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EDCI 943 Principles of College Teaching

Spring 2015 Course Syllabus

Course Goals
Course Requirements
K-State Honor and Integrity System
Disability Support
Classroom Conduct

Student Learning Compact

"We the students and faculty of Kansas State University, agree that the best learning culture is one in which students and teachers will work with great vigor and mutual respect to achieve excellence."

Course Goals

Principles of College Teaching is designed to help you think about teaching and learning at the college and university level. You will have the opportunity to develop or enhance some teaching skills as a result of your work this semester, although the development of particular teaching skills is not the exclusive aim of the course. What you gain from this course will be largely dependent upon your focus and your effort. I consider it my responsibility to help you reach your individual goals as well as those I have listed below ... so if you have other goals in mind, please let me know

  • Recognize the real responsibilities that come with teaching college and university students.
  • Incorporate learning principles relevant to planning learning experiences for college students.
  • Integrate concepts of individual learning styles into instructional planning.
  • Recognize the opportunities and challenges of online learning environments.
  • Realize both the value and the limitations of using student learning outcomes.
  • Be aware of differences in learning styles and classroom participation in the diverse cultures represented by today's college students.
  • Consider a variety of teaching strategies for different learning tasks -- facts, skills, concepts, attitudes, creative problem-solving, etc.
  • Understand the importance of evaluation in the teaching/learning process.
  • Plan evaluation activities to help students learn.
  • Concentrate upon important aspects of instruction when observing others teach or when viewing videos of your own teaching.
  • Analyze the effects of instructional techniques or strategies when observing instructional situations.
  • Identify your own strengths and weaknesses as a teacher and make effective decisions about how best to enhance and improve your teaching skills.
  • Integrate technology with teaching pedagogy to effectively and efficiently facilitate your students' learning.

Course Requirements

SEMESTER PROJECT (70 points total) 

Your semester project (50 pts) must deal with teaching and/or learning at the college level. You select the topic and devise the format for the completed work. We want the project to be both useful and interesting to you. Talk with us about and submit your ideas to us to CANVAS by January 27 (5 pts). We will agree to a plan for your semester's work and sign the project contract by February 5 (5 pts). At mid-semester, you will complete a semester project progress report by March 12 (5 pts) so that we know what you have accomplished on your project so far. On May 5, you will share the highlights of what you learned from your semester project (5 pts). The semester project is due during Finals Week (5/12-5/14), but you may submit it earlier if you are ready.

Contract for Semester Project (5 points out of 70 total points)

Your contract will include all of the following:

  • Your name
  • A brief description of your project
  • Your reasons for undertaking this particular project
  • An indication of how you will share with your instructor a demonstration or explanation of what you learned from your semester's work on the project
  • Your anticipated due date
  • Signatures (yours and the instructor)
  • Signing date

Assignments (80 points for assignments 1-3)

I will provide more details about each of these assignments before they are due. This work is very closely tied to discussions we will have in class, so don't try to work on them before you have more information.

Assignment #1: Student Learning Outcomes (20 pts)

You will draft student learning outcomes or objectives that relate to the teaching you are doing now or expect to be doing in the future. You may use these objectives, or modifications of them, in assignment #2. Draft due on February 12 (5 pts) and final version due February 24 (15 pts).

Assignment #2: Evaluation of Learning (40 pts)

You will prepare descriptions and examples of various means of evaluating learning that would be appropriate for the students and courses you expect to teach. This assignment may incorporate some of the work you completed for assignment #1. Due April 2. 

Assignment #3: Instructional Strategy (20 pts)

You will write a detailed plan for helping students meet a particular learning objective. This assignment may be based on work you completed for assignment #1 and/or #2. Due April 21


You will observe three college classes during the semester. You will work in pairs for the first and second observations AND you will interview the teacher for your fist observation. You will observe an online class for the third observation. When you have completed all three observations, you will reflect and write about what you learned. Be sure to keep records of what you observe. It's easy to forget. As you work on this assignment, you may have questions, so please ask. Due April 16


The point of this exercise is that you learn more about how to evaluate your own performance as a teacher. During the semester, you will make a video of yourself teaching. If a real teaching situation is not possible, we'll arrange something else. The video and conferences with classmates and with me are graded as credit/no credit and should be completed by April 21. This means you must have done the video, watched it yourself, shared it with your partner(s), given it to me to watch, and you and your partner(s) have talked with me about what you learned from the experience -- all of that by April 21. Please do NOT wait until the last minute to start on this course requirement!


Based on your experiences in learning and teaching, you are to write your current philosophy of teaching. The philosophy must reflect your viewpoints, your basic theories about learning and teaching. You may certainly adapt ideas from others -- whether they are strangers to you or colleagues. You will submit three versions: an introspective version for yourself (due February 17), a version for colleagues (due March 5), and a version for students (due April 7).

At-Risk Training Module (5 points)

You will complete the "main faculty/staff training module"  (due March 26). This training module should take about 45 minutes to complete. After you finish the training, you will upload your certificate to CANVAS. 
Discussion Questions for Guest Speakers (15 points) 

We are fortunate to have the opportunity for guest speakers to visit with us about  various teaching and learning related topics, such as course management, teaching strategies for large lecture and online classes, and the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL).  A list of our guest speakers for this semester can be found on the course schedule. In order to generate an interactive discussion during our guest speakers' presentations, you will submit discussion questions to our speakers. There is no limit to the amount of questions you can submit -- some students may have more questions than others -- but we ask that you submit at least two strong/quality questions for our speakers. 

 Participation (10 points)

Together, we will work to create a classroom environment that is creative and collaborative. This course was designed to be interactive. As such, we expect that you will come to class prepared and ready to engage in course discussions in a way that respectfully challenges our understanding of the material. Being prepared for class includes reading the assigned articles before class (3 articles throughout the semester) and critiquing your classmates' teaching philosophy assignments.  Importantly, our comprehension of the material should go beyond what is discussed during class; for example, students will consider how the material applies to them and their teaching. 

Grading/Course Credit

Note:                 A = ~93%

B = ~86%

Semester Project70 points 
Assignments (1-3)80 points 
Teaching Philosophy (3 versions) 30 points
Lessons Learned: Observation Paper25 points
Video Assessment 15 points 
At-Risk Training Module 5 points 
Discussion Questions for Guest Speakers 15 points
Participation 10 points 
 TOTAL = 250 points

Academic Honesty

A component vital to the Honor & Integrity System is the inclusion of the Honor Pledge which applies to all assignments, examinations, or other course work undertaken by students. The Honor Pledge is implied, whether or not it is stated:

"On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work."

A grade of XF can result from a breach of academic honesty. The F indicates failure in the course; the X indicates the reason is an Honor Pledge violation.

Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Any student with a disability that needs a classroom accommodation, access to technology or other assistance in this course should contact the Student Access Center (202 Holton Hall, accesscenter@k-state.edu) and/or me (jfallin@k-state.edu).

Expectations for Classroom Conduct

All student activities in the University, including this course, are governed by the Student Judicial Conduct Code as outlined in the Student Government Association By Laws, Article VI, Section 3, number 2. Students that engage in behavior that disrupts the learning environment may be asked to leave the class.

Tues/Thurs 9:30AM-10:45AM
At the International Technology Commons Classroom 
1800 Claflin Road
(Wildcat Landing)

Instructor: Dr. Jana Fallin
Office: 1800 Claflin Road, Suite 200  
(Wildcat Landing)