Building a Pathway to Student Learning
A How-To Guide to Course Design

Foreword by Peter Felten
Paper: 978 1 57922 892 7 / $29.95
Published: October 2014  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 891 0 / $95.00
Published: October 2014  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 893 4 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: March 2015  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 894 1 / $23.99
Published: March 2015  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
150 pp., 8 1/2" x 11"
pull-outs, tables, workboxes & figures
This book leads you through the process of designing a learning-centered course. It is written as a “how-to” handbook, providing step-by-step guidance on creating a pathway to student learning, including 26 workboxes (also available free online) that lead you through each element of the course design process and promote a rich reflection process akin to being in a workshop setting. The authors prompt you to (1) consider the distinctive characteristics of your students; (2) clearly articulate your course learning goals; (3) create aligned summative assessments; (4) identify the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes students will need in order to be successful; (5) craft effective learning experiences, informed by the well-documented research on how people learn; and (6) incorporate formative assessment to ensure you and your students are staying on track.

Completion of the sequence of worksheets leads to a poster as a visual display of your course design. This graphic depiction of your course ties the components together, provides a clear map of action for teaching your course, for modifying as you evaluate the success of particular strategies or want to introduce new concepts, and for developing your syllabus. A rubric for evaluating course posters is included.

For faculty developers, this book provides a proven and ready-made resource and text around which to design or redesign learner-centered course design workshops or multi-day course design retreats, replicating or modifying the renowned workshop that the authors have developed at the Air Force Academy for both faculty new to teaching and those with many years of teaching experience under their belt.

Table of Contents:
Part One – Introduction
Chapter 1: Our Course Design System and Effective Ways to Use This Book
Chapter 2: Principles of Learning-Centered Course Design

Part Two – Elements of the Learning Pathway
Chapter 3: The Starting Point: Student Learning Factors
Chapter 4: Defining the Destination: Learning Goals
Chapter 5: Students’ Successful Arrival: Summative Assessment
Chapter 6: What Your Students Need to Be Successful: Learning Proficiencies
Chapter 7: Travelling the Pathway: Learning Experiences
Chapter 8: Staying on Track: Formative Assessment

Part Three – Pulling the Elements Together
Chapter 9: Visualizing the Learning Pathway: The Course Poster
Chapter 10: Students’ Pathway to Success: The Course Syllabus
Chapter 11: Anticipating the Challenges Ahead

Appendix A: Rubric for Evaluating Course Posters
Appendix B: Taxonomy of the Psychomotor and Affective Domains
Appendix C: Sample Syllabus


About the Authors


Sample: Chapter 1

Reviews & Endorsements:
"The workbook has much to commend. First, each chapter contains a helpful and thorough survey of the more significant research on the topic under consideration. Second, the system suggested to redesign courses is logically ordered, and effective. Third, at several key points the authors suggest proactive ways of finding evaluation of stages in the course design from colleagues. Most importantly, the authors recognize that effective course design has to be a flexible system; they do not claim to have all the answers for how every course can best be structured, rather they provide a series of guiding questions so that individual instructors can think through how to order their classes so that they effectively take students from wherever they begin, to the acquisition of central proficiencies and the accomplishment of learning goals, whatever the discipline. For these reasons, this book should be essential for anyone developing or revising courses towards a learning-centered model."
- Reflective Teaching Journal
"Building a Pathway for Student Learning offers a practical, research-informed, systematic, comprehensive yet concise pathway for faculty interested in designing and building more effective courses. The book is itself a cleverly designed “curriculum” that will engage and assist faculty across the disciplines – from novices to veterans, working individually or collaboratively – in understanding and implementing 'backward design.' I strongly commend and recommend this book to academic administrators and faculty alike for its conceptual clarity, pragmatic advice and admirable brevity.”
- Tom Angelo, Assistant Provost, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence (CAFE) and Professor of Higher Education , Queens University of Charlotte
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