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Backward Design for Purposeful Professors

October 20, 2021 @ 2:30 pm 4:00 pm

“Teaching is like a gas—it will fill all the space you give to it” goes the truism for university teaching. Think of it as similar to the “shopping cart syndrome”: if we shop without a clear purpose, we can end up with an impulse-cart containing plastic gnomes, freeze dried rutabagas, and bags of discounted candy corn from last Halloween. Teaching, like shopping, can unintentionally become a collection of shiny activities, “cool” techniques and sparkly technologies that fill the hours, but cumulatively begin to interfere with the original goal of providing students with a clear (nutritious!) path to a meaningful purpose.

Backward Design is the antidote for the age-old strategy of course design through accumulation and incremental adaptation. Backward Design is both a stimulus for finding clarity on what students will accomplish in your course; and a restraint on the exuberance that can turn your course into an ever-expanding shopping spree that overwhelms students.

In this hands-on session we invite participants to come back to the central purpose of their course, and to streamline the journey their students will take to achieve it. This means looking intently at how your course’s central purpose is expressed—with action-oriented Learning Outcomes—and then carefully mapping out the path that students will follow to that destination.

Veteran instructors are invited to take this opportunity to revisit the recent designs they improvised during the year of the Pandemic; new teachers to VIU will be introduced to a design strategy that will have a generous pay-off throughout their careers.

Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2:30 – 4:00 pm

Location: Zoom Room

Registration: https://inviu.viu.ca/Training/view.cfm?MenuID=10&section=course_view&CategoryID=23&ID=2348&sessiondate=2021-10-20

Questions: ciel@viu.ca | Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning