TEACHING WORKSHOP: Deconstructing & Reconstructing Class Syllabi (Apply by Dec 1)

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Deconstructing & Reconstructing Class Syllabi: Refining Learning Objectives


  • Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2024
  • Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm Eastern Time
  • Location: The Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York City, New York
    International Conference on Urban Affairs*
    *Accepted applicants must register for the conference.


  • Application Deadline = December 1, 2023
  • Review Decisions Announced = December 14, 2023



This workshop is geared towards participants who are interested in learning the fundamentals of constructing class syllabi that begin with well-reasoned learning objectives. As such, participants in this course will spend time workshopping learning objectives for one of their courses and then proceed to align the readings, assignments, class activities, and evaluations to create a stronger syllabus. The workshop will cover basic tenets of course design, considerations, and emphasize student-centric learning.


  1. List the different components of what instructors mean by “understanding”. This includes operationalizing what instructors mean by understanding to describe what it looks like in their class. This will support instructors’ abilities to write learning objectives that add up to understanding. 
  2. Describe and differentiate key concepts and theories of backwards design. This includes defining the difference between learning objectives and learning outcomes, exploring the relationship between learning objectives, instructional materials and activities, and evaluation rubrics. This will support instructors’ ability to explain how their practices are grounded in theory.
  3. Describe strategies to establish a constructive learning environment. This includes deconstructing and reconstructing a student-centric class syllabus that sets the tone for the semester; getting to know our students, and why they are taking our courses. This will provide instructors with heuristic exercises that are grounded in theory and practice.
  4. Identify theory-based approaches to connecting classroom content to practice. This includes how to teach a discipline as both theory and practice; exploring different kinds of assignments that take students into the real world to connect classroom content to practice. This will help instructors imagine how to teach their discipline as both theory (content) and practice.


  • Graduate Students (Advanced Dissertation Stage/Job Search)
  • Early Career (1-3 Years Beyond Doctoral Degree)
  • Early Career (4-6 Years Beyond Doctoral Degree)
  • Mid-Career/Senior/Year 7+ Beyond Doctoral Degree

Apply for Workshop

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