Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Impact of Technology on Teaching


Sara Sanchez Alonso

Technology infuses classrooms with new devices, such as iPads and tablet computers, and it expands course offerings with a variety of online resources. It also provides new ways to enhance student engagement through innovative instructional techniques such as the “flipping the classroom” model or “blended learning” opportunities. However, the introduction of technology into the classroom may pose important challenges to instructors: how can instructors find time to learn these new techniques while simultaneously trying to integrate them into the classroom? Will they need to rethink and redesign their course’s objectives?  

These are some of the questions that will be explored in this year’s Spring Teaching Forum (STF), organized by the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, on April 24th. The discussions will revolve around the two-way interaction between technology and learning: first, how do learning goals shape the use of technology in the classroom? Second, how does this wide range of new tools enhance learning goals? In this post, instead of providing an answer to these questions, I will try to begin the conversation and motivate readers to start thinking about the topic. In particular, my goal is to make the concept of “technology” more concrete and accessible by presenting some ways in which new technological devices can impact the classroom.  

An online search for “teaching and technology” provides so many results, it can be overwhelming at first to choose where to start. The large number of results, however, shows that technology is already having a huge impact on our teaching, and it is worth exploring this interaction. Here are some of the ways in which we can start thinking about the impact of “technology” on teaching:

1. Collaborative Tools

Collaborative tools, such as blogs, wikis, Twitter or new platforms, such as “Piazza” provide new opportunities for interactions between students and instructors, as well as promote student-student interactions. Collaborative work, whether in pairs or small groups, increases learning gains, in terms of recall, critical thinking and application of concepts to new situations. With these new tools, teaching is not limited to class meetings, but active learning and feedback can happen outside of traditional face-to-face meetings. For example, blogs encourage online writings and threaded discussion groups, and the use of wikis, i.e. a webpage that anybody can edit, can help in creating group projects or group brainstorming.

2. Information Visualization Tools

Whether it is a small data set or complex data, technology offers tools that can help users visualize and structure information as well as analyze and manipulate that information in new ways.  One of the most common tools is Geographic Information Systems (GSIS), which allows users to manage and interpret geographically-reference data by showing the different patterns and trends. Another example would be JMOL, an online platform that allows users to view the chemical structure of molecules in 3D.

3. Flipping the Classroom

This new teaching approach consists of giving students a first exposure to the material before class and using in-class time for interactions that require understanding the concept through active learning activities. It does not require the use of technology, but tools such as online videos, podcasts and quizzes are becoming more prevalent in flipped classroom settings.

4. Tablet Computers

Tablet computers offer many possibilities for teaching. On one hand, they allow for better course management by providing gradebooks and annotations to mark up PDF files with highlights and texts. They can also enhance content creation in class through applications for concept mapping or music composition, such as “Mindomo” or “Symphony Pro”. Students can also use tablets as presentation tools with slideshow viewer applications, timers and or even digital whiteboards to draw or graph.

5. Online Courses

Despite the challenges posed by the lack of face-to-face contact and the additional prerequisite of computing skills, the number of online courses is growing. In addition, several online platforms have been created to support learning management online, such as “Sakai” or “Blackboard”. Here are several great websites with tips for creating an online course. Be sure to check them out!



There are many other ways in which technology can enhance learning, such as podcasts, and presentation software tools, but I hope this guide has served as a snapshot of the many shapes that technology in teaching can take. If you want to hear about the pros and cons of technology in the classroom and learn how to achieve a balanced technology-integration of your own, come to the Spring Teaching Forum on April 24th!

In the meantime, I want to close with a quote that I recently came across online:
Colleagues sometimes ask if a specific technology will enhance student learning. That’s a bit like asking whether a chalkboard or book will. Low-tech or high-tech, a tool’s learning benefits depend on when, where, how and why you use it.
- Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon

Have you used technology in the classroom? What was your experience? Let’s get the ball rolling on a great discussion! J

 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What to Consider When Considering Flipping Your Classroom

Susie Kimport
 
Last semester, Fall 2014, I taught calculus in a flipped classroom environment.  Before every class, my students would watch short videos introducing the topics of the day and complete a series of online “prep-problems” for each video.  A few hours before every class, I received a computer-generated summary from our web platform of how my students did on these problems.  The hope was that I could use that data to better tailor examples and in-class activities to the topics with which my students were struggling.

