Course Improvement – OLC

by | Feb 8, 2019 | Teaching | 0 comments

The OLC course is keeping me busy! After the learning community discussion, we began looking at rubrics for assessing our courses. MSU has a partnership with Quality Matters, so I have used that rubric before for course design and evaluation, but it was really great reviewing other rubrics as well. Some concepts exist in all the rubrics (e.g. alignment of objectives with learning activities and assessments), but each had some unique components. Also, OLC has a scorecard (i.e. rubric) for assessing programs as well, and it would be great to be able to begin looking at how Medical Neuroscience holds up. 

The first two weeks had such great resources, which we then had to use to create our course design and a syllabus. I am redesigning my undergraduate neurobiology course. The OLC project (a completed course) doesn’t have to be finished for a year, but I figure if I’m putting in the work now, I might as well use what I’m learning and implement it for my summer course. The course design had me reframing some of my course objectives – what DO I mean by communicate science “effectively” and how will I measure that? – leading to some major edits of course activities. I have never been truly happy with my discussion forums, so those are going to get a revamp. The upside is I hope it makes for better engagement in the course, the downside is I am going to have a ton of videos to redo <eyeroll>. 

This week we have been working on the syllabus. Even with a pretty well-structured syllabus to start with, there is new information the course wants included, the changes to my discussion forums and learning activities to add in, and little things like figuring out the schedule and when assignments will be due. Plus, like NEU 841, I wanted to make this syllabus digital. So I feel like I have done little besides syllabus work this week! But I know May-Casey will be thanking February-Casey down the road for all the hard work. 


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