Type of Document Dissertation Author Preston, Marlene M. Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-1234132439741131 Title A Descriptive Study of the Design influences and Role of Students' Needs on the Selection of Course Content In higher Education Degree PhD Department Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Emick, Mark Niles, Jerome A. Parson, Stephen R. Wildman, Terry M. Magliaro, Susan G. Committee Chair Keywords
- curriculum and instruction
Date of Defense 1997-08-21 Availability unrestricted AbstractA DESCRIPTIVE STUDY OF THE DESIGN
INFLUENCES AND ROLE OF STUDENTS' NEEDS
ON THE SELECTION OF COURSE CONTENT IN
by Marlene M. Preston
Chair: Dr. Susan Magliaro
Curriculum and Instruction
College faculty are recognized as experts in their academic
disciplines with a wide range of knowledge about their
disciplines. As a manifestation of their academic freedom,
they have assumed responsibility for folding that discipline
knowledge into course design. Generally untrained as
teachers, however, they have followed circuitous routes
into the realm of course design. While scholars, peers,
administrators, legislators, and the public have examined
their delivery strategies in the classroom, little consideration
has been given to the processes faculty use to select
appropriate course content for their students.
Focusing on those selection processes, this study sought to
describe (1) how faculty learn to choose content, (2) the
place of students among the influences on their content
selection, and (3) the processes they undertake in their
decision-making about course content. The study involved
a questionnaire and interviews.
The results of this study indicate that some faculty, albeit a
minority, do focus on students as they choose content.
They consider students to be a primary influence, and they
collect data in an informal, intuitive manner about students.
They may not know current principles of learning theory,
but they seem to have a sense of what works for students.
This sense has led to a practice of course design which is
unique to individual professors, fluid, and isolated.
The majority of faculty are concerned with students, but
are discipline-centered in their content selection. Across
types of institutions and disciplines, their first loyalty is to
the furtherance of the academic discipline. They do report
an interest in learning about topics related to students,
especially learning theory.
Faculty and administrators who are interested in enhancing
the focus on students in higher education should find the
study useful. They will want to search out those
student-centered planners and begin to document their
processes as a first step in identifying and transmitting
effective steps in the content selection practice. They will
want to plan development activities, perhaps rooted in the
disciplines, and find ways to support faculty as they learn
and practice relating needs assessments to content
selection for their courses.
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