John P Egan's FCP E-Portfolio

course update

without comments

As we’re entering year 3 of a 5 year development cycle, my colleague Jeff Miller and I sat down to see where my course needs updating.  In bits over the last several weeks I’ve been hacking away at it: now I just need to upload the pages into WebCT Vista. Something I seem quite skilled at messing up!

What’s been done:

  • With 2 assignments due the ultimate week of the course, we moved the discussion topic to the penultimate week
  • The resource upon which the (original) penultimate discussion was structured has died an internet death. So we didn’t replace it (see above)
  • Ensured all instructions to all assignments was consistent across the site pages
  • Added some detail to one of the summative assignment descriptions–and some more points!

Still to do: Update assessment rubrics for several assignments. That’s what December is for, right?

Within the course we use Chickering and Gamson’s 7 principles (must reading for all teaching in higher ed methinks) and I’ve been ruminating on how well my practice aligns with the principles.  How about a table then?

Practice Reflection
  1. Encourages contact between students and faculty
I do this very well: I’m available, I engage substantively, and I participate in the learning community.
  1. Develops reciprocity and cooperation among students
In addition to one team-based activity (required; not summatively assessed), the nature of the assignments advantages those who work collaboratively—and fairly—with one another.
  1. Encourages active learning
Heck yeah: every learning activity is authentic. They’re also linkable to real-world practice.
  1. Gives prompt feedback
One week turnaround on assignments. 100% record working to this standard.
  1. Emphasizes time on task
More than some of my colleagues. I don’t allow for ‘flexible” due dates without compelling reasons for accommodation. In the professional world life is “pass/fail”: work must be done to standard, including timeliness.
  1. Communicates high expectations
Very much so—and my assessment strategy (based on mastery) is skewed to reward industriousness and self-reflection.
  1. Respects diverse talents and ways of learning
This is one I could work on more.There’s materials for verbal, kinesthetic,  and visual. But it’s also very structured: there are bits of each learning style, but nowhere do I offer the same content via multiple learning styles.Any suggestions?

See? Not perfect.


Chickering, A.W. & Gamson, Z.F. (1987). Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, 39 (7), 3-7. Accessed online 11 Mar 2009

Written by John P Egan

November 8th, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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