Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Some tips for course design, for new ASPer's

If you are new to ASP, and you are designing your first ASP course, here are some helpful hints to keep in mind.

1) It's okay if you are still working on your course AFTER the semester has started.This will allow you to be responsive to your students needs as you get to know them as a class. It's okay to rework your syllabus if things don't move as fast as you think they will when you first started planning. It's okay to have AH! HA! moments that change your thinking about the class.

2) Try to balance the workload. My course starts with more reading, and ends with more writing. It took me two years to figure out that students cannot have an even amount of reading throughout the semester, because they need to do much more writing towards the end of the semester. If I want to see their best work, you need to balance their workload.

3) Don't (just) rely on the teacher's guide and law books for help. When designing an ASP class, look to education resources as well as law teaching resources. Read "What Best College Teachers Do" by Ken Bain, and look for books on instructional design.

4) You don't need to do what everyone else is doing. Just because you were taught using certain techniques, does not mean they will work for your class. DON'T follow the leader; you don't get extra points if you can be the best ape of someone else's technique. It's uncomfortable to try something new, but it is the only way to becoming a better teacher.


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