ICS 398B — UC Irvine — David G. Kay
Activity 2: Design a Course of Your Choice
For most of the rest of the quarter,
each of you will design a course
of your choosing. We will approach this in stages.
For the next class, first choose the topic of your course.
You may stick with the intro course you've already started or you may choose any
other topic that might reasonably be offered
in your field. You should not feel
bound by any course that currently exists, in ICS or elsewhere. On the other
hand, if you wish to borrow from an existing
course, that's fine; just cite which course and
whose materials you're using. There's a long
tradition in teaching of borrowing materials
from other instructors; not everything you use
has to be perfectly original. But for purposes
of our seminar, you're not going to learn much
if you just copy someone else's materials
Prepare four slides as follows (though it may take more if you use PowerPoint):
- Background: What institution is your
course offered at (UCI, MIT, ...)? What are
the students like? Is it on quarters or
semesters? What's the topic of your course?
What audience level are you aiming at
(first-year students, seniors, ...)? Is the
course required? What are the prerequisites?
What do you expect the class size to be?
Will you have TAs or graders? Will there
be scheduled discussion or lab sessions?
You have free rein to make up the answers
to these questions, but once you decide, you
need to design your course to meet those
- Student learning outcomes: As before, what are the 5-10 goals or outcomes
of your course (things
you want students to be able to do by the end
of the course)? (Think about how you might
measure how students have attained these
goals, but don't write anything about that yet.)
Also answer these questions: What are the
three most valuable or most important concepts
in the course for students? What do you think
will bethe three most difficult concepts or skills
in the course (for you to teach, for the students to learn)?
- Outline/schedule: For each class meeting,
write 3-5 words about the topic or activity for
that meeting. In a typical quarter-long class
with 10 weeks and 2 meetings per week, that
would be 20 lines. Be sure to leave time for
holidays (usually one or two per quarter) and
for exams (if you're having any).
- Active learning: Everything we currently know about learning tells us that straight lecturing is not a very effective way to get students to learn. Pick one class meeting from your outline above and describe how you will address those topics using some kind of active learning techniques.
Please bring an electronic version to class to present (anything that will work with the classroom projection system is fine). Keep your own copy of these slides; you'll be adding to them as the quarter goes on and sending/presenting the whole revised package each time, so we can refer back to the previous material.
As always, feel free to send questions or comments by e-mail (or stop by in person, of course).
David G. Kay, firstname.lastname@example.org