"Designing Your Courses for Greater Student Engagement and Better Student Learning"
The purpose of this webpage is to provide information that will help you decide whether you want to enroll in this online course about designing courses for significant learning. This webpage contains comments on the following topics:
- Information about This Program of Study
I. Value of what you will learn
II. Specific characteristics of "Integrated Course Design"
III. Information about the Course
IV. Operation of the Course
- 2 Certificates Issued
- Instructions for Enrolling
Nota: Este curso en línea está disponible en español y en Inglés.
Information About this Program of Study
Here is some information about this particular set of materials for meeting that need. This will include ideas, first, on the value of understanding instructional design and then the characteristics of this particular set of ideas on instructional design.
I. The Value of Learning How to Design Learning Experiences for Others
Whenever students take a course, they always have an experience - of some kind. Sometimes that experience results in their learning something that truly makes a difference in their lives. At other times, unfortunately, it is just "information in & information out"; they take the tests, get their grade, and go on with their lives - more or less unaffected by the course experience. All teachers who care about their students, want their students to have a valuable, significant learning experience. This means they must find answers to two central questions:
- What kind of learning would constitute "significant learning", for their students and their subject matter?
- How can they get that kind of learning to happen, more often and intentionally, rather than less often and accidentally?
This short course, on Integrated Course Design, will help professors find and create answers to both these questions. If a teacher can design their courses properly and then teach them properly, it will lead to greater student engagement and better student learning.
II. The Specific Characteristics of INTEGRATED COURSE DESIGN
The basic principles of Integrated Course Design are illustrated by the following diagram:
In essence this model goes like this:
- You start the design process by gathering information about the “Situational Factors”, e.g., class size, students’ initial knowledge or feelings about the course, etc.
- You use this information (the vertical arrows) to make the three big decisions in the course: How will you integrate the Learning Goals, Teaching & Learning Activities, and the Feedback and Assessment Activities?
- What do you want students to learn? (= Your Learning Goals)
- What will they need to do, to learn that? (= the Teaching & Learning Activities)
- What will they need to do, for you and them to know whether they have achieved the learning goals? (= the Feedback & Assessment Activities)
Integrated Course Design is a LEARNING-CENTERED approach to instructional design. This means the process begins by asking what you want students to learn; then you identify learning activities and assessment activities that will support that kind of learning.
III. Information About the Course
If you decide to take this course, here is what you will be doing.
The whole course has 8 units, each dealing with particular aspects of Integrated Course Design. Each unit builds on what has come before it and prepares you for what comes next. Here is the sequence of units:
- Unit 1 – Three Important Perspectives & Overview of ICD
- Unit 2 – Big Purpose of the Course and Situational Factors
- Unit 3 – Writing High Quality Learning Goals
- Unit 4 – Assessing Student Learning & Educative Assessment
- Unit 5 – Learning Activities and Active Learning
- Unit 6 – Integrating the Course
- Unit 7 – Creating the Grading System
- Unit 8 – Evaluating Your Teaching & the Design of the Course
Two Versions of the Course: We have set this course up in two versions. The first half of both courses is the same, but the second half is different because of the way learning activities and integration are achieved in the two environments. The two versions are:
- "F2F with LMS": This version is for people who intend to design face-to-face (F2F) courses, but we assume that most everyone currently either uses or has access to a Learning Management System (LMS), e.g., Blackboard, Desire2Learn. Hence there is some discussion in this version of the course, of in-class and out-of-class activities; we also presume that the teacher and students can communicate with each other in other ways, e.g., via the LMS.
- "Totally Online/Reduced Seat Time": This version is for people who intend to design courses that are either going to be offered totally online or that use instructional technology to a degree that the course has reduced "seat time". Therefore, in this course, we discuss how the student will get the content, interact with other students, and interact with the teacher.
What will you have when you finish this program of study? When you finish this set of 8 units, you will have two "take-away's":
- one course completely designed, and
- an understanding of the principles of good course design that will enable you to design any course in the future for significant learning.
IV. Operation of the Course
Resources: We have incorporated several kinds of resources to help you learn about Integrated Course Design.
- Book: You will receive an electronic copy of Fink’s book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences.
- Web-based material: This website will provide you with both text and short video clips that explain and elaborate upon various concepts.
- Dialogue with other learners: Even though this course has been constructed so that you can start and finish whenever you want, you will still be able to dialogue with other people who are taking the course at the same time.
- Exercises: Each of the units has exercises for you to do, that will help you develop the skills you need, to design courses for significant learning.
- Production: As you work through the units, you will be asked to identify a particular course that you want to design or re-design. Then you will design this course, step by step, as you work through the units.
- Yourself: You are also an important resource for this program of study. From time to time, you will also be asked to think about your beliefs and aspirations as a teacher. Keep a record of these; they are important to your growth and development as a teacher.
