From Reflection to Design: Creating a Syllabus from Scratch


Thursday, January 24, 2019, 2:00pm to 4:00pm


Science Center 302

As an experienced TF, how do you reflect on your teaching experience, and prepare job market materials that tell the story of the teacher you are and the teacher you want to become? Specifically, how can a syllabus function in this way? Most tenure-track job postings request a sample syllabus. How do you go about creating one? 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 brainstorm learning goals for our courses, then work backwards and discuss appropriate methods of assessment and instruction to help reach them. What kinds of assignments will let you measure your students’ learning? From here we will create a syllabus outline that you can fill in with the kinds of lectures/readings/experiences that students need to prepare for the assignments. We’ll also talk about how this process helps you reflect on your own values and priorities as a teacher. Participants should come prepared with ideas for an introductory course in their discipline and expect to leave with at least the outline of a new syllabus.

Register here.

This workshop is a part of Winter Teaching Week- a series of intensive workshops offered during J-Term in conjunction with January@GSASfor graduate student teachers at every stage, from just starting out to looking toward the job market.

Led by Eleanor Finnegan, General Education Project Lead, Derek Bok Center