Teaching Well Using
Adapted from a NERCOMP presentation by Kevin
Barry, University of Notre Dame & Tom Laughner,
Seven Steps for Choosing
Step 1: Ask: What do I want my students to learn?
Step 2: Identify the best teaching strategies.
Step 3: Plan Major Assessments and Exams.
Step 4: Consider Times and Spaces for Learning.
Step 5: What Technologies Can and Can’t Do.
Step 6: Sequence the Learning and Choose the Technology.
Step 7: Implement, Evaluate, Think Creatively.
Step 1: Articulate Student Learning
Identify the most important outcomes for the
Keep the course focused - What speciﬁcally are you
going to teach?
Form the basis for designing assessments/
Add transparency for the students.
Decrease time spent responding to student work.
Writing Student Learning Goals
Use speciﬁc observable language.
Students will be able to:
Describe, analyze, argue, solve, create, compare, etc.
Avoid vague or passive language.
Goals of knowing and understanding are valuable but vague.
What would a student do to demonstrate their knowledge/
Avoid passive language such as “Students will be exposed
Sample Course Goals I
Course: American Diplomacy
By the end of the course, I want my students to:
Think like a diplomat.
Negotiate a solution with an adversarial party.
Identify key elements of a treaty.
Develop an alternative course of action to a 20th
century diplomatic crisis.
Sample Course Goals II
By the end of the course, I want my students to:
View science as questions that are constantly being
reframed and investigated.
Possess the chemical tools to build further knowledge.
View chemistry problems as unique, requiring problem-
Be interested and conﬁdent enough to read and
Create two major course goals
for one of your courses.
Step 2: Identify the Best Teaching
...for higher-order reasoning and critical thinking.
writing and discussion
feedback to students
explicit standards and criteria
problem/questions/issues as sources of motivation
What Students Value (Feldman,
Sensitivity and concern with class level and progress.
Preparation and organization.
Knowledge of subject.
Stimulation of interest in the subject.
Clarity and understanding.
Availability and helpfulness.
Concern and respect for students.
Perceived outcomes or impact of instruction.
Fairness; quality of tests and major assignments.
How might these technologies be used
to support the concepts in Steps 1 & 2?
Step 3: Plan Major Assignments
The “Assignment-Centered Course”
Review: What learning do I want to
Plan major assignments and
assessments that will facilitate and test
the learning you want to occur.
Insert them in the week they are due.
Ask These Questions
Validity: Are the assignments likely to elicit the kind of
learning you want?
Consider what the assignment is called.
Consider the context in which students produce work:
Time frame, level of memorization required,
accessibility of help, likely work strategies
Are the assignments and exams manageable in terms
of number, type, length, and spacing across the term?
The Coverage-Text Centered
1 - 1500-1800 6 - Mid-Term
3 8 - World War I & II
4 - Industrial 9
10 - Final Exam
Goals for this course
Evaluate the role of the Renaissance,
Reformation, Scientiﬁc Revolution, and
Enlightenment in Western Civilization.
Apply the notion of revolution to the
Analyze the impact of two major wars on
the twentieth century.
The Assignment-based Course
2 7 - Same, on Industrial
3 - Out of class, revised
empirical essay on 8
9 - In-class essay on
4 World Wars
5 10 - Final Exam -
The Backward Design Process
(Wiggins & McTigue)
Step 4: Consider Times and
Spaces for Learning
Aspects of the learning process
Principles for Using Time and
Increase time on task.
Involvement is the key.
Invest teacher time in the most difﬁcult aspects of learning.
Make students responsible for ﬁrst exposure
Daily assignments that count
Guidance as needed: addl. resources, technology,
Use technology to create, expand, and enhance the use of
Time and Space for Learning:
Three Examples using Technology
Students read out of class and then bring
writing to class for group discussion. Revise
writing in class.
Daily online quizzes on reading assignments.
Teacher directs discussion based on results.
Students take quizzes using clickers. Teacher
tailors in-class problem sets based on results.
Step 5: What Technology
Tools Can and Cannot Do
Technology cannot improve learning if
accompanied by ineffective teaching strategies.
Overview of Technology Tools
Web-based course management systems
Interactive course software
Allow multiple authors and reviewers to
interact with a document.
Associates authors or reviewers with
comments and/or edits.
Facilitates display of text, graphics, sound, video, and
Relatively simple environment.
Easy update and customization of presentations.
May be made available outside of class.
Provide access to the presentation ﬁle.
Distribute on the web.
Participants use chat or other conferencing software.
Input devices range from keyboard to headset to
May include white board, audio, video, and
Facilitate display of, interaction with
and creation of multimedia information.
Can serve as an alternative form of
Web Based Course Management
One stop location that provides the
functionality of email, web pages, assessments,
and Web 2.0 tools.
Facilitates the creation of complex, interactive
sites with assessments, embedded video, and
Wimba voice tools.
Interactive Course Tools
Tools that provide instruction and
May include multimedia elements.
May be web-based or standalone.
Attempts to model a real world or theoretical process or
Often shows a simpliﬁed view to facilitate
Orbital motion - http://www.nd.edu/~learning/
Mathematics in Architecture - http://www.nd.edu/
Step 6: Sequence the Learning &
Choose the Technology
Identify the steps that lead to successful completion of
the major assignment(s)/assessment(s) in your course
For each step, decide:
What needs to be done?
With whom? Synchronous, asynchronous, or both?
With what methods or tools?
Identify inherent limitations and possibilities.
Four Questions Faculty Ask When
Does the tool help to build engagement and community in the
Does the tool lead to enhanced student learning? How do I
Does the tool ﬁt my philosophies, priorities, and styles of
Is the tool consonant with time pressures and other
What equipment, training, or other resources are
Step 7: Implement, Evaluate, Think
Implement in small steps when possible.
Gradual implementation allows for evaluation prior to
large time investments.
Use technology to:
Enhance something you’re already doing.
Do something in a radically new way.
Do something you’ve never done.
Know what impact you expect and plan to evaluate the results.
Open yourself to new ways of thinking...
What is teaching? What is my role as a teacher?
What is learning? How do my students learn?
What is “class”? How can I use times and
spaces more effectively?
Can technology help? How?
Think of non-traditional uses.