Thursday, March 12, 2020

Syllabus | Relaxing 101

Because I work best as a student, I’ve decided to create syllabi for myself quarterly throughout the year. Syllabi will depend on what I need most importantly af any given moment, or may be updates of long term plans. Following is one of my syllabi for for “winter term.” I’ll be writing my reflections here, so I wanted to provide the syllabi first. My other syllabus for this “term” will be in a separate post. 

I copied and pasted a template regular syllabus which I then partially edited. Everything in bold is from me, everything else is from the original template. 
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Relaxing 101Winter 2020
Course Goals
Become more comfortable with “pointless” activities such as watching movies or reading (and get myself away from the whole idea that I used to read too much because that’s just toxic bullshit that’s killing my joy). 
What are the big ideas that you are going to cover in your course? What are the essential understandings that students will take away with them after the course has finished? It is important to define these course goals, as they will help you determine what you expect from your students, and what your students can expect from the course.
Student Learning Objectives/Outcomes
Outcome: to have exposed myself to more fun things that I feel guilty for doing. If I still feel guilty that’s ok, point is to help me get used to it (just like I slowly got used again to spending time outdoors; I managed that, I can do this). 
Designing outcomes is essential to designing your course and is a valuable element to have in your syllabus. The outcomes are usually statements that are verb oriented and directed at the students. For example: “Students will be able to identify key geomorphological formations on a Southern Alberta map.” This example uses the verb identify, which is a lower level thinking skill. A higher order thinking skill is incorporated in the next example: “Students will be able to read and analyze population maps interpreting any trends the data may show.”
Assessment Overview and Plan
At this point I think it’s best for me to just take things as they come, and not worry about grading. Any movement is movement forward, if only in that it’s getting me more comfortable with the idea relaxing. 
The assessment overview is a grading guide that allows students to see what weightings can apply to the different assessment elements of a course. An example of an assessment overview is below.
Quizzes: 50%Participation: 5%Journal Assignments: 20%Team Assignment: 10%Final Exam: 15%
As well as including the overview of grading, a grading scale should be identified for the students, so they understand at what level they are performing. Grade scales can range between faculties and departments. It is best that you check with your department and faculty and use the scale they wish you to use.
Assessment plans are built in line with student learning objectives. Student learning objectives state what students will learn while your assessment plan states how you, as an instructor, will gather evidence for achievement of the objectives. The assessment plan will detail the type of assessments that will occur within the course structure, how they will be marked, and how they provide evidence of student learning. Your assessment plan will more than likely consist of multiple assessments ranging from online examinations to essays and group projects. Different assessments can and should be used to find evidence for multiple outcomes.
Schedule of Activities
1. Catch up on various Marvel universe movies2. Listen to Old Man and the Sea3. When I feel guilty for doing fun things while my life is still fucked up, sit with that feeling IF if I have the emotional energy to do so and question it4. Finish listening to the Abhorsen trilogy5. Read other books and watch other movies as I feel like it6. In March do some sort of reflection on my experiences; note that I’m intentionally leaving this vague 
This portion of the outline should be built once the plan has been made. Once you understand how you want to assess your students, you can create activities that help facilitate the learning that needs to be done to help students achieve the objectives. Course activities should work in parallel with the assessment plan. If students need to provide evidence of learning by completing a multiple choice exam, then the activities in the schedule should prepare them for this assessment. Lectures, readings, small group and whole group discussions can all be activities that help the student meet their learning objectives.
Plagiarism Announcement
Because a syllabus must have a plagiarism section. 
Due to student privacy issues, if you wish to submit your student’s work through a plagiarism detection service such as Turnitin, you must inform your students that you are going to do so. Furthermore, if students request an alternative method of plagiarism detection because of privacy concerns, you must provide them with an alternate option.
Reading List
1. Various Marvel movies (lets go with 5 of them, can include any I’ve already seen) 2. Audiobook: Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway3. Audiobooks: Lirael and Abhorsen by Garth Nix
It is a good idea to put the readings for the course within the syllabus. What you include may simply be a reference to a textbook, or it may be many references to online readings. Listed readings will allow students, administrators, and other educators see what content will is to be covered within the course. Listed readings also allow students to prepare for your course and acquire the texts needed. If the location of your readings is within a Learning Management System such as Moodle, it is still a good idea to list these readings within the syllabus.



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