Introduction to a Course Improvement Tool

Data-Driven Answers to What’s Wrong (and What’s Right) With Our Courses

Are you searching for a tool to help you determine if your class is supporting your students’ fulfillment of course learning outcomes? The Center for Life Sciences Education and the University Institute for Teaching and Learning invite you to a workshop designed to help you analyze data to identify aspects of your class that support student achievement and aspects you would like to redesign.

During the workshop, you will learn how to use a new tool, the Course Characterization Tool (CCT), designed to help you characterize your course assessments and active learning exercises. The CCT is a fillable, spreadsheet-based template (Excel - Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016) that can be used in any course with defined course learning outcomes (CLOs).

We will begin the workshop with a brief history of how the CCT has been used to guide instructional redesign. You will then apply the CCT’s CLO-alignment rubric to your own assessments and/or active learning exercises. We will conclude the workshop with a discussion of the potential benefits of this tool, as well as possible barriers to its implementation. All workshop participants will receive a copy of the CCT for their own personal use.

To be a workshop participant, you should be an instructor of record for a course with defined CLOs and have access to either (or both) of the following:

 (1) assessment items for which there is no partial credit (e.g. each item is scored correct/full credit or incorrect/zero credit),

(2) in-class active learning exercises or activities (e.g. think pair shares, peer instruction, debates, guided discussions, group-based worksheets, case studies, etc.).

Other helpful resources that are not required include % correct/incorrect data for each individual assessment item as well as any data on student perceptions of achievement for each course learning outcome (ex. Student Assessment of Learning Gains survey data).

Details of the session as well as a link to access a detailed summary of the CCT for review are provided below. Space is limited, and attendees will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. To reserve a spot in this session, or if you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact UITL via email at 

Data-Driven Answers to What’s Wrong (and What’s Right) With Our Courses: Introduction to a Tool for Course Characterization and Improvement

Location: Thompson Library 204

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019

Time: 10 a.m. to noon

A Summary of the CCT can be found at