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Highlights from the “Course by Design” track at PRLS 2018

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At this year’s annual Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) at Leeward CC on May 14 to 18, Brent and I facilitated an updated version of our “Course by Design” workshop series from the one we offered last summer. Joining us this summer were:

  • Heather McCafferty – Math and Sciences, Leeward CC
  • Benjamin Zenk – Philosophy, Hawaii CC
  • Amy Shiroma – Hospitality & Tourism Education, Kapiolani CC
  • Don Maruyama – Culinary Arts, Leeward CC
  • Robert Oshita – Digital Media, Leeward CC
  • Sandro Jube – Human Anatomy & Physiology, Leeward CC

PRLS 2018 course by design track group

Using our updated four-step course design process for in-person classes, we guided instructors through systematically organizing and structuring their courses by aligning their course outcomes with appropriate learning activities. The four-step process consists of:

  1. Identifying student learning outcomes.
  2. Creating specific learning objectives.
  3. Creating activities to meet the learning objectives.
  4. Building your lessons on a website.

Participants used a planning worksheet (Google Doc) that guided them through each of the four steps. New to the process is mapping alignment of outcomes, objectives, and activities which greatly helped instructors to see all the pieces and how they relate to each other. Once they had everything mapped out, they started to build their lesson modules using our Google Sites template for a quick-start.

PRLS 2018 course by design mapping

The goal was to go through at least one cycle of the course design process to create one lesson module. Then you would repeat the process to create the rest of your lesson modules.

Participants who created at least one lesson module using the four-step course design process earned the “Course Designer Creator” badge of achievement that can be used as evidence in contract renewal/tenure/promotion dossiers.

At the end of the week, participants said the following:

Attending the “Course by Design” workshop was a great opportunity to reflect back at the course that I teach and implement new ideas and concepts to keep my students engaged and motivated. I will certainly implement if not all, at least some of the activities that I envisioned during the PRLS, and I am glad that we discussed about the development of rubrics to assist with the process of scoring the activities.

I’ve gotten a chance to look more closely at how my course activities align with my learning outcomes, and this has allowed me to cut a few unnecessary lessons and replace them with others that align.

Course by Design helped clarify the alignment of course level outcomes with modules and activities. It opened my mind to new connections, and I hope to take this knowledge and use it to re-work my class to improve the overall experience for the student.

We look forward to checking in with our participants and seeing what they create and how implementation goes!

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