Technology Tuneup: Tools and Tips for Realigning your Objectives, Assessments, and Teaching Materials for Backward Design

Stephen Thomas
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
11:15 - 1:00 (Lunch at 11:15, program starts at 11:30)
1400 Biomedical and Physical Sciences


For me, one of the most difficult parts of backward design is the alignment. In this workshop, we will be looking at technological tools for helping you to align various combinations of objectives, assessments, and teaching materials. The focus of the session will be on the use of Desire2Learn for alignment, but most of the strategies are generalizable and we will look at other tools such as spreadsheets and rubrics as well. In addition to looking at how you align curriculum, we will also discuss how this alignment can can be communicated to students to help guide their learning. Bring your laptop and be ready to see what happens when the rubber hits the road on backward design.


Stephen Thomas is the Associate Director for the Center for Integrative Studies in General Science here at Michigan State University. He also serves as the Digital Curriculum Coordinator for the College of Natural Science. As part of this work, Stephen co-facilitates two faculty learning communities, one focused on accessibility and the other on improving digital curriculum. Stephen holds a PhD in Organismal and Evolutionary Biology and MAs in Evolutionary Biology and Entomology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a BA in Biology from Denison University. Stephen’s research and interests include the overlap of art and science, the visual communication of science, and the use of technology and teaching. He has worked on projects such as the use of comics to reduce subject anxiety in non-major science courses, the development of a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to teach general science, and augmented reality and kiosk games to engage visitors in science museums.

Video of Session