This is normally how a flipped classroom is designed.  The basic idea is to take introductory material out of the classroom and instead use class time for hands-on examples and more interaction between the instructor and the students.   The main difference between my experience and that of most people who talk about flipping their classrooms is that I did not create or choose the videos for my students.  I was teaching as part of a coordinated course and it was our course director who created the videos two years ago.  This meant that I entered into the semester hoping to learn more about the flipped classroom and honestly, to be convinced that it could work, without having to invest a large amount of time into implementation.

While most of the things I noticed during the semester are specific to our implementation and our videos, I think the following three points are valuable to anyone considering flipping the classroom:

1.      Think about content. A pre-class video is another way to present material, just like lecture, demonstrations, or using props in class.

a.       There is some material that lends itself wonderfully to videos.  I loved the videos that meant I did not have to attempt (and fail) to draw 3D pictures on the board.  Many students spoke highly of the videos where the main goal was to derive a formula.

b.      But for the more conceptual ideas?  Videos did not cut it.  Yes, students could pause and rewind, but the explanation never changed.  This meant that some students came to class already extremely frustrated that “the videos didn’t teach [them] anything.” You may want to consider having an alternative explanation or teaching method on hand for difficult concepts.

2.      Think about the in-class experience just as much, if not more, than the videos. Before you flip a classroom with videos, you need videos.  In April, Simona Lorenzini and I will lead a workshop exactly aimed at creating this video content.  But once you have the videos, you have to use them!  The most important questions to ask yourself are:

a.       How do I gauge what my students have learned from these videos?  How can I leverage that to improve the in-class experience for all my students?

b.      How do I make my classroom as active as possible, so students stay engaged despite “learning” the material via videos?

c.       How can I make the constant transition between video and in-class and back again as seamless as possible?

3.      Just because students watched a video does not mean they have learned and internalized everything.  One selling point of the flipped classroom is that it removes some of the tedious lecture from class and therefore allows instructors to do more.  However, the students are not always as far along after watching the videos as you might hope.  Speaking from my own experience, I was often tempted to use the videos and prep-problems to justify (to myself) skipping some more basic examples. 

When I taught Calculus II without videos, I would do 3-4 simple examples in class with the students (let’s say level 1 or 2 for a scale).  If those went well, I would do a couple more complicated problems (say level 3 or 4 if they were really getting it). Last semester, one basic (level 1) example was in the video.  The prep-problems (usually) asked the students to do 2-3 level 2 or 3 examples.  Thus, it often felt natural to start class with a level 3 problem and then dive in to level 4 problems.

The problem with this: students often struggled through the prep-problems and (since they were online) sometimes got the correct answer without internalizing why.  Therefore, starting class at level 2 would have been a safer bet.  If that example goes off without issue, then slowly make your way up to levels 3 and 4.

Overall, I am happy that I tried the flipped classroom and would look forward to doing it again, though most likely with videos I picked out or created myself.  It is a different type of teaching and I think its value comes in how each person can adapt (or steal from) the concept to improve and critically reflect on their teaching, including taking those ideas back to a “traditional” classroom.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Four Things I Learned about Using Webinars for Teaching and Learning

Tyler Smith

In December, CTL fellow Simona Lorenzini and I co-facilitated a pair of webinars on the use of webinars in online learning. In a post on this blog last month, Simona reflected on our planning process. We had fun and learned a ton in our preparation for and facilitation of the webinars. We got a lot of it right, too: we produced a goal-driven lesson plan and rehearsed ahead of time; we designed ice-breakers and activities to keep our participants engaged; we were punctual in starting and ending; and we accounted for digital fatigue and distractibility by keeping the meeting short and sweet. But would we do it all over again in exactly the same way? Absolutely not. In this post, I’d like to explain some of what we learned along the way.

The webinar model most people are familiar with is focused on content delivery and usually involves one or more presenters, a behind-the-scenes navigator/troubleshooter/producer, and a listening audience. Because we were working with a smaller group and wanted to mimic the seminar-style atmosphere of a typical CTL Advanced Teaching Workshop, we tried to operate in a more collaborative, interactive mode. We were surprised to find, from the post-workshop feedback we received, that the most effective and appreciated moments in our webinars happened when Simona and I were “delivering content” rather than facilitating discussion. The takeaway: Webinars work best for sharing well-defined content with a crowd.

