Month: August 2023

September 2023

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at 12:00pm – 1:00pm

CTL Instructional Award Presentation

Curriculum Development and Assessment Award

Radheshyam Tewari, Associate Teaching Professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Pasi Lautala, Professor, Civil, Environmental and Geospatial Engineering

Innovative or Out of Class Teaching Award

Elham Asgari, Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship
College of Business

Large Class Teaching Award

Tim Wagner, Assistant Teaching Professor, Mathematical Sciences

Click here to register to attend this lunch and learn.

2023 CTL Instructional Awards Announced

The Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) congratulates the following 2023 Deans’ Teaching Showcase members who have been selected to receive 2023 CTL Instructional Awards.  

  • Elham Asgari (College of Business)- Innovative or Out of Class Teaching:  
  • Tim Wagner (Mathematical Sciences)-Large Class Teaching
  • Pasi Lautala (CEGE), and Radheshyam Tewari (ME-EM)-Curriculum Development and Assessment

This year’s recipients will present an overview of the efforts that led to their teaching awards at a CTL Lunch and Learn event on Tuesday, September 12, at 12:00 in the MUB Alumni Lounge.  Each presenter will receive formal recognition and a cash award. 

Please register in advance to attend the luncheon.

The CTL would also like to thank previous instructional award recipients who were instrumental in the selection process.

We’re looking for nominations for the upcoming 2024 Deans’ Teaching Showcase during spring semester. Please consider suggesting (to your dean or chair) instructors whom you’ve seen make exceptional contributions in curriculum development, assessment, innovative or out-of-class teaching, or large class teaching.

Contact the CTL ( for more information.

A great teaching resource for Michigan Tech instructors

The Teaching Professor

As we begin the new academic year we want to remind instructors of the campus subscription to the Teaching Professor sponsored by the CTL. The Teaching Professor is a highly informative newsletter with a singular purpose: to provide ideas and insight to educators who are passionate about teaching. It’s a source of cutting-edge information and inspiration for more than 10,000 educators at universities and colleges worldwide.

To access the Teaching Professor visit

  • On campus you can obtain full access to all Teaching Professor content (including their extensive archive) if your computer/device is connected to the campus network (except the MichiganTechGuest network). It is not necessary to create an account or log in to access the subscription on-campus.
  • Off campus access is also available but does require you to create an account.

Take advantage of this resource and contact the CTL ( if you have any questions.

Course Planning

Start with course learning objectives

Good course planning starts with course learning objectives. Course learning objectives are the goals you want students to achieve through taking your courses. Usually, you will have three to six course learning objectives and they are at relatively higher cognitive process dimensions (Bloom’s taxonomy from Vanderbilt University). Then you break course learning objectives into subordinal skills and knowledge, which will be your module learning objectives. 

Creating measurable and observable learning objectives

Learning objectives should be measurable, observable and student-oriented, which indicate explicitly what students must do to demonstrate their learning. Learning objectives are typically structured as: By the end of this course/module, you should be able to +[action verb] +[object]. Avoid using verbs like “understand” or “know” in your learning objectives. If you don’t know which verb to use, please check out Bloom’s taxonomy of measurable verbs from Utica University. 

Planning out your course map with Backward Design

When we start to plan out course content and assessments, backward design is a very useful model for planning out your course map. It has three steps: 

  1. Identify desired results. What should students know and be able to do at the end of the course/module? These are your learning objectives.
  2. Determine acceptable evidence that students have achieved these learning objectives. These are your formative and summative assessments.
  3. Plan learning experiences, instruction, and resources that will help students achieve the learning objectives. These are your course content and resources.

Backward design can be used on both course level and module level. For example, in module level, once you have decided the module learning objectives, you’ll need to think about your assessment plan, learning activities, and then learning materials for your module based on your module learning objectives. Here is a course map template that you can use to plan out your module structures. 

Planning out your course map is a pivotal step towards your success teaching your course. Congratulations for what you’ve accomplished so far. Once you have finalized the planning of your course map, you can start to build your course. Stay tuned to our blog for forthcoming guidance on how to build your course in Canvas later. 

— Dan Ye from CTL Instructional Design Team