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From the Concept to the Course Description

As you write the course description for the course catalog, you should think about the factors and requirements, set goals, and develop a rough idea of the content and topics. If you have flexibility in choosing the format, consider how you can best achieve your goals while keeping your students engaged with a range of material and activities.

  • As part of what module will the course be offered? Who is the target group? Will all students be coming from the same degree program? What knowledge can you expect or require? What information about the students are you missing?
  • What are the goals? By the end of the semester, what should the students know? What skills should they have learned? What are the students’ learning interests? Do you aim to expand the students’ gender and diversity competence? If so, will they be cultivating specialized skills, methodological skills, social skills, and/or self-competence?
  • What is the subject of the course? What example, case, or topic can you use as a recurring motif for your content? Can you draw links to current social, political, technical, or medical topics and issues? Are there issues in the media that you can discuss? What is the role of gender and diversity in your subject? More on this under Course Content.
  • What format will the course have? You do not always have a say on this because degree programs sometimes dictate the format. For example, if you are teaching the tutorial to accompany a lecture, the format is established – but you still have methodological liberties in your implementation. If you give a seminar, you can consider formats that deviate from the standard concepts of weekly discussions of reading and/or presentations. Research workshops, field trips, and practical seminars provide other learning options. Incorporating digital teaching and learning formats – in a “blended learning” setup, for instance – gives students greater flexibility. Read more about e-learning, also in reference to focusing on accessibility.
  • The course description should be accompanied by a meaningful and appealing title. It is advisable to clearly state your goals and any prior knowledge you expect along with options for acquiring it. Listing a small sampling of the reading can also help orient your students. Be open about when and how gender and diversity will be addressed. You can find examples of this in Agenda, the Gender & Diversity Studies course catalog published every semester by the Margherita von Brentano Center.

Version April 2017. Unless otherwise stated, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International licence.