We offered the webinar twice, each time to a group of about a dozen participants. These upper limits were partly due to the limits imposed by Google Hangouts and partly because we thought that between ten and fifteen participants would be the sweet spot for a seminar-esque conversation. We bumped up against a significant challenge, however, in that we were working with groups of people without significant shared histories. This circumstance would also have been true had we met in person, of course, but we discovered that it is more difficult to “break the ice” online than in person. The takeaway: Collaborative webinars work better for people who have a shared history.

Though Simona and I spent a lot of time crafting our learning goals and a lesson plan, our meeting was not structured around a single, collaborative task. We might have been able to get away with throwing a bunch of strangers together for a general conversation if we each had a specific role and were collaborating on a specific task, like building a website or organizing a conference. But we wanted to facilitate a general discussion about webinars—when they might be useful in teaching, and what their advantages and disadvantages might be—as well as give our participants a first-hand experience of what it might be like to participate in a collaborative webinar. The range of questions we were interested in engaging might have worked well in a seminar, but felt in this medium like waffling around without focus. The takeaway: Webinars work best for groups of people who have a single task that can be accomplished in a compact timeframe.

In the early stages of planning, the idea of discussing webinars in a webinar seemed like a fun way to model the best practices we were promoting. As we neared the event, it turned out that this was our only “Really Compelling Reason” for having this discussion online rather than in a seminar room. We weren’t in a situation where participants were geographically dispersed, nor did weather conditions, physical disabilities, travel times, or financial considerations pose obstacles to our coming together. The conversation we were having didn’t require us all to be on our computers (e.g., manipulating data on a spreadsheet or composing a jointly-authored text). Had we met in a physical classroom, though, we wouldn’t have experienced the weight of these lessons as immediately and memorably as we did. The takeaway: educators should only opt for online meetings when they can say why a webinar better suits their participants and goals than a face-to-face meeting.  

In the feedback we collected, our participants appreciated first-hand perspectives on the tools of a webinar and the immersive dynamic that wouldn’t have been possible had we simply discussed these lessons in the abstract. But a part of us also found the form and the content to be uncomfortable bedfellows. Webinars are exciting and efficient vehicles for some kinds of teaching and learning scenarios. By preparing for them, teachers are learning to be more focused, efficient, and accessible. But webinars can’t do the same kinds of reflective, interactive, relationship-building work as a seminar or a workshop, and it would be unrealistic to expect them to. This is worth remembering at a time when some entrepreneurs and proponents of online learning are pushing to “unbundle” or even eliminate bricks-and-mortar universities as loci for learning.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Five Secrets for Creating Effective Slides

Namratha Vedire

From cave paintings and hieroglyphics to modern day video conferencing, human beings have invented different ways to communicate visually with each other. In today’s technology saturated world, PowerPoint presentations have become the most commonly used method to visually convey ideas. Unfortunately, their pervasiveness has also made PowerPoint the most abused tool. Thanks to inbuilt templates and the largely design-agnostic masses, we not only tolerate but have come to accept badly designed presentations. Not surprisingly, skeptics and cynics commonly label it a crutch. As teachers, academics and researchers, we lean quite heavily on this crutch. And even worse, accept poorly designed presentations as the norm.

As an engineer, and a theorist at that, I have sat through my fair share of classes and talks featuring downright bad presentations. Yet, I firmly oppose the idea of labeling PowerPoint as a crutch and refuse to put up with poorly designed slides anymore. I believe that when used well, the simple constructs that PowerPoint provides can create powerful and moving presentations. Don’t believe me? Al Gore’s Academy Award winning documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” is an adapted and edited version of his PowerPoint presentation. Now, you and I might not have Mr. Gore’s resources when it comes to creating our presentations, but there are a few global design principles you can use to make your slides stand out.

In this blog post, I have limited myself to 5 ideas to make your slides compelling, which are easy to adopt when making new presentations or editing those already built.

