backward design

Engaging Students with Difficult Text Through a Flipped Classroom


Jay HarrisIn his general education courses, Jay Harris, Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies, posts two different videos prior to class for students to view: pre-reading videos contextualize and provide guidance for the week’s readings, and lecture videos replace Harris’s in-class lectures on the material. Students then send their questions and comments to Harris through Canvas, which he uses to build the class discussion.

The benefits: The pre-reading videos, in particular, give students a road map into the readings and lower the barrier for getting through difficult texts.... Read more about Engaging Students with Difficult Text Through a Flipped Classroom

Simple examples lead to deep engagement


Scot MartinThree years ago, Scot T. Martin, Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering and Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, decided to “start from scratch” with his approach to teaching thermodynamics. In his course Thermodynamics by Case Study, he found that by focusing on every day, concrete examples (e.g., running, the function of the heart) and demanding an intense level of participation, he could help students unpack layer after layer to rediscover and truly understand the fundamental laws. 

The benefits: Martin mined eleven years of his student course evaluations and learned... Read more about Simple examples lead to deep engagement

Intended Learning Outcomes

MIT’s Teaching & Learning Laboratory succinctly defines intended learning outcomes and process for generating them.