19. Focus Course

Miami University

Faculty Learning Communities

FAQ About the Focus Course

1. How does a participant select a focus course?

Each faculty learning community member selects a focus course each term. Select a course that involves your teaching project, a course you are teaching for the first time, a course in which you have challenges and concerns, and/or a course you are revising.

2. How do you involve your focus course in the faculty learning community?

Include the syllabus for this course in the community syllabus collection.

Make sure the learning objectives for the course are clearly stated. Each participant should take the teaching goals (objectives) inventory for the focus course. See http://fm.iowa.uiowa.edu/fmi/xsl/tgi/data_entry.xsl?-db=tgi_data&-lay=Layout01&-view

Engage in scholarly teaching: read the teaching and learning literature pertinent to this course in your discipline and in higher education, including general teaching strategies or methods (e.g. cooperative learning).

Do a SGID (Small Group Instructional Diagnosis) for the focus course.

Try at least three CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques) (Angelo & Cross, 1993).

Discuss this course with your mentor and student associate (if you have them). Have them visit your focus course, react to your syllabus, etc.

Analyze student learning and the achievement of your course learning objectives.

Involve the scholarship of teaching and learning in this course, perhaps presenting or writing about it or some aspect of it.

Prepare a focus-course mini-portfolio.

This project has been supported in part by grants from the US Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) and the Ohio Board of Regents.