Our intensive track revolves around the principle of backwards design. This means we’ll create a course by focusing on what we want students to accomplish at the end.

Prior to attending the first day of Winter Faculty Institute, intensive track participants will receive a digital packet of materials to complete, including brief background readings, and 2 worksheets to guide the process of constructing student learning outcomes (SLOs). We’ll ask our participants to tell us about the course they are designing, and fully prepare so that they are ready to construct their course right from the start .

All participants will receive a copy of Learning Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty by Elizabeth Barkley and Claire Major (Jossey-Bass, 2016) which will serve as a resource and guiding text for our work.

Below is a preliminary schedule (subject to change) for how our institute will proceed.

January 9th

1:00 -1:10 Welcome

1:10 -1:30 Processing the Learning Goals Inventory Worksheet.

We’ll work in pairs to review the pre-workshop materials and begin to focus in on the specific domains of student learning that your outcomes will target.

1:30 – 2:30 Introduction and overview of SLOs

After reviewing some examples as a group, we will get to the challenging work of drafting effective learning outcomes. Participants may work individually during this time, or consult with colleagues. CTAL staff will circulate to answer questions and offer guidance.

2:00 – 2:30 Review learning outcomes

In small groups, participants will review their SLOs with their peers and begin to focus and refine these statements.

2:30 – 2:45 Break for refreshments

2:45 – 3:30 Assignments: connecting them to your SLOs

With solid SLO’s in hand we’ll briefly discuss how to create a major or final course assignment that assesses student learning as reflected in your SLOs. We’ll use our institute text as a guide in selecting those assignments and begin a first draft.

3:30 – 4:00 Introduce primary trait analysis of assignment

Determining if our SLO’s are being met through our assignments requires us to systematically review those assignments with an eye towards grading and the creation of a rubric. We’ll introduce the primary trait analysis and practice how to use it.

4:00 – 4:30 Student success through inclusion

Now that we have created the framework for good SLOs and a preliminary assignment, we’ll take some time to reflect on how to include all students within that vision of success. Participants will do some self-reflection on how their work is or is not accessible, and consider some teaching strategies they might employ in order to offer all students an equitable experience.


Participants will review their major assignment and note the following characteristics: how does this explicitly connect to my SLO’s? How accessible is this assessment? What has my primary trait analysis revealed about this assignment and what are the most important characteristics I am looking for in student work?

January 10th

10:20 -11:00 Review draft assignment and primary traits

11:00- 12:00 Introduce scaffolding and small stakes assignments

Moving backwards from your final assignment, we will break down the elements of that project and consider how to spread them across the semester in order to support students in achieving your SLO’s and completing that final assignment with success.

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch with our institute colleagues

1:00 – 2:00 Draft and review small-stakes activities that address primary traits

By now, you’ll see an emerging structuring for your course. We’ll begin to nail down those smaller-stakes activities that best address your primary traits.

2:00 – 2:15 Break

2:15 – 3:00 UD course design resources (15 min @ each station)

Now is the time to consider the campus resources that can support your courses. You’ll be introduced to three of these at three different stations: Open Educational Resources (OER), the UD syllabus template, and our campus LMS systems.

3:00 – 4:00 Create syllabus skeleton  

As we reach the end of our time, we’ll use the information from the previous session to create the basic outline of your course.

4:00 – 4:30 Review, Next Steps, and exploring Learning Assessment Techniques (LATs)

Before departing, we’ll informally review other kinds of LATs (other than the one you have selected) with our peers, discuss next steps, and make connections for additional course support after the institute has concluded.

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