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Meaningful Course Revision: Enhancing Academic Engagement Using Student Learning Data

Meaningful Course Revision: Enhancing Academic Engagement Using Student Learning Data

Catherine M. Wehlburg

ISBN: 978-1-933-37105-4

Apr 2006, Jossey-Bass

184 pages

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Faculty are often motivated to change the activities and design of their courses for reasons not based on data. In Meaningful Course Revision, the author seeks instead to illustrate how the appropriate use of multiple, direct measures of student-learning outcomes can lead to enhanced course development and revision. While providing an outline of methods for creating significant learning experiences, the book also includes practical suggestions for shaping the design of a course to meet student needs.

Meaningful Course Revision urges a rethinking of teaching and learning. By making student advancement its focal point, it offers guidance through

  • Data-based decision making
  • Designing course-based assessment activities
  • Using data to enhance innovation in course redesign
  • Rethinking teaching and learning
  • Embedding assessment activities in meaningful ways
  • Planning the course
  • Closing the feedback loop
  • Moving from course-level decision making to departmental curriculum planning
  • Creating a culture of student-learning outcomes assessment

Written for faculty seeking advice on how to keep their teaching interesting and effective, Meaningful Course Revision is a practical guide for collecting information about how well students are reaching course goals, learning what impact course changes are having on student learning, and putting courses into a cycle of continual revision and improvement.

About the Author.


One: Date-Based Decision-Making.

Engaged Students.

Two: Designing Course-Based.

Assessment Activities.

Measures you Already Have.

Measures You Can Create.

Student Satisfaction Measures.

Specific Methods for Course-Based Assessment.

Three: Using Data Enhance Innovation in Course Redesign.

What is innovation in course redesign?

Getting Innovative.

Four: Rethinking Teaching and Learning.

Student-Centered Teaching.

Student Engagement.

Transfer of Learning.

The "Guide on the Side."

Active Learning.

Applying Rubrics to Enhance Learning.


Five: Embedding Assessment Activities in Meaningful Ways.

Outline Your Teaching Goals.

Review Current Teaching and In-Class Activities.

Consider Adapting Existing Activities.

Create New Methods to Assess Student Learning.

The Importance of Embedding Activities.

Six: Planning The Course.

Student Learning Outcomes and Other Data Sources.

Teaching and Learning Activities.

Grading Policies and Process.

Enjoyment of Teaching.

Seven: Closing the Feedback Loop.

Collecting Informal Feedback.

Embedded Assessment Items.

Closing the Feedback Loop.

Eight: Moving from Course-Level Decision-Making to Departmental Curriculum Planning.

Mission Statement.

Development of Student Learning Outcomes.

Determining When Specific Outcomes Should Be Met.

Sharing Objectives with Students.

Collecting Information on Specific Objectives.

Identifying Other Sources of Data.

Using Data to Make Departmental Curricular Decisions.


Nine: Creating a Culture of Student Learning Outcomes Assessment.

Benefits of a Culture of Assessment.

Possible Obstacles to Building a Culture of Assessment.

Transforming an Institution's Culture.

Accreditation Issues.

Characteristics of an Institutional Culture of Assessment.


Suggested Reading.