow
1) applying general strategies,
2) deciding what you want to accomplish,
3) defining and limiting course content,
4) structuring the course,
5) selecting text books and readings,
6) setting course policies, and
7) handling administrative tasks.
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•If the course is new to you but has been
introduced before, talk with faculty who
have taught it previously. Ask for the
syllabus, list of assignments and papers, and
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•If the course is new to you and has
never been introduced before, review
textbooks on the topic of the course.
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•If you have a previously taught the
course, assemble everything related to the
course (syllabus, textbooks, handouts,
exams, your notes for each class session,
and past evaluations by students). Then,
do the changes in the light of students’
interests as well as your interest.
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•Identify the constraints in teaching the course:
1. ask yourself how many hours are available for instruction?
2. How many students will be enrolled?
3. Are the students primarily majors or nonmajors?
4. At what level?
5. What material can I safely assume that students will
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•Think about how your course relates to other
courses in your department’s curriculum:
a) Does your course serve as the introduction to
more advanced classes?
b) Is it a general educational course
c) is it an advanced course for majors?
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Deciding What You Want to Accomplish
•Establish goals: what do you expect your students to do or to produce as
a result of taking the course?
•Identify both content and non-content goals: content goals (for
example, “understand the key forces affecting the rise of Japan as an
economic power”; non-content goals (for example, become a good team
member and work collaboratively with other students” or “learn to tolerate
opposing points of view”
•To get started in writing course goals, think about “the big picture”:
think of the students’ future after they graduate (What would you like them to
learn to be successful in their jobs)
•Scale down your goals to realistic list : adjust your ideal goals by taking
into consideration the different abilities, interests, and the amount of time
available for class instruction.
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Defining and Limiting Course Content
•After you have put all your topics into a preliminary list, toss out the
excess unimportant topics and keep important ones
•Distinguish between essential and optional material. (Note that the exam
will not cover the optional material)
•Emphasize the core concepts
•Stress the classic issues, or the most enduring values or truths.
•Cut to the chase by teaching the most critical skill or idea and drop the rest.
•Give students a conceptual framework on which to hang major ideas and
factual information by understanding the relationship among concepts rather
than memorizing them.
•Prepare a detailed syllabus and share it with your students.
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Structuring the Course
•Work out a logical arrangement for the course content by arranging
the material in order by topic or category, from concrete to abstract, from
large complex to detailed, etc.
•List all class meetings in a schedule with tentative topics and dates for
exams and holidays.
•Select appropriate instructional methods for each class meeting (by
deciding which topics lend themselves to which types of classroom
activities: lectures; small group discussions; independent work,
debates, case studies, role playing, experimental learning activities,
•Design in-class and homework assignments (e.g. writing
assignment, group work & study team, participation, etc.)
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Selecting Textbook and Readings
1. Choose textbooks and reading assignments that reflect your goals.
Explain to your student how the readings relate to the course goals.
Some instructor select texts that repeat material covered in class.
2. Consider a range of criteria in selecting readings:
◦ Accuracy and currency of content
◦ Coherence and clarity of content
◦ Level of difficulty and interest for students
◦ Cost :
a. Choose the less expensive work if it is of comparable quality
b. Choose paperback rather than hardbacks
c. Limit the total cost of books for your course by placing some works on
reserve in the library
◦ Size (heavy large texts are hard to carry
◦ Format and layout (ease of reading
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3. Assign a mix of texts and articles, including some current pieces of
journal articles, essays, research reports especially in advanced courses.
4. Foster a habit of reading throughout college by encouraging students
to explore beyond the reading material you assign
5. Follow the copyright laws and make not to violate copyrights if you are
compiling a photocopied reader.
6. Take advantage of the new technologies in publishing in which some
publishers let professors to order only selected chapters with less price of
the entire text. Other publishers make the content of scholarly print
journals available electronically.
7. Be conscious of workload material a student can read. The number of
pages you expect students to read depend of their abilities and the
nature of the reading material.
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Setting Course Politics
1. “Extra credit” assignments
3. Makeup exams
4. Late work
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Handling Administrative Tasks
•Order books early and double-check on the progress of your order
with a bookstore a month or so before the term begins. Once the
books have arrived, make sure how many copies are available. If
the order is delayed, assign readings which are already available.
•Try to place materials on reserve before the term begins if
possible. Let students know that no. of copies are on reserve for
•Make other logistical arrangements in advance (e.g. order
audiovisual equipment, videos, or films, etc) .
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•PREPARING OR REVISING A COURSE
By Barbara Gross Davis, University of California, Berkeley. From Tools for Teaching,
copyright by Jossey-Bass, September 1, 1999.
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