Student Created Curriculum Builds Enthusiasm for Learning

Everyone has a different way of studying and learning new material. As an educator, I was often guilty of creating lessons plans that favour my preferred learning style. As Socrates said, “Knowing thyself is the height of wisdom,” but in today’s higher education system it is a wise educator who first learns about his or her students.

A few years ago I was asked to teach a basic business course to students in a fairly new program. I asked the program coordinator to describe the type of students who enrolled in his program, and what he needed the students to know by the end of the course to succeed in future courses.

He told me that they were very creative, but needed confidence. They had no business experience, were between 18 and 25 and needed to know how to create a business plan. Most of the students hadn’t yet chosen an area of specialization, and were still exploring their options. Continue reading

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The One-Minute Paper

One of my favourite ways to gather learner feedback is to use a variation of the one-minute paper. For those unfamiliar with this technique, I’ll provide a brief recap of the original one-minute paper and then describe the variation.

Administering a one-minute paper takes place at the end of the class – and it takes more than one minute. Ask the learners to answer the two following questions on a piece of paper and hand it in as they leave the classroom:

  • What was the most important point made in class today?
  • What unanswered question do you still have?

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Evaluating Course Content

Evaluating and updating a course and the lesson plans is an integral part of the instruction process because it offers teachers and trainers the opportunity to assess how well each section of plan was received by the learners. In addition evaluating is essential to measure how well each class adequately met the learning objectives, and it will also identify areas where the course content can be made more current.

This posting will examine only the examination of course content. There are other types of evaluation, such as the instructors’ teaching ability, program evaluation, and environment evaluation. I will try to write about those in future postings.

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