Time Needed to Complete
- We estimate that participants will need approximately 25 hours to finish the whole short-course.The course will be paced to finish in about 8 weeks, i.e., about 2 months.
- This means they need to spend 2 to 4 hours each week on this course, depending on how well they can read and write in English.
- However, people may take two additional weeks if life circumstances delay their ability to finish the course.
Start Dates: At the present time, we plan to start new sections of this course on the following dates:
- Early September, 2013 (Approximate Completion Date: End of October)
- Early January, 2014 (Approximate Completion Date: End of February)
- Early June, 2014 (Approximate Completion Date: End of July)
Section Size: People who enroll will be put into a cohort with a total of 5 to 8 participants. This group will go through the course together, reading each others' work and getting feedback from the other participants.
Feedback Facilitator: Each group will also be led by a Feedback Facilitator, i.e., a person with expert knowledge of Integrated Course Design. This person will keep the group moving through the course and give their own feedback on each person's work.
2 Certificates Available
You can earn two Certificates in association with this course.
- Certificate of Completion: When you complete the whole course (14 content units), you will be issued a Certificate of Completion by the University of Oklahoma, to acknowledge your achievement.
- Certificate of Performance: After you complete the course and IF you want to, you can submit your course design to Dr. Dee Fink for review. If it meets the Standards of Excellence for Integrated Course Design, you will also be issued a “Certificate of Performance.” This Certificate indicates that you not only know about course design but that you can also “do it.”
- There is a fee of US$30 to apply for this Certificate. This covers the cost of paying a qualified person to review your course design materials.
- Click here to view the "Guidelines & Template" for applying for the Certificate of Performance.
- You can view these Standards of Excellence by clicking on these links:
- Publication on Website: When you have finished the course, you also have the option of having your course design published on a website as an example of good course design.
- For instructions on how to do this, go to the "Designing Better Learning Experiences" website: www.designlearning.org , and click on the "Examples of Design" tab.
The tuition for this online course will vary, depending on where the participant comes from.
Different prices have been set to reflect variations in the average income of college teachers in different regions of the world.
4 Levels of Fees: Cost of Course: (in US$)
I. Advanced Economies: $595 per person
= US, Canada, W. Europe, Japan, British Commonwealth countries, oil-rich Middle East countries
II. Emerging Economies: $300 per person
= Latin America, E. Europe, SE Asia, non-oil-rich Middle East/North Africa
III. High Population-Density Regions: $150 per person
= S. Asia, China
IV. Sub-Saharan Africa: $75 per person
INSTITUTIONAL DISCOUNT: If a single college or university enrolls 5 or more people for the same start date, everyone enrolling from that institution at that time will receive a ~15% discount. That means, for example, if 5 people from a university in the US enrolls at the same time, the tuition would be reduced by $95, to $500 per person. INCOMPLETE/RE-ENROLLMENT: If you are not able to complete the course during the time allowed, you can re-enroll within one year at half the cost you originally paid.
IF – after reading this Introduction, you decide you would like to enroll in this online course, here is what you need to do:
Instructions for Enrolling
To enroll in the course, you need to do 2 things: (a) Set up your own account and (b) Enroll in the course.
- To set up your own account, go here http://courses.deefinkandassociates.com/login/signup.php?. (If you have already set up an account, you do not need to do this again to take an additional course. Skip to Step 3.)
- Once your have your account set up, you will receive an account activation email. Activate your account
- To enroll, go to http://courses.deefinkandassociates.com/. Select the course date category (Jan, June, Sept, etc) in which you wish to take your course, and select either the Face-to-Face or Totally Online version of the course.
- For PayPal enrollment, select the payment method that corresponds with your world region.
- For Alternative enrollment, select Alternative Enrollment. You will be able to see the first two units of the course, but will have to be approved to see the remaining units.
Methods of Payment:
You have three ways that you can pay for this course, and the procedures for each of these are shown below:
- PayPal (see below)
- Pay with a credit card by calling Dee Fink & Associates: 405-364-6464 (in the US)
- Pay with a check or Purchase Order (P/O) by mailing it to Dee Fink & Associates.
As indicated above (and below), there are 4 levels of tuition, depending on where you are from. We have set these prices to reflect the different levels of salaries for teachers in different parts of the world.
NOTE: If you would like to enroll more than one student using the PayPal payment method below, register an account for each student on the LMS (courses.deefinkandassociates.com), and enroll the student in the course they wish to take. Use the PayPal method of enrollment (choosing your level of tuition), and make an individual payment for each student.
Alternatively, you can use the link below to make a single PayPal payment for your students, however you need to note the students' name and email address in your PayPal payment. Once the PayPal payment is processed, you can register and enroll your students on the LMS using the alternate enrollment method. The students will have to be approved before they can see the complete course. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.