Two Resources for the University Instructor

Then/Hier

If you want to understand how your first-year students have been taught to think about history or are looking for an effective way to encourage your students to think like historians, try checking out the Then/Hier website - also known as the historical thinking project. It's the brain child of a number of dedicated teachers and scholars, including Peter Seixas. It offers a boat-load of resources to help you plan your course around what you want students to get out of it, rather than what content you happen to think is interesting. It's always good to know where students are coming from if you want to figure out where they need to go.

Program and Course Planning

If you think that planning is about finding two or three assignments of the right page length and picking some important readings and then discussing/lecturing then you need help. High school teachers are master planners, because they plan with the end in mind. They think about what students are supposed to get out of the courses and how they are supposed to get it. They call these strands - generalized areas of knowledge - and expectations - specific skills or knowledge students are supposed to gain. Figuring out how this applies to a university doesn't require you to think deeply about Ontario curriculum documents. Fortunately, some academic units at universities are starting to work in this way. With a little tweaking you can scale it down to the course level. Have a look at this learning outcomes plan for the Child and Youth Studies Program at Carleton University for an excellent example.

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© Braden Hutchinson 2014