Home > Teaching > Best Practice Ideas

 Best Practice Ideas



This short Chronicle of Higher Education article from July 2010 outlines the basic steps of creating a syllabi and course design. It also provides useful links to further ideas on course policies, writing a syllabus, and creating course assignments.

UT Austin has an excellent site on to how to design a course. It has detailed overviews on different objectives for a syllabus and offers a syllabus template of a course grid that might prove an interesting alternative to the usual structure of History syllabi.

It is worth looking at Vanderbilt University's thoughts on course design. This includes links to multiple resources on course design, assignments, and further literature.



This article in the Chronicle of Higher Education from November 2011 provides some ideas of how to use social networking tools to promote learning.

Professor David Karger at MIT has developed a collaborative lecture-note annotation tool called NB. You could also adapt it to fit primary or secondary sources and encourage students to engage more actively with UN sources.

Karger and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT have also developed Haystack to collect, visualize, organize, and share information.



Todd Estes, “Construction the Syllabus: Devising a Framework for Helping Students Learn to Think Like Historians,” The History Teacher (2007): 183-202.

Peter J. Frederick, “Motivating Students by Active Learning in the History Classroom,” in Alan Booth and Paul Hyland, eds., The Practice of University History Teaching (Manchester, UK, 2000).

Judith Grunert O’Brien, Barbara J. Millis and Margaret W. Cohen, The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centered Approach (2nd ed., San Francisco, 2008).

James Lang, “The Syllabus,” in On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Boston, MA, 2008), 1-20.

Gaia Leinhardt, “Lessons on Teaching and Learning in History from Paul’s Pen,” in Peter N. Stearns et al., eds., Knowing, Teaching, and Learning History: National and International Perspectives (New York, 2000), 223-245.