Rational Course Design (F15)

A message from the HAPS Communication Committee Chair, Wendy Riggs.
A message from the HAPS Communication Committee Chair, Wendy Riggs.

One year ago, I took the HAPS-I course entitled “Rational Human Anatomy & Physiology Course Design: Incorporating the HAPS outcomes into new and existing courses” with HAPS President Emeritus, Margaret Weck. It was such a fantastic class that she’s agreed to do it again…and the good news (for you) is that the course starts up in a week (9/13/15).  That means you still have time to join the fun!

When I signed up for the class, my intention was to rework my Human Physiology course using strategies of “backwards design” to sort of SIFT through the vast quantities of information I felt obligated to include.  It was actually pretty entertaining to engage in the weekly Google Hangouts with Weck and my classmates, and listen to myself (over and over again) FORGET that I was trying to REWORK the class to PRIORITIZE the most important themes and outcomes.  Over and over (and OVER) again, Weck would nudge me back onto the Rational Road with a quiet question, “But what do you want them to be able to KNOW and DO?”  It was amazing to watch myself fall so effortlessly back into a “This would be a fun activity!  Here is an exciting project!  That sounds like a great test question!” approach, and forget again and again to ask myself, “Why should I have my students do this?  What exactly do I want them to get from it?”

Who knew that ferrets could help motivate students?!  Scritches for Margaret's ferrets motivated me!
Who knew that ferrets could help motivate students?! Scritches for Margaret’s ferrets motivated me!

But like any habit, it takes great focus, repetition, and practice to shift the way we think about education and our roles in the teacher-half of the equation.  I could EASILY take this class again…and again…and again.  (Are you sensing a pattern here?!)

So think about signing up and spending some quality time with a professor who has a great deal to offer all of us.  (Plus, she has ferrets.  And that’s just cool.)

Take Rational Course Design with Margaret Weck!
Take Rational Course Design with Margaret Weck!

Rational Human Anatomy & Physiology Course Design: Incorporating the HAPS outcomes into new and existing courses.
(2 credits) September 13 – November 2, 2015
Margaret A. Weck, D.A.
St. Louis College of Pharmacy
View syllabus
Register now:  Graduate Credit or Professional Development

The course is briefly reviews the major concepts associated with the “backwards design” model of rational course development, which stresses the value of thinking through the ultimate outcome goals (both in content mastery and cognitive skill development) for a course as a first step the course design process. Participants will examine the HAPS Course Guidelines for Undergraduate Instruction and A&P Learning Outcome statements and think about the design elements, teaching methodologies, and assessments (both formative and summative) that would best foster student achievement of these outcomes. The course will be conducted entirely on-line. Participants will produce syllabi for new or existing courses that demonstrate the principles of rational course design. As part of this process sample assignments and assessments will also be developed that could be used in any course to demonstrate student achievement of the A&P Learning Outcomes.

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