Volume 15, Issue 3, December 2018 - Special Issue: Efficient Instructional Strategies

Reflective Course Review and Revision: An Overview of a Process to Improve Course Pedagogy and Structure

Steven J. McGahan, University of Nebraska at Kearney


Each semester faculty spend time creating and revising their courses. Course revision is a fact of life in education. Revisions are more commonly just general updates, like cosmetic changes, moving dates, and updating broken links. A true course revision looks at the pedagogy and structure of a course and is a process that requires time and patience. This article will look at the general process of conducting an extensive course revision and the specific strategies involved in evaluating course materials. Establishing a clear set of steps in the revision process can reduce effort and time on task. Course revision can be made easier with a little planning and preparation and having the confidence to begin. With the help of a process and some simple tools and strategies, faculty can be more effective in their teaching. To accomplish this, efficient course revision relies on a five-step process: set revision goals; review course structure, content, and assignments; integrate student feedback; record reflections, findings, and observations; and implement revisions. There are no shortcuts when looking at improving the pedagogy and structure of an online course. The result of a quality course revision should lead to increased learning opportunities for students and, hopefully, a decreased workload for the faculty. This article will also discuss a targeted style of course revision called a spotlight revision, which focuses on a single aspect of a course in order to facilitate deeper thinking in course design and pedagogy.


course revision, course review, education, online learning, course quality, course evaluation

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