Last fall, Dee Fink & Associates launched a new, two-week, facilitated online course on “Designing Courses for Significant Learning”. This course has a number of important values:
· This course is focused on one of the fundamental skills of teaching – how to design a course in a learning-centered way – with attention to active learning, educative assessment, creating alignment, and choosing a good teaching strategy.
· It is offered by a group – Dee Fink & Associates – that has extensive experience in providing instruction to professors on this topic; we have been doing it for over a decade, at hundreds of institutions in the US and internationally.
· It can benefit any professor who has teaching responsibilities, in any discipline.
· It solves the problem of how to reach adjunct professors.
o They can participate in this course on their own schedule, from anywhere.
· It is especially beneficial for junior professors.
o The vast majority of this group has had no formal preparation on teaching.
o This course, for less than 1% of their first-year’s salary, will equip them with pedagogical tools that can increase student engagement and the quality of student learning.
o This nominal investment in their professional development will pay large dividends for the rest of their teaching career!
Following are some comments from professors who have (a) learned about Integrated Course Design and (b) taken an online course on this topic.
The Impact of Learning About Integrated Course Design
Instructors who have used principles of Integrated Course Design in the design of their own courses in the past have reported greater student engagement, more long-term significant learning and increased instructor satisfaction for courses delivered in on-line, “face-to-face” and “blended/hybrid” formats.
Comments from faculty about ICD:
· "Significant Learning is the new path to personal and professional success. Dee Fink’s model provides educators with the theoretical foundations and practical guidance to design courses that have real, positive impact on student’s lives.”
· “I would say that ICD has revolutionized my views of what constitutes to be an effective educator. I would even say that it has been transformative. This course has allowed me to “see” the big picture, providing a clear structure of the necessary steps to deliver a course that will be useful to students in their professional life.”
The Impact of the Online Course on Applying Integrated Course Design Principles
The new course is a facilitated, two-week, online course in which faculty practice applying Integrated Course Design principles directly to their own courses. Participants all receive personalized feedback from experienced course Coaches throughout the course.
A few comments from faculty who have recently taken the online course and received individual, personal feedback on their work—
· “This course is a must for anyone teaching higher education!”
· “When I took the F2F course, I understood it all in a theoretical way but it was a 4-day workshop without time for reflection. This time I really feel like I applied my learning to my current teaching. I enjoyed this course very much!”
· “The clarity and practicality of your answers provides valuable guidance to me as I work through this process. For many years, I have used backward design to some degree, but the Taxonomy of Significant Learning and the integrative method for designing/redesigning a course add richness (and challenge) to the process. Your clear, thoughtful responses to the questions posed on this discussion board guide me when I feel stuck.”
· “I appreciate the comments from the facilitators. I wasn't sure what a course facilitator would do but they turned out to be an important part of the course. The course itself is a nice example of the ICD model.”
· “I really think the biggest take-away I have from participating in Integrated Course Design via this online course was the time to brainstorm, draft, refine, revise, and work on a course with others, in community. I always tell my students that writing need not be a solitary pursuit; we have each other to help with peer review and suggestions. I have hungered for an opportunity to work with others on something like ICD because I know I need help and inspiration, and I really enjoy seeing how others approach the course-design process.”
Added Value for Faculty Taking the Online Course
Many faculty members also appreciate the value of taking an online course themselves and the “reminder” of what it’s like to be a student. As one faculty said,
· “Why take this course?
Working in a learning community of colleagues.
Remembering what is like to be a student again.
Learning what is like to be an online student.
Knowing that your learning outcomes, assessments, and activities align.”
Registering for the Online Course
· The course is offered once each month, usually beginning on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
· Cost per participant is $395.00.
· To register, go to www.optimizelearning.org.
The attached flyer has additional information; feel free to distribute it to your faculty. If you have any questions, about the course or scheduling a special session for your faculty, contact Linda Jacoby at: [log in to unmask]
We hope to see you or your faculty in a future session!
My Best, Dee Fink