1. Ideate - Finding Non-Cliché Images

A picture is worth a thousand words. But, we rarely look beyond PowerPoint’s inbuilt clipart gallery full of cliché images like the one below showing a baton being handed off for, say, teamwork. Even if we do turn to Google images for fresh visuals, it is often hard to cull the plethora of search results for an image that fits our need. For instance, consider that you need to replace the cliché teamwork image. Before you even open your browser to find an image, employ a method called Ideating.



Ideating is a way to systematically brainstorm and open your mind to different possibilities by listing all words/phrases/analogies you can think of for your key word; here our key word is “teamwork.” Below is one instance of me ideating for teamwork.



From the above process I could now choose a picture of ants or an orchestra or a team of superheroes—say, the Avengers—as my stand-in for the cliché image depending on what works best for my presentation. Now I can turn to Google and find a focused, copyright-free image. I chose ants and I particularly liked this image.



2. Data

There are three cardinal rules while designing a data slide:

i. Pick the right tool for the job.

Determine what relationship your data portrays and then choose the tools that highlight that aspect. Some examples:



ii. Highlight what is important.

Use differentiating colors or animation to highlight the important data points/ deviations from the standard. This is a much better tool than relying on your laser pointer to draw focus because there are no uncertainties with runaway pointers. It is controlled and you already know how it will play out.

iii. Tell the truth.

I cannot stress this enough—ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH. Use the above two points to tell the truth and communicate effectively the point you wish to make.

3. One Message per Slide

Limit yourself to conveying one message (concept/ idea) in a slide. While it is okay to have overview slide to introduce your talk or section, keep to one concept in the slide. Strictly enforcing this rule should stop you from putting too much text, graphs, images or all of them on one slide.

4. Use Relationships

After isolating the one message you want to show in the slide, it is important to represent the message clearly. All I want to say on the subject, I learnt with http://www.duarte.com/diagrammer.

5. Slide Master

If you are a certified PowerPoint expert, you still might not be aware of all the handy features of PowerPoint’s Slide Master. The Slide Master is the global slide that can control Font, Color Scheme and Layout of all your slides at once. Anything you add (remove) here appears (disappears) on every slide – think logos, background color, header and footer. Learn more about accessing and editing your slide master here.

Once in the slide master view, in addition to adding global visual elements, consider adding a grid to help keep a uniform layout for your slides. Create the grid using the line tool in PowerPoint. Once you are done creating you slides, just delete the grid from the master and you are left with a consistent presentation. Explore more layout options here. As an example, I created this grid:



Setting your color scheme and choosing your font and font size is easy with the slide master. When choosing colors, keep in mind that some of your audience might be colorblind. Make sure there is enough contrast between your background and main text/ images. For color inspirations, check out paletton.

For fonts, there are a lot of options and, as I have come to realize, the choice is very personal. In addition to setting theme fonts, the master slide is a great place to delete the second, third, fourth and fifth levels of text (bullet) indents so you don’t use them to make text heavy slides. To enhance the clarity of your text, err on keeping the size medium to big. A rule of thumb to know when your text size is too small, step 2.5 feet away from your computer and if you cannot read the text – it is probably too small. For inspirations, look at fonts here.

It is important to remember that just like any other software package, PowerPoint is only as powerful as you make it. This post was written with the intent of making you aware of tips and tools to push PowerPoint’s effectiveness and enable you to create powerful presentations.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Putting the "Active" in Active Learning

Becky Van den Honert

Think of a few of your worst classes in high school or college. What made them so awful? What about your favorite classes? Why did you love them? When I think back, I remember professors that showed their passion for the material, challenged me to think in a different way, and didn’t just regurgitate facts from a textbook.

Today, I am a Psychology PhD student. I’m studying how your brain makes memories, so the topic of what helps people learn is near and dear to my heart. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about “active learning” and why it seems to work so well. Defined broadly, active learning is an approach to teaching that engages students through reading, writing, discussion, problem solving, and other sorts of activities. Almost by definition, a lecture does not fall into this category. This is where I start to get uncomfortable. Some of my all-time favorite classes have been lecture-based. Is it really the case that classes based on active learning are better than those fantastic lectures? I don’t think so.

Why do certain lectures work very well and others don’t? It has to do with why I think active learning approaches are so effective.

Below are three major factors that will improve students’ retention of information.

