Last week a colleague and I led a workshop on syllabus design for junior faculty. The workshop focused on a method that I call EA2 — engage, apply, and assess.
First step in building a syllabus for a course is to identify the essential student learning outcomes (SLOs). For each SLO, students:
- Engage with corresponding content.
- Practice applying knowledge or skills associated with the SLO.
- Get assessed on how well they have achieved the SLO.
Here is an example from my comparative politics syllabus:
Red box is the SLO. Blue box is the content. Green box is the exercise in application — an argumentative writing assignment. Purple box is the assessment.
This sequence is used for each of the course’s SLOs, turning the syllabus into a map that shows exactly what the course consists of and why.