Is your course designed for instruction or learning?

Learning Paradigm
Learning Paradigm
Instruction Paradigm
Instruction Paradigm

A Checklist for Course Design and Course Evaluation

I use Barr’s and Tagg’s, A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education, Comparing Educational Paradigms Chart for guiding faculty through course design and students with effective course evaluation.  Items on my checklists are designed and modified from the following four (4) categories with items listed below. (The wording of checklist statements vary from instance to instance of use.) The 1995 article is given to faculty and students for discussion. Surprisingly, some students read it and, after class group discussions, give serious consideration to their course evaluation comments.  The students that read it are the group discussion leaders.  The article and chart are used for pre and post reviews of traditional, hybrid, and online courses by the faculty.  Article:  Robert B. Barr and John Tagg, From Teaching to Learning-A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education, Change, Vol.27. No. 6 (1995),

  1. Mission and Purposes

Instruction Paradigm

  • Provide/deliver instruction
  • Transfer knowledge from faculty to students
  • Offer courses and programs
  • Improve the quality of instruction
  • Achieve access for diverse students

Learning Paradigm

  • Produce learning
  • Elicit students discovery and construction of knowledge
  • Create powerful learning environments
  • Improve the quality of learning
  • Achieve success for diverse students student
  1. Criteria for Success

Instruction Paradigm

  • Learning varies
  • Inputs, resources
  • Quality of entering students
  • Curriculum development, expansion
  • Quantity and quality of resources
  • Enrollment, revenue growth
  • Quality of faculty, instruction

Learning Paradigm

  • Learning varies
  • Learning & student-success outcomes
  • Quality of exiting students
  • Learning technologies development
  • Quantity and quality of outcomes
  • Aggregate learning growth, efficiency
  • Quality of students, learning
  1. Teaching/Learning Structures

Instruction Paradigm

  • Atomistic; parts prior to whole
  • Time held constant, learning varies
  • 50-minute lecture,3-unit course
  • Classes start/end at same time
  • One teacher, one classroom
  • Independent disciplines, departments
  • Covering material
  • End-of-course assessment
  • Grading within classes by instructors

Learning Paradigm

  • Holistic; whole prior to parts
  • Learning held constant, time varies
  • Learning environments
  • Environment ready when student is
  • Whatever learning experience works
  • Cross discipline/department
  • Specified learning results
  • Pre/during/post assessments
  • External evaluations of learning
  • Public assessment
  • Degree equals demonstrated knowledge & skills
  1. Learning Theory

Instruction Paradigm

  • Knowledge exists “out there”
  • Knowledge comes in chunks and bits;
  • delivered by instructors and gotten by students

Learning Paradigm

  • Knowledge exists in each person’s mind and is shaped by individual experience

Comments and suggestions are encouraged.  How do you assure that your course designs focus on your students and learning?

Flipped Classrooms – Turn to your neighbor and create.

You don't need technology to flip your classroom.
You don’t need technology to flip your classroom.

So, what is a flipped classroom and why would you bother?

The concept can be found in the 1995 article by Barr and Tagg, From Teaching to Learning: A New Paradigm for Undergraduate Education.  If you truly want to understand the architecture of a flipped classroom, form a team of discovery and follow along.


  1. download –  7 Things You Should Know About Flipped Classrooms  from Educause
  2. View Penn State’s Simply Speaking video on Flipping the Classroom.Listen to the presenter’s challenges.  He starts out negative, but realistic. So, how do you meet the challenges he presents?  What are the benefits of flipping your classroom?  How would you personalize your flipped classroom for?  He presents technology as the answer. Do you always need technology to flip a classroom?  Reply in  comments area of blog.
  3. View Sal Kahn’s Future of Learning.
  4. Continue on with Eutopia’s Five-Minute Film Festival: Flipped Classrooms

With a team (3-4 members per group),

  1. try Nancy Wozniak’s exercise on Map The Concept of Flipped Classrooms.
    In a team, you will brainstorm your own design for a flipped classroom using a concept (mind) map.  Scan and post your concept maps; or,  email the concept maps to me.  Concept maps can be constructed by hand or electronically.  Contact for help and suggestions.

For more resources, go to Robert Talbert’s Resources for the Inverted Classroom – Compiled by Robert Talbert –  Robert Talbert’s Blog –
Reply with your challenges, solutions, and insights.  Add your own resources to share with others.

Course Design with Multimodal Media

Changing up traditional assignments summarized on Microsoft documents with digital formats such as Prezi presentations, concept maps and infographics, digital storytelling, have be proven to enhance understanding and learning.  Multimodal learning also includes art, music, movement, and drama.  Stony Brook’s Amy Sullivan, Center for Dance, Movement, and Somatic Learning, has her students document learning and movement outcomes with smart phone videos and eportfolios.  It’s not just the Humanities and Arts that build outcome-based assessment around multimodal media learning projects.  Dr. Gary Halada, Associate Professor, Engineering Materials Science, allows students to use various media and presentation formats of their choice for their team final projects in his Disasters in Engineering course.  His students have written and performed poetry, songs, digital stories, short plays, and physical reenactments using props as they conveyed their research and conclusions on the engineering disasters of history to the class.  Share your course designs with multimodal media and resources.  Suggest tools.

Multimodal Media?  NOTE-National Council of English Teachers defines it as the integration of multiple modes of communication and expression can enhance or transform the meaning of the work beyond illustration or decoration.  What does this mean to teaching and learning?  The article summarizes thoughts at

Other Resources:
The Digital Rhetoric Collaborative is a space for shared inquiry into the range of ideas, conversations, and activities that together constitute the work of digital rhetoricians and of the computers and writing community.:

The Importance of Change Management in Facilitating Instructional Technology Adoption

Back to foundations … Good reminder for instructional and technology support specialists.

While Technology Continues to Evolve, the “Concerns Based Adoption Model” Remains as Relevant Today as it was in 1987 via The Importance of Change Management in Facilitating Instructional Technology Adoption by KELLY WALSH on AUGUST 31, 2014.

Concern Based Model
Technology in Schools:
The Change Agent’s Environment by
Salvatore J. Corda, Ph.D.

Mind and Concept Mapping Tools for Flipping the Classroom

Ignite inquiry and discovery with mind maps.
Ignite inquiry and discovery with mind maps.

Flipping your classroom?  Consider mind and concept mapping.  Instead of your students turning to their neighbors to discuss, have them turn to their neighbors to brainstorm and design.  Simple Post It notes work.  Google Drawing works for electronic maps and infographics.  For online courses, here is an article that lists “24 Essential Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Tools” at  Alan Henry suggests a few more at

Look for our Concept Mapping workshops this fall moderated by Nancy Wozniak.  The workshop will be hosted face-to-face and in webinar format.  Email me for more information –

Creative Inquiry in Large Lectures
Creative Inquiry team activities for students in large lectures.

How do you flip your classroom?  Post some more suggestions.