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Inform teaching and course design


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Simple tips to improve course design and teaching

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Inform teaching and course design

  2. 2. # 1 EFFECTIVE TEACHING INVOLVES ACQUIRING RELEVANT KNOWLEDGE • If you think that we just teach the content, we do not teach students the content then you are not informing your teaching properly. • Instead, If you do this will help explain student difficulties (e.g., identification of common misconceptions), and guide instructional adaptation. • ACTION STEP: gather the most relevant information as early as possible in course planning and continuing to do so during the semester can (a) inform course design (e.g., decisions about objectives, pacing, examples, format)
  3. 3. Why it matters. 1. Cultural and generational backgrounds influence how they see the world; 2. disciplinary backgrounds lead students to approach problems in different ways; 3. students’ prior knowledge (both accurate and inaccurate aspects) shapes new learning
  4. 4. #2 PRIORITIZING THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS WE CHOOSE TO FOCUS ON • Controversial: Coverage is the enemy: Don’t try to do too much in a single course. • NOT all topics work congruently to student learning, so it is necessary for us to make decisions – sometimes difficult ones – about what we will and will not include in a course. • Determining a set of objectives that can be reasonably accomplished instead of aiming for all, helps better inform course design.
  5. 5. • Recognizing the parameters of the course (e.g., class size, students’ backgrounds and experiences, course position in the curriculum sequence, number of course units) aids students learning.
  6. 6. #3 PROGRESSIVELY REFINING OUR COURSES BASED ON REFLECTION AND FEEDBACK. • We need to be certain we continually reflect on our teaching and be ready to make changes when appropriate (e.g., something is not working, we want to try something new, the student population has changed, or there are emerging issues in our fields • “Teaching requires adapting.” • Here’s how to refine your courses: Much of this information already exists (e.g., student work, previous semesters’ course evaluations, dynamics of class participation), or we may need to seek additional feedback with help from the university teaching center (e.g., interpreting early course evaluations, conducting focus groups, designing pre- and posttests)
  7. 7. • KEY: Small, purposeful changes driven by feedback and our priorities are most likely to be manageable and effective
  8. 8. WHO IS A. AFXENTIOU • A Afxentiou works with teachers, speakers and coaches to increase their professional education and expand their teaching consciousness. • He is a certified trainer with 15 years of teaching experience, the author of the The Swiss Knife to Understanding Science, the co-author of Teaching Fulfilment and the creator of the Impactful Professionalism Classroom-Apotherapy Challenge.
  9. 9. • Through his signature programs, like Classroom Apotherapy and Teaching Prosperity 101, he has helped thousands of teachers from all over the world to grow their professional self-efficacy, to attract more loyal students and outcomes, and to improve their relationships with students. • To book Afxentis for a speaking engagement, contact: