“I resist setting objectives early in the course design process," she told me. "I feel like the objectives I do set are vague for that reason.
"You don’t know before you meet the students what they bring into the classroom, so you also don't know what will be most beneficial for them. I wanted to meet students before I made big decisions."
But she also recognized the need for a foothold to help guide her course design -- the sort of foothold that instructor-created objectives can provide.
“Instead of designing based on the objectives,” she says, “the project-based nature of the course drove the design. I asked, ‘What is the range of tools I could give students to improve their writing?’
"For example, here are ten ways to brainstorm, which one works for you? I built the course on a writing process -- even though I don’t think there is just one way to do it, one process.”
Toward the end of our phonecall, I asked Jaclyn to tell me a lightning learning story -- a time in her education when things took a turn.
She immediately knew the story she wanted to tell.
She was an undergraduate taking an independent study, which meant she was designing a course for herself -- her first experience with course design.
“I had to think about what I was trying to get out of it," she told me. "And that’s what I am trying to do for my students: satisfy the requirements and make it your own.”
Created with images by ulleo - "no stamp cube" • Zetong Li - "untitled image" • Christopher Windus - "untitled image" • Tegan Mierle - "untitled image" • Johannes Plenio - "untitled image"