1.     Engagement. Students have to pay attention and fully process information they encounter in order to remember it.
2.     Integration. In order to learn, students must integrate new information into things they already know. Having a way to organize information is what turns it into knowledge.
3.     Remembering. Merely being reminded of something by hearing or reading it again will do very little to improve a student’s memory. Instead, if they voluntarily remember something (e.g., by quizzing themselves), they’ll be better able to use that information down the road.

Active learning capitalizes on all three of these things.

An activity is likely to boost students’ engagement in a number of ways. Maybe they wake up a bit by having to interact with other students. Maybe they see a real-world application and so are motivated to pay attention. Maybe the activity requires that they process some information more deeply than they would if you just told them a list of facts. But a good lecture can do all of these things too. A good story told in a history class, for example, can wake you up, can make you see real-world applications, and can be thought-provoking enough to make you process the lecture in a deep way.

A well-designed activity can also help students integrate new information with what they already know. Maybe they are forced to make connections to last semester’s material? Maybe they’re asked to relate what they’ve learned to their daily life. But again, a good teacher can organize and deliver their lecture in a way that makes you do this in your own mind.

Finally, an activity might help students remember information that they wouldn’t otherwise think of on their own. Maybe they’re asked questions that force them to recall the lessons from last week? Maybe the activity reinforces something they just learned. You won’t be surprised, now, when I say that a lecture can accomplish the same thing. Don’t forget, lecturers can pose questions. They can even support a small amount of discussion.

I worry that the phrase “active learning” makes us forget that what counts is that students’ minds are what are active. An activity that doesn’t increase engagement, integration, or remembering will be as ineffective as a boring speaker. It might just be that including certain activities in a class is among the easiest ways to create an active mind.

So take heart if you get nostalgic when you think of your favorite teachers who “just lectured.” They weren’t doing anything wrong, they were just exceptional at teaching the traditional way.






Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Building Meaningful Mentoring Relationships


Ian Althouse

At the CTL this semester, I have the opportunity to run a workshop alongside my co-facilitator Stuart Duncan in which we will explore a teaching fellow’s role beyond the classroom. One of these roles can and likely will be developing a mentoring relationship with our students and that’s what has inspired this blog post that you’re reading now!

In preparation for this workshop, I wanted to see what others had been saying about mentoring especially as it pertained to academia. As it turned out, the last few years have seen much discussion of mentoring in academia. Time and again, authors discussed the same two questions: how does one mentor well, and how does one become a mentor? From this pair of questions, there has even arisen a debate about what we mean when use the word mentor. Are we discussing an active verb, to mentor, or an inactive noun, a mentor?
           
I want to think about that debate for a moment. If we conceive of mentoring as a verb, that puts a lot, if not all, of the agency in the hands of the mentor. This idea gives me pause because it turns the mentee into a passive recipient of the mentor’s guidance. Shouldn't our mentees be active learners? And yet, I don’t believe an effective mentor can ever be, like a noun, entirely inactive.
           
In the end, what I concluded was that trying to define this word as noun or verb was insufficient. Mentor is too rich a word. We need to embrace that mentor can be either active or inactive as the situation demands. A student seeks out his or her mentor. In this, the mentor is inactive. However, once in the role of mentor, the mentor transforms into an active participant in the mentee’s life.

But if we can’t solely discuss mentoring as a verb, and if agency in this relationship is divided between mentors and mentees, how do we become mentors? If students need to seek us out, we need to show that we are ready and willing to be found. That means we need to be approachable. We need to show them that we are here, we are present, and we are listening.

So, as I read through various articles, I compiled a list of the things that we, as teaching fellows or as professors, can do or keep in mind to show our availability in fostering meaningful mentor-mentee relationships:
·      Chatting with students: This may not always have to do with academics and may not be a formal meeting in your office, but consider accompanying a student to their next class to continue a conversation or grab a coffee with them one afternoon.
·      Confidence, trust, and unanxious expectations: Your mentee needs to find that they feel these elements in their relationship with you; working or meeting with you should not be cause for added stress.
·      Commitment: Following up with students and following through on your word shows your investment in your mentee.
·      Seeing the student holistically: They are not just students in your class, but people with a host of factors affecting their lives.
·      A student-centered relationship: It’s easy to tell a student your opinions, but mentoring really happens when we listen to our students and help them hear themselves.
·      A collaborative and dialectical relationship: We as mentors must try to learn from our mentees just as they are learning from us—what do they need and how do they work?
·      Time: It takes time to mentor someone, so you’ll need to put time into getting to know your mentee.
·      Cyclical: Good mentors inspire new generations of good mentors.

