Syllabus SLO Workbook: This workbook walks you through developing student learning outcomes as part of your course design process. Based on Wiggins and McTighe's (1998) work with backward design, the workbook begins the process of course design by facilitating your thinking about your teaching goals, and especially about the learning outcomes you set for your students.
Syllabus Design: This handout provides an overview of the functions of a syllabus, and key design and content selection considerations in designing a syllabus.
Syllabus Inclusivity Checklist: Double check your syllabus for inclusivity and important information.
Syllabus Storyboarding: In creative syllabus design, storyboarding helps us think about learning as a coherent process of development from start to finish.
The Teaching Philosophy Guide contains instructions and resources that explain what a teaching philosophy is, takes you through a thinking and planning process to surface and articulate your values and approach to teaching, as well as provides guidance on the writing process.
Rice Center for Teaching Excellence: Workload Estimator: Estimate how many hours per week your course assignments should take students to complete.
AACU Value Rubrics: The AAC&U developed a set of excellent rubrics as part of their LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) project. The VALUE initiative (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) was a comprehensive and broad-ranging effort to improve learning assessment in higher education. The VALUE initiative, from 2007-2009, engaged faculty and other educational professionals from more than 100 institutions to develop, test, and refine a set of rubrics for capacities that all educators should strive to help their students develop. The rubrics include: Inquiry and analysis, Critical thinking. Creative thinking. Written communication, Oral communication, Reading, Quantitative literacy. Information literacy, Teamwork, Problem solving, Personal and social responsibility. Civic engagement – local and global, Intercultural knowledge and competence, Ethical reasoning, Lifelong learning, Global learning, and Integrative learning. Read more and download the rubrics.
iRubric: iRubric is a free online tool that offers a database of rubrics that you can download for your own use. With a free account, you can search the extensive database for a rubric for your course, then duplicate it to edit the criteria to suit your course and level of teaching.
These are websites and articles that clarify our role as teacher-scholars today. College teaching can be likened to the last point of contact with education for many young people before they step into the world of work and the rest of their lives. What can we do as educators to help them flourish in their futures? How is the landscape of higher education changing and why? How does this affect how we must approach learning and teaching?
The Liberal Education and America's Promise (LEAP) initiative by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) was launched in 2005. It researches, advocates, and acts to support and promote educational values and outcomes critical for success in the 21st century. The initiative advocates for liberal education as a powerful source of the skills and capacities this nation needs to survive and flourish as a democracy in the creative, knowledge economy.
The Essential Outcomes Chart provides a distillation of skills AAC&U have found to be critical for success in the 21st century, both for individuals as well as, by their collective contributions, to maintaining the economic and democratic vitality of the nation. No matter what subject areas we teach, we should help our students to develop these skills and capacities to better prepare them for their futures.
Learning Theories Thumbnail Descriptions: This set of notes presents short/thumbnail descriptions of some learning and motivation theories and concepts. The document has live links to useful websites as well as reflection questions to help you connect the theories to your own experiences as learner/teacher.
Learning Theories Images: Online visual representations of learning taxonomies and theories:
Learning Theories Index: An index of learning theories. Each theory is described briefly, with key principles and terms explained. Good references for follow up reading. The site also has quick descriptions of the main paradigms of behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, and humanism.
'Learning Theory', The Encyclopedia of Informal Education: Good overview and explanations of different learning theories. Smith keeps this pretty well updated. Part of Infed – the Encyclopedia of Informal Education.
Instructional Design: If you want to really get into different learning and motivation theories this website is great. It's got all the main theories and then some – from Algo-Heuristic theory and adult learning theory to Modes of Learning, Multiple Intelligences, and Social Learning Theory and Transformational theory. Each theory is briefly presented, with applications, examples, principles, and further links and readings.
Learning Knowledge Index: This is a very useful site with good information on learning, learning theories, and links to other learning theories sites. I found this personal motivation for this site intriguing:
"When I was going to school I often asked myself; what is it all for? Now that I am 62 years old I ask myself again; what was it all for? It is not an easy question to answer, for most of what I had so called 'learned', I had no use for in my life, and have forgotten. At school I was one of the students who enjoyed learning school work. So now I can not help but wonder, if I who enjoyed school work, have lost and not retained so much, what of the experience of those who disliked school work? I seem to remember they were the vast majority, and us nerds were the minority. The answers I believe are determined by the answer to a single question. Did they retain it and was it useful and influential in their lives? For most of them, the answer is most assuredly no. So again what was it all for?"
Explore your own perspectives as a teacher. Take the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI). If you have not done any teaching, respond to this inventory by keeping in mind the subject matter and level of students you hope to teach. There is an excellent guide to interpreting the results on the website.
What is the TPI?
The Teaching Perspectives Inventory was developed by Daniel Pratt. The inventory builds a teaching profile based on 5 different perspectives on what teaching means. The 5 perspectives are Transmission, Apprenticeship, Developmental, Nurturing, and Social Reform. The inventory gives us an understanding of teaching as a pluralistic process – your profile ranges across these 5 perspectives – so that we see teaching as multi-faceted and dynamic rather than as one-dimensional. The instrument's validity and reliability is based on 10 years of research with over 100,000 respondents spanning over 100 countries. The instrument, therefore, also takes into account cultural and social variations in perspectives on teaching. The TPI has undergone psychometric testing that was reported by Collins and Pratt (2011).
Pratt, D.D. (1998). Five perspectives of teaching in adult and higher education. Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing.
Collins, J., & Pratt, D. (2011). The teaching perspectives inventory at 10 years and 100,000 respondents: Reliability and validity of a teacher self-Report inventory. Adult Education Quarterly, 61(4), 358-375.
The American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU): AAC&U was founded in 1915 and currently counts over 1300 institutions in its membership, including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities. It's mission is to champion "the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career." AACU has 4 main goals:
- LEAP: Liberal Education as a Global Necessity
- Quality: 21st Century Markers for the Value of US Degrees
- Equity: Innovation, Inclusive Excellence, and Student Success
- Social Responsibility: Integrative Liberal Learning for the Global Commons
AACU, together with the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS), developed and launched PFF programs around the country between 1993 and 2003.
The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS): If you are involved in graduate eduction of any sort, you might be interested in looking at the work done at CGS, the "only national organization in the United States that is dedicated solely to the advancement of graduate education and research." CGS, together with AAC&U, was a pivotal player in the development of PFF programs between 1993 and 2003.
The Chronicle of Higher Education: The Chronicle of Higher Education is a key source of news, articles, discussion forums, databases, and career information (online CV management, salary databases etc.) for higher education. It is published every weekday online. It's really worth your time checking our and bookmarking their different sections that interest you. Some key sections relevant to teaching.
Profhacker: Teaching, technology, and productivity.
Teaching: News and articles on teaching and learning in higher ed. They also have a Teaching Newsletter you can subscribe to for free that is delivered to your inbox weekly.
Inside Higher Ed: Blog U: A collection of different blogs such as Gradhacker, Conversations on Diversity, Teaching and Technology, Confessions of a Community College Dean... You get a good sense of current issues and trends in the world of higher education teaching and learning, and inspiration for possibly a blog of your own.
Educause: EDUCAUSE is a higher education technology assocation, and the largest community of IT leaders, companies, and education professionals that focuses on advancing and transforming higher education through integration of information technology. You will find research and reports, professional development opportunities, and useful information and articles on teaching and learning in connection with digital technology.