Learning Theory

Course Planning

In preparation for building Jackrabbit English’s online courses, I reviewed course planning ideas from different universities, businesses, and coaching programs.

University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s page about course planning was very helpful. The first step is about defining the underlying purpose of the course and a suggestion for how to achieve that:

To make the world a better place – use contemporary social issues to help students learn their roles in accomplishing this goal.

To teach students to think effectively – plan student interaction employing the intellectual skills of observing, classifying, applying, analyzing, and evaluating.

To provide students with the ability to earn a living as productive citizens – include vocational knowledge and skills.

To engage students in personally enriching experiences – select individualized content so students will discover themselves as unique individuals and develop personal autonomy.

To emphasize the great ideas, products and discoveries of the human mind – select content from the discipline to illuminate major ideas and concepts of important thinkers.

To help students clarify their beliefs and values to provide guidance in their lives – plan exercises which consider the merits of alternative values.

But there’s an odd duck about halfway through:

If it demands systematical instructional processes, you’ll need to specify course goals and objectives clearly, with the processes designed to achieve them.

https://www.unl.edu/gtahandbook/planning-your-course 2020-01-04

In my opinion, all courses demand systematical instructional processes, with defined goals and objectives (and the processes designed to achieve them). This is fundamental to teaching and runs parallel to the other goals cited above.

Really, this is infrastructure. It’s the framework or scaffolding you build coursework around to achieve any of those other, loftier goals. Without systematical instructional process, goals, and objectives, how will all the shareholders in the educational process determine if learning is even happening?

Just figuring out how the process I’ll use to create courses here has me learning something new.

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