Developing a Course Syllabus with Backward Design

Thursday, April 25, 2019
11:40 AM - 12:55 PM

Center for Teaching Excellence
Thomas Cooper Library, Room L511

If you have elected to attend this workshop via web conference, log-in as a guest at Livestream CTE WorkshopAccess the link at least 24-hours prior to the workshop to be sure that you can successfully log in.

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Are you an instructor who never actually “learned” how to write or develop a quality course syllabus? Or do you feel your course is just not leading to the learning you expected in your students? How can these issues be resolved? For a quality course that engenders deep and meaningful learning, instructors need to write the syllabus from the perspective of what the student will achieve, and design realistic, meaningful outcomes and associated curriculum to do so.

In this workshop, we will outline the framework for developing a syllabus for a course of your choosing, using the conceptual framework of “Backward Design” (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005). We’ll discuss the importance of (and practice crafting) thoughtfully designed learning outcomes, and then work backward to develop appropriate assessments, meaningful class learning activities, and finally, determine the most effective method for teaching that activity. Other tips and advice for syllabus development, along with examples of good and bad syllabus construction, will be discussed with other participants in a small group setting.



Michelle Hardee
TA Training Program Manager
Center for Teaching Excellence

Michelle L. Hardee is the program manager for graduate student TA programs in the Center for Teaching Excellence. She received her Ph.D. in marine science from the University of South Carolina. Throughout her 24-year teaching career, Michelle has been actively involved in marine science education and teacher training. She taught throughout her graduate program, as an instructor at Coastal Carolina University and as an adjunct professor of geology at the College of Charleston, and is currently an instructor in the Marine Science Program at UofSC.