Courses that Help Students Learn
Dee Fink, Director, Instructional Development Program, University of Oklahoma,
and author of Creating Significant Learning Experiences (Jossey-Bass,
2003), has agreed to present two workshops at U.Va. on Friday, November
19. The morning session will focus on creating particularly effective
assignments; the afternoon session will provide a broader overview of
ways to design courses that really help students learn.
in similar workshops around the US have offered comments such as these:
- The session
and the handouts were awesome.
- Dr. Fink
brought active learning to life. I had parts of it in my courses, but
now I am excited about it.
workshop really added to my understanding of course design.
- The diagrams
in the handout were simple, yet powerful. I will be able to use most
of this approach in my classes.
Dee Fink has
provided a handout
which he recommends reading prior to the workshops.
Effective Feedback and Assessment
to gauging how effectively your courses promote learning are the assignments
that evaluate or assess how well or poorly students are doing. But can
these assignments do more than just tell us whether the students "got
it" or not?
argues they can accomplish much more when they are part of an integrated
course design. In this workshop, he explains the concept of "educative"
assessment-that is, ways to provide feedback and design tests, exams or
projects that are situated in real-life contexts, that are connected to
course goals, and that encourage students to assess their own work. Participants
will have the chance to consider these ideas in the context of their own
Courses for More Powerful Student Learning
want their students to acquire powerful and significant kinds of learning.
We would like them, for example, to be able to think critically and solve
complex problems, to connect one kind of knowledge to another, to understand
the personal and social implications of their knowledge, to learn how
to keep on learning, and so on. How can we best help our students learn
in significant ways?
work with college professors for over 25 years has convinced him that
we can design such learning into our courses. In this workshop, he lays
out the basic principles and procedures of effective course design. Participants
will have the opportunity to consider what constitutes key knowledge and
important learning experiences in their disciplines, as well as what types
of classroom activities and assessment tools will best accomplish their