CET Partners with Instructional Technology Services For First Session of Lunch & Learn Series

Today, the Center for Educational Technologies, in partnership with Instructional Technology Services (ITS) was excited to welcome faculty to their first Lunch & Learn, entitled “Course Alignment: What is it and Why is it important?” In the first edition of this three-part series, participants explored the topic of course alignment and were guided through the process of auditing one’s own course objectives and assessment. During the workshop, attendees worked alongside Sharon Mainka and Hilario Hinojosa of Instructional Technology Services to review best practices for setting objectives and assessments that are representative of the content and truly reflect the knowledge students are expected to gain throughout the duration of their courses.

ITS team member presenting at workshop

“I hope faculty are able to walk away today with the tools they need to review their own courses and identify areas where they can further align their learning objectives and related assessments. Not only will this enhance their practice, but it will positively impact the student experience within their classroom.” — Hilario Hinojosa, Information Technology Consultant

As educators, we desire to create a classroom environment where the learning activities we create support students in achieving desired learning outcomes. This alignment of what takes place within the classroom, begins with the creation of measurable objectives. What is it that students are expected to know by the end of the course? Once established, learning objectives will serve as a point of reference for determining what materials, tools, and activities are necessary to promote student learning. Even more importantly, they will determine the context with which students are assessed for mastery.
While course alignment may look differently for everyone, it is a process that all faculty and their students will benefit from.

Key takeaways from the session include:

  1.  Aligned courses provide the framework to support students to achieve set learning objectives, while accurately assessing what students are learning.
  2. Measurable objectives form the basis of alignment.
  3. Measurable objectives begin with an action verb.
  4. Leveraging Bloom’s taxonomy when creating course objectives and corresponding assessments can create a dynamic learning environment
  5. Assessments for mastery should align with the learning objective you have set.

Overall, the session was a clever combination of lecture, discussion, and practice, with attendees having the opportunity to practice their new skills with a real-world example. For many attendees, the session was refreshing and encouraged reflexivity.

“It is a true benefit to have guidelines for evaluating how we communicate our course expectations to our students. I appreciated today’s session because it allowed me a chance to reflect on my current practices and self-assess what I am teaching.” — Shannon Washburn, DVM, PhD. Clinical Associate Professor

In supplement to today’s session and subsequent Lunch & Learn sessions, Instructional Technology Services will be hosting open hours for one-on-one consultations to support faculty in their efforts to align their courses and apply the skills being taught within the workshops. These open hours are available to any faculty interested in meeting with a consultant. Please see the schedule below:

Course Alignment Open Guidance Session
Tuesday, October 30 from 1PM — 4PM in CET Suite (VIDI 223G)
Enjoy a one-on-one consultation on course alignment! Bring your course materials (i.e. syllabi, course objectives, learning objectives, etc.) and your questions, and let an ITS team member guide you through the course alignment process.

Did you miss today’s session? Mark your calendar to join us for the rest of our Lunch & Learn series outlined below:

Active Learning Classroom Techniques  [Register Here]
Tuesday, November 13 from 11:30 AM — 12:30PM  in CET Suite (VIDI 223G)
The presenter will take additional questions from 12:30PM — 1:30PM
Active Learning Classrooms (ALCs) offer unique teaching and learning experiences. ALC strategies can ensure greater student interaction and engagement with the instruction, course resources, and one another in the classroom. Join this workshop as we look at how to utilize ALCs to create a student-centered learning environment.

Active Learning Classroom Techniques Open Guidance Session
Tuesday, November 27 from 1PM — 4PM in CET Suite (VIDI 223G)
Connect with members of the ITS team to discuss how you can implement active learning within your course.

10 Tips for Creating Accessible Course Content  [Register Here]
Tuesday, December 11from 11:30 AM — 12:30PM  in CET Suite (VIDI 223G)
The presenter will take additional questions from 12:30PM — 1:30PM
An overview of 10 tips that will generally improve the learning experience for individuals with non-apparent disabilities and who use adaptive technologies to support their learning. The tips will also improve accessibility and usability for all students in your course.

Creating Accessible Content Open Guidance Session
Tuesday, December 18 from 1PM — 4PM in CET Suite (VIDI 223G)
Connect with members of the ITS team to discuss how you can create accessible content.

Please join the Center for Educational Technologies and Instructional Technology Services for the rest of the Lunch & Learn series. You will not want to miss it!