Nowadays in higher education, the need for effective, efficient, valued and well liked courses is growing. More students have to follow higher education in a shorter period and the use of ICT in education asks for well-designed courses
In higher education most teachers have to develop their own courses or modules. There are no ‘methods’ as in secondary education. Sometimes teachers will use the design of courses or modules designed by colleagues. They follow the didactical design step by step with some minor changes in exercises or contents. Or they adapt the didactical design to their own specific context.
But what to do if you are not satisfied with your course design or when the didactical approach in a curriculum is changed and there are no clear cut and easy to use examples?
Tools for fast and efficient course (re)design
This website is about the book The Art and Craft of Course Design written by Tony Earl. He has written this unique book in 1987.
Why do we think it is meaningful to publish his book on Internet?
The book reflects the ideas of Tony Earl about course design. He was not a conventional education scientist. He used scientific results but he added concepts, models and heuristics to enable a systematic and design oriented approach. He forced you to think out of the box with the help of some crazy ideas like the Think Tank, the Four Referents, the Response Environment Organizer (REO) and the Melody of a Course. His tools stimulate systematic and creative thinking.
Tony Earl was considered by colleagues as an excellent teacher and designer of instruction. In his workshops and finally in his book he explains how he did the job.
One of the reviewers of Tony’s book at the time of publishing, gave this clear remark:
‘You need skills like formulation of learning objectives, making a task analysis, but also you should be able to use your imagination and intuition. Especially this focus on art is special and often missing in course design.‘ The reviewer continues with the remark ‘that the process, instruments and skills for the craftsmanship are reflecting the creativity and intuition are given a place in design. Concepts like art, intuition and imagination are not often used in instructional design theories. But in course design these concepts are very important.’
We learned from him how to design a course in higher education which really worked. We cannot copy him, but he offers us some excellent ideas for fast and efficient (re)design of a course. We strongly believe that these ideas will help teachers to (re)design courses which fit modern ideas about higher education but also fit their own ideas on good higher education.
July 2014, Jan Nedermeijer, Ans Ronduite and Pierre van Eyl. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please refer to Tony Earl.
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