Questions tagged [course-design]

Questions relating to the design of courses, such as ordering of material, frequency of assessment, duration of class sessions, homework requirements, etc.

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Can the terms Alpha/Beta release be applied to an online course?

Alpha and Beta releases are stages in software release life cycle. Could these terms be used to denote the stages of ripeness of an online course? The background for this question is that I have ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
136 views

Instructor is convering a large portion of course in small period of time

We are taking a course in Mathematical Physics and due to pandemics, the semester period is reduced by at least a month than usual. The last few classes were rushed, the instructor barely give time to ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Are modern-day classes primarily for distillation of knowledge or are they primarily for testing/examination/certification?

This is a philosophical question. From undergrad (which I did stem), I have noticed that in some classes, the teachers taught the absolute bare minimum, almost like overviews of a topic, often times ...
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3 votes
3 answers
174 views

May a postdoc propose, design, and lecture his graduate-level course? [closed]

I'll be starting a postdoc position in a Canadian institute soon. However, I could not secure any independent lectureship in the course of my contract interval (but just a limited joint lectureship ...
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28 votes
9 answers
6k views

Best day of the week to hold an exam?

I'm a course instructor and was finalizing my syllabus when I hit a bit of a wall and would love to hear the community's input. If you're teaching a class that meets twice per week, do you prefer to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Distribution of in-class and online activities during hybrid teaching after COVID-19

Here in Brazil we are slowly returning to face-to-face activities, and this includes university classes. Most proposal suggest that we do this gradually, by first implementing a hybrid teaching system ...
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2 votes
2 answers
215 views

UK - Help me understand the instructions for a teaching position interview (lecture/presentation) (Computer Science)

I applied for a teaching position with a special focus on data science and artificial intelligence, these are the instructions for a presentation I will make: Assume that the audience is a class of ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
164 views

Advice on grading assignments and exams during Covid Pandemic

I am TAing for an undergraduate course: "Data Structure and Algorithms". The course is attended by around 200 students consisting of second to fourth-year students of multiple disciplines. ...
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38 votes
5 answers
9k views

How can I deal with students who try to steer a course (in the online setting)?

I am not a course instructor, but I am a teaching assistant for a large course in STEM in the large US school. I have been soliciting advice from students to improve the course and tutorial for the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
194 views

Is material produced for a course considered property of the department?

I was asked last year to set up a completely new course, far from my expertise (say, you work on differential equations but they ask you to teach general relativity). The department did not give me ...
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9 votes
4 answers
463 views

Course design: basics first or teach "as you go"

I am going to offer an elective course which I am free to design. The topic is a bit special, but we can assume I give a robotics course. I will teach a fair amount of probability theory which I need ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How should a prof assign duty for a course with a discussion forum/board?

I am (with a few fellow TAs) helping a prof with an online course in STEM that has a discussion forum/board. However, it seems to me that this wasn't really thought through and now we have reached a ...
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4 votes
1 answer
340 views

Online classes - student says his learning style is different so he doesn't attend

My university has opted for online classes this semester, and I think it is great to be honest for the nature of the course topic, so a 3 hour course has a live section, reading assignments section ...
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  • 1,863
6 votes
1 answer
466 views

Alternative ways to use lecture time when only one quarter of the students can attend?

In the upcoming semester, we are going to organise and hold a beginner’s lecture with some peculiar restrictions (due to the COVID-19 crisis): We can use a lecture hall at two 90-minute slots per ...
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4 votes
4 answers
516 views

Why lab sessions are handled by TAs?

Consider a course (say machine learning). Professors attend to deal with a theoretical part and then does not involve in the coding part. The task of handling the coding part is left to the TAs of the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
217 views

Can I teach the same course I developed at one university at another university as well?

University A hired me to teach a course. It paid the costs of preparation (3 months) and financed tranining sessions to enhance my instructing abilities. University B now asked me to offer the same ...
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1 vote
3 answers
150 views

How much reading is appropriate to give to students? [closed]

I'm designing an introductory undergraduate course on social science which is mostly based on not-so technical textbooks and articles (little math involved). Essays will be the key form of evaluation. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
187 views

Why do UK universities often have Classics and History MA courses separated?

In many UK universities Classics courses (study/research of the history and culture of ancient Greek and Roman civilizations) are singled out and presented distinct from History courses. They even ...
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1 vote
1 answer
292 views

Does auditing a course hold any value?

I was quite curious about doing neuroscience so I reached out to a prof in my institution (IIT-K), who suggested me an online course on the same (MCB80). I have audit the course and am following it ...
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55 votes
6 answers
15k views

My professor is not teaching his online course himself, but uses publicly available videos instead. Is this appropriate?

I'm taking a graduate course online this semester, and have noticed a few things: Professor has assigned us a mid-term, a final, and a research paper as the coursework for the class. These are the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
442 views

Efficient use of the class time when all lectures are already on Youtube

I am teaching an obligatory course to undergraduates. There are about 160 registered students, divided into four classes of forty. Each class is three academic hours. Last year, my lectures have been ...
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2 votes
0 answers
67 views

Developing a digital literacy course [closed]

I am developing a digital literacy course in Persian. Do you know where can I find a similar course or quality content in English?
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0 votes
3 answers
205 views

New overlapping courses [closed]

As departments grow, they tend to hire people in the same area of research. And different people from different communities call things differently. For example, people in Statistics may call it "...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Can a single college course section be taught by two professors?

For example, having half of the lessons taught by one professor, and the other half of the lessons taught by another professor. If this isn't possible, why isn't it possible? Can you provide any ...
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11 votes
5 answers
5k views

Course development: can I pay someone to make slides for the course?

