It may be daunting to figure out where to start when you want to make positive changes to a course. Course review can serve as a starting point, providing a structured process of looking at a syllabus or course using an established rubric. The process allows us to evaluate course design, including the alignment of activities and assessment to learning objectives; the ways that students interact; and the organizing, sequencing, and pacing of course content. Our course reviews are conversational and proactive, with decisions about any changes to the course left up to you.
A syllabus review allows for a broad look into your course and can be completed more quickly than a detailed analysis of the whole course. Using the principles of backward design and based on evidence-based rubrics, such as Quality Matters and OSCQR, a syllabus review involves looking at:
Course and weekly learning objectives
- Are these measurable and active?
Assessment and evaluation
- Do assessments align with learning objectives?
- Is there evidence of formative assessment and scaffolding to allow for student success in summative assessments?
- Is student engagement productive?
- Do students connect, communicate, and collaborate?
- Are students asked to engage with each other and the content itself?
What to Expect
- If you’re interested in having a syllabus reviewed, request a consultation.
- Once your request is approved, we will send you a brief questionnaire that will provide us with additional information about your course and ask you to provide a copy of your syllabus as a Google Doc.
- After you’ve returned the form and syllabus we will ask any clarifying questions via email and then begin the analysis.
- The analysis may take up to two weeks.
- After the review is complete, we provide a brief written report and schedule a 30-45 minute follow-up meeting. At the meeting we discuss realistic expectations for changes to the course, help you develop a timeline, and provide suggestions on how you can evaluate whether the changes you have made benefit your students.
A complete course review is an involved and detailed analysis into your course using evidence-based standards. It requires access to your syllabus and your online course. We look at the following categories, exclusive of any student data:
- Course overview and information
- Technology and tools
- Design and layout
- Content and activities
- Assessment and feedback
What to Expect
- If you’re interested in having a course reviewed by us, please request a consultation.
- Once we have approved your request, we will provide an abridged version of our rubric and instructions for conducting a self-assessment to be returned within one week.
- After we receive and review your self-assessment, we will schedule a 45-50 minute meeting. Before the meeting, we will require access to your course in Brightspace.
- During our meeting you will walk us through the course itself and highlight any areas of concern or outline where you would like us to focus. We will ask specific questions about the course and the initial design process.
- Our analysis may take up to two weeks. During that period, we will be in touch via email with any questions we have, and we may request an additional conversation about the course itself.
- We will provide a high-level summary of the review and schedule a follow-up meeting. At the meeting, we help you develop a scaffolded action plan based on our findings and provide suggestions on how you can evaluate whether the changes you have made benefit your students.