Central Park playground with Weitz Center in the background

As we move towards a fall term with many uncertainties, we encourage faculty to design their courses resiliently, with elements that are resistant, and adaptable, to potential disruptions in the learning environment. This approach allows faculty to prepare for a wide variety of situations without having to create separate plans or course designs for every possible ‘what if’ scenario.

Resilient course design starts by identifying essential learning goals and then backward designing courses to organize materials and  learning activities intentionally around those goals. Each faculty member identifies what elements of the course content can be delivered in an asynchronous (likely online) manner, and then identifies what elements of a course derive the most value from face-to-face engagement opportunities. Faculty  plan what these face-to-face opportunities will look like in a classroom or other physical space, but also how they might occur in an online environment if in-person teaching becomes not possible. In resilient course design, all courses have opportunities for both asynchronous faculty-student, student-content, and student-student engagement in an online environment, and synchronous engagement (either in a physical classroom or using different instructional technologies). The balance of these opportunities can be varied depending on how circumstances change. 

Many of the elements of resilient pedagogy echo best practices of the universal design for learning (UDL) and transparency in learning and teaching (TILT) frameworks that have been shown to significantly improve the experience for all students, including students with disabilities and first-generation students, among others. 

This website provides you with information about resilient pedagogical approaches, the resources available to you, and how you might use them.

This guide has 3 main sections:

graphic shows elements of pedagogy stacked: course design, modes of engagement, tools and software
  • Course Design: This section covers overall course setup and organization, including developing a class social contract, designing a structure for engagement each week, and helping students understand how to navigate your course.
  • Modes of Engagement: This section explores the range of course activities one might consider for both content delivery and discussion, application, and practice of course concepts. In addition, it includes information about how to foster engagement and design effective assignments.
  • Tools and Software: This section covers the platforms and tools Carleton supports for the course design and modes of engagement described in the other two sections, along with resources for faculty and students to learn these tools.

There is also a Gallery of Examples of course design strategies, modes of engagement, and uses of different tools and software. If you would like to share something that has been successful in your courses, please email Victoria Morse or Mary Drew with your idea.

Contacts

If you want to discuss course design and different pedagogical approaches, contact Victoria Morse.

If you want more information about particular tools and how to integrate them into your teaching, contact Academic Technology (at@carleton.edu).