We consistently see in course evaluations that those instructors who genuinely noticed and paid attention to a student stood out and often factored into a student’s reflections on the university as a whole. What this shows us is that when our students look for a mentor, they are looking for a genuine connection with another person who they trust, respect, and admire. Students are searching for authentic interpersonal relationships everywhere on campus. Our students are seeking connections to people and these relationships are the memories students will carry with them for a lifetime.

If you are interested in reading more about why we should mentor, the state of mentoring in academia, and other instructors’ experiences, I would encourage you to take a look at some of the following links:





Adviser, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On being a mentor to students in Science and Engineering. National Academy of Sciences. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1997.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What's Exciting about Course Design?


Eleonora Buonocore

As a teacher and a graduate student, there is nothing that is more exciting to me than the  possibility of designing my own course. I think many of you will agree! We are here because we love to research and to teach, and designing a new class represents the perfect occasion for merging together the two things we love the most.

This is what draw me to course design: I wanted to become good at creating and developing new and exciting courses for my students. I attended an Advanced Teaching Workshop at the Yale Teaching Center on Course Design back in 2013, and since then I started researching techniques for course design, trying to understand what makes an effective course and how to recreate it. This led me to design my own course and then to propose it as part of the Associates in Teaching (AT) program, for which it was approved in the spring of 2014. Co-teaching a new course that my advisor, Prof. Giuseppe Mazzotta, and I had designed from the very beginning was an exhilarating experience. We used all of the good practices I learned on Course Design: we began with our goals, designed to be student-centered and focused on active-learning objectives; then we created assessment methods that would reflect our goals; and finally, we selected the best material to match our goals and our assessments. We paid particular attention to varying instructional techniques and to appeal to different kinds of learners: each class period included both a PowerPoint presentation, a reading of the text, a student’s presentation and a student-led class-wide discussion. The course was a success, and the students seemed to enjoy it a lot.

I used my AT experience as a way to stress the possibilities that course design opens up to us. When you put time and effort in designing a course, the students notice it!

But it wasn’t until last semester, when I had the opportunity to run an Advanced Teaching Workshop with my co-facilitator Robert Wickham, that I discovered the full potential of Course Design. Specifically, I understood how its core competencies can be applied to all sorts of disciplines, spacing from the humanities to sciences and the social sciences. It was an eye-opening experience, since I could finally see with my own eyes in action what I always instinctively knew: that good teaching techniques are independent from the discipline you are teaching, and that they are not simply innate skills, but can be learned and reproduced. In short, I learned that you can teach how to teach, and specifically how to design a successful course.

If you were unable to come to our workshop, don’t fret! I will quickly summarize here the most important points that we covered during our workshop…

1. Familiarize yourself with the principle of Backward Design: how to design a class starting from your goals and not simply from the material you want to cover. You can find more information on Backward Design here.

2. I cannot stress enough the importance of goal-setting: set goals for your course at the start, and then set specific goals for each class period. What makes a goal good?  Objectives should be specific, clear, and measurable. In particular, it is useful to formulate your goals in an active-learning and student-centered language. Active verbs help!

3. Understand what possibilities are available as assessments (both formal and informal) for your course, and how your choices in assessment should reflect your goals and should correspond to your choice of materials. On available assessment methods, you can find a list of Classroom Assessment Techniques (CAT) here.

4. Finally, take your time to create a course schedule and to develop an appropriate syllabus! Course design is a time-consuming activity that also requires some breathing time in between the initial idea, the planning stage, and the finalized syllabus creation.

Oh, and there are plenty of resources available online on the subject of course design, so do not forget to check the links offered below:

On goal-setting for your course check out this website from University of Berkeley:

On Backward Design, check out this evaluation and summary of the excellent book Understanding by Design, by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe:

On aligning your assessment methods with your goals, see this website by Carnegie Mellon University:

For a complete guide to course design, consult University of Vanderbilt Center for Teaching website here: