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Backwards course design

This week I attended two courses for my Teaching Certificate. Both were about backwards course design.

What is backwards course design? Well, it´s a student-centric way of designing your course. Instead of thinking about what to fill a lecture with, then figuring out how to assess the student´s knowledge, and then writing out the learning goals of the course, you start on the other end. Start by thinking about what the students should know by the time the course finishes. Break those things down to smaller pieces- class goals. That way, the way of assessing the skills and the contents of the lectures will basically write themselves.

We also learned how to write goals in a more precise way- the SAM method of “Specific, Attainable, Measurable”. If a goal is written so the SAM is fulfilled it will become easier for the students to understand what is expected of them, and easier for the instructor to assess their skills or knowledge.

The courses are part of an ongoing seminar series on Zoom and can be accessed through the Stanford Postdoc website.

See you there soon!

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