From Reflection to Design: Backward Design and the Syllabus


Friday, January 21, 2022, 9:30am to 11:30am



Led by:
Eleanor Finnegan, Assistant Director, Faculty Programming

What are the goals of a course, and how does it fit into a discipline? What are the different components and how do they fit together? Done well, a good syllabus can be a road map, a contract, and a guide for both instructors and students. This workshop introduces a method of curriculum planning called backwards design. The idea is simple: you can’t start planning how you’re going to teach until you know what you want your students to learn. Together we’ll look at sample syllabi to surface the course goals and objectives and then work backwards and discuss appropriate methods of assessment and instruction to help reach them. We’ll also talk about how this process helps you reflect on your own values and priorities as a teacher, as well as how understanding syllabus design can help you as a learner.

This workshop is being offered as part of Winter Teaching Week and is designed for GSAS PhD students and others at similar career stages engaged in the teaching of Harvard College undergraduates. Pre-registration is required.

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