Showing posts from October, 2016

Skinning the cat

Here's my shameful little secret: I don't course plan, not like I should anyway.  Oh I have a plan and I carry it out, but I could not produce for you anything that looks like a detailed lesson plan.  At best I could show you some scribbled Post-It notes or a few cocktail napkins.  But nothing that bespeaks the best practices of backwards-design or a detailed map that exquisitely links learning objectives to every activity and moment of the class. And I feel bad about this.  Have for years.

Don't get me wrong.  I aim at learning outcomes but I tend to feel my way toward them rather than Mapquest the route.  I just need to be in a course--thinking tactically, taking the measure of the room--to know what will work and what won't.   This is wrong, wrong, wrong, I know.   Even so, knowing this (and relative success teaching over the past two decades) hasn't yet lead me to change my ways.  So this semester I hit upon a plan to outsmart myself.

I am teaching in the same …