Upon the successful conclusion of Module 1, you will:
Teaching is a multifaceted process involving many responsibilities. To teach effectively, we must be knowledgeable, skilled and current in regard to our subject matter, be able to make decisions about the purpose and nature of the learning experience, be able to choose appropriate types of interactions with students and among students, and manage the entire instructional event. The level at which these tasks are accomplished directly affects the quality of students’ learning experiences. Unfortunately, graduate school experiences and faculty development programs do not always adequately prepare faculty to design and manage instructional events, resulting in less than perfect learning experiences for students. Providing students with significant learning experiences can only be achieved if faculty have an understanding of how instructional events are designed (Fink, 2003).
Although there are several systematic instructional design models which vary greatly in the specific number of phases and graphical representations, the major components common to all are: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation (Gagné, Wager et. al., 2005).
One model gaining attention in higher education in recent years is Fink’s (2003) Model of Integrated Course Design (presented below). The distinctive characteristic of this model is the inter-relatedness of the components: situational factors, learning goals, feedback and assessment, and teaching and learning activities.
Fink’s (2003) model provides opportunities to:
Purposeful teaching and learning is a systematic process in which every component of the system is crucial to successful learning. These components - the learners, the instructor, the instructional materials, the delivery system, and the learning and performance environments - must all effectively interact with each other to bring about desired learning outcomes. Any change in components can adversely affect the others and the eventual learning outcomes (Dick and Carey, 2009).
For this reason, the first step to designing a course that will provide students with valuable and lasting learning experiences is to accurately identify all the important Situational Factors that might influence the course you intend to design. Failure to adequately identify these factors can ruin the entire instructional event (Dick and Carey, 2009).
PLEASE NOTE: As you begin identifying the situational factors that may influence your course, you may discover that you need to gather some additional information through interviews with other members of your department, research using departmental and programmatic documents, etc. The information you gather now will be useful in identifying learning goals, formulating feedback and assessment, and selecting appropriate teaching and learning activities.
Fink (2003) and Gagné et. al (2005) provide guiding questions to identify important situational factors that might influence your course. These include:
Please use Worksheet 1: Situational Factors Analysis to identify important situational factors for your course.
The more details you provide, the more likely you will be able to design an integrated course for significant learning experiences. The information gathered will help you formulate your transformational goal and learning outcomes in Module 2.
A completed version of the Situational Factors Analysis worksheet is also provided (as an example) in the Handouts box above.
Please use the Time for Reflection worksheet to keep a journal of your reflections.
We hope that Module 1 has helped you:
Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2009). The systematic design of instruction (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson.
Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Gagné, R. M., Wager, W. W., Golas, K. E., & Keller, J. M. (2005). Principles of instructional design (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Thank you for completing Module 1. Please proceed to Module 2 to formulate your Transformational Goal and Learning Outcomes.