I am asked to start from scratch and develop a new under-graduate course this fall. I still have about 2.5 months left but since there are tons of research commitments ahead, I am basically a bit ...
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2 votes
3 answers
298 views

Changing level of difficulty of assignments for a course based on average class performance

As a teaching faculty in mathematics, do I need to change the difficulty level of assignments after assessing the average class performance in the first couple of lectures? I am not sure if this is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
58 views

Software to help planning a course

I’m teaching a few classes next semester and feel scattered. Can you recommend some software to help me plan out a course so on each day I can see what topic I’m teaching, activities planned, homework ...
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4 votes
2 answers
263 views

How to assign grades in a game development course?

I am planning a course on game development. Currently my main problem is how to design the assignments and grade them in a fair and objective manner. In previous courses I taught (like basic ...
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1 vote
2 answers
118 views

What is the code of ethics and citation in course development

Say you are developing a new advanced course in Computer Science in a fast-developing area. You may look at equivalent courses given elsewhere that partially overlap with your new course, while ...
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  • 175
8 votes
1 answer
338 views

How should I plan my course schedule given that my wife is due to give birth during the semester?

I have been teaching for a few years at my university, and have mostly gotten into the rhythm of teaching and doing research. This semester, I am teaching two courses. What is different this semester ...
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1 vote
2 answers
266 views

What would go wrong if we were to implement the following education system in universities? [closed]

I think, in our current education system in universities, there are lots of problems, some of which are listed below, and I think we are wasting lots of time by repeating (possibly a worse version of) ...
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38 votes
11 answers
9k views

Is it common to have exam questions 'peer reviewed'?

How common is it that exam questions, after being designed by the instructor and before being given to the students, are checked by a colleague in one's same institute, to make sure that they are ...
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33 votes
5 answers
9k views

Is it rude to ask the lecturer whether there is any “effective prerequisite”?

Situation: My university has an online course registration system. Students (including me) choose courses in the system and submit their requests at certain time. Sometimes, the course information is ...
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3 votes
3 answers
702 views

Recitation Grades

I'm a Graduate Teaching Assistant in a Mathematics at a large state university. In the fall semester, I will be expected to be a TA for Calculus I, which will be taken by first year students. The ...
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8 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to implement flipped classroom for 18 year olds?

I teach an introductory programming course at university where 99% of my students are 18-20 years old. They are used to the old and boring education system they know from high school, so they are not ...
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1 vote
3 answers
393 views

Is an undergraduate physics degree the same everywhere in terms of coursework?

Is a degree in physics the same everywhere in terms of what is being taught or are there differences from one institution to the other ?
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51 votes
6 answers
27k views

How does the college course 101 numbering system work?

I'm not an American, but I know that the number 101, often used postpositively, is used to mean fundamentals/rudiments of a particular scholarly subject. I know (partially as a hunch but I also looked ...
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2 votes
1 answer
320 views

How common is flipped classroom type teaching?

Flipped classroom teaching has become gradually more popular and studies show that the effectiveness of learning is better than in traditional lecture type courses. I've tried to give feedback to my ...
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24 votes
9 answers
5k views

What does one call a group of similar courses where only one can be taken for credit?

Is there a word to describe the case when a student can only receive credit for one of a group of courses because they are versions of a single course? For example, "Accelerated Elementary Statistics"...
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  • 423
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

Should I include non-English textbooks in the course?

This is set up in a Russian university with English as a working language, but may apply to any university with a large share of international students. Suppose I'm listing a set of course materials, ...
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3 votes
3 answers
129 views

How can I balance the reading requirements for a large survey course?

I'm currently developing the lesson plan for a large (~100 students) survey course in history for the fall semester. Since this is my first time as instructor of record for the course I'm having some ...
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6 votes
3 answers
291 views

How should I structure exams when individual problems could use up the entire class time?

I am currently preparing for a new class in an area in which the individual problems can be very long. (My writeups for individual homework problems were often three or four pages long when I took the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
224 views

How to schedule homework?

Many times topics in courses are week-aligned, i.e., topic1 is studied on week1 (say in lecture1 on Monday/Wednesday and then in TA-section-1 on Friday), then topic 2 is studied on week2, etc. Say ...
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  • 7,339
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Strategies to manage long-term course development

I'm in an interesting position in that I get to work with multiple instructors on multiple courses. I'm usually tasked with coming up with draft assignments, rubrics, and other learning material. So ...
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1 vote
1 answer
482 views

Professor Isn't Teaching the Course we Signed up for

Okay, so it is kind of a weird situation and we don't know what to do. The situation is this: I am currently doing a math major and some of courses have two different (but equivalent) options -- ...
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  • 265
2 votes
1 answer
212 views

Lectures are way ahead of the planned schedule for the course. What should be done?

In my university, we submit a lecture plan at the academic semester starts. The lecture plan is a kind of semi-official documentation on the schedule of lectures or topics (Ref: Planning a course: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
103 views

When developing a course, how to determine number of credits?

I am a graduate student helping with the development of a course and will be teaching at least part of it. However, I found out recently that the program wants to offer it as a 1-2 credit course. It'...
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9 votes
3 answers
462 views

Course gamification: rewards that aren't bonus marks?

I am experimenting with a game mechanism in my course in which students can progress through 4 core competencies, A, B, C, and D. Each competency has 3 levels, 1, 2, and 3. The game component is ...
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4 votes
3 answers
365 views

How much effort should weekly homework be worth?

Background: Just completed my PhD, have to teach one part of a graduate course in EE. Remaining course is taught by another senior prof. Course has two classes, totalling 3 hours per week, and one ...
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57 votes
10 answers
9k views

Can I learn the course material for the first time while I'm teaching it?

If I'm going to give students the course X in next semester. Should I have full understanding of the subject before I teach them or can I learn about the topics before I go to the class and then teach ...
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