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EDDL 5141 Week 6: Draft Course Design

Educational context: 

The online course I am developing is called The Role of the EA. This course focuses on clarifying roles and responsibilities between teachers and educational assistants. Topics include understanding the code of conduct, job descriptions, tasks, Alberta Teachers Association expectations and policies, and how to contribute to a positive school environment. 

Description of Online and Teaching and Learning Experience: 

The online course consists of two-hour weekly live synchronous sessions spanning six weeks. Its primary objective is to thoroughly explore the course material, present case scenarios derived from the information, and facilitate group discussions and debriefings to ensure a comprehensive understanding among students. Recordings of all live sessions will be available for those unable to attend due to conflicting commitments. Furthermore, students are encouraged to review the material in advance, submitting questions before each live class. This proactive approach allows the class to address their inquiries even if they are unable to participate in real-time.

Situational Factors

After a review of the situational factors for this course (Fink, 2003, p. 6), the predominant demographic of students in this program is composed mainly of females aged 18-40, with a significant portion being single parents or young mothers. A considerable number of enrollees in the educational assistant program have faced challenges in their own educational paths, fostering a deep appreciation for individuals committed to positively impacting the lives of young children. Prospective instructors are required to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and have accumulated 5-10 years of classroom experience.

Outcomes Learning Activities Assessment
Outcome #1: By tBy the end of the term, educational assistants (EAs) will apply their knowledge of professional and ethical practices outlined in the Code of Ethics to create a personal code of conduct.

Outcome #2: By the end of the spring term, the educational assistant (EA) will review key roles and responsibilities of educational assistants that differ from those of teachers in the Alberta K-12 education system.

Code of Conduct: 

  • Provide case studies that highlight ethical dilemmas in educational settings. Use student blogs (UNSW, n.d.) to facilitate conversations about ethical considerations in different scenarios.
  • Have students engage in active learning (Fink, 2003, p. 16) by forming small breakout groups and assign students parts of the Code of Conduct for educational assistants in Alberta to analyze and discuss specific aspects of the Code of Ethics.
  • Students will need to complete a personal code of conduct as such the course will incorporate peer review sessions where participants exchange and provide constructive feedback on each other’s draft using Blogs and discussion forums (UNSW, n.d).

Role of the Educational Assistant

  • Have participants create comparison Venn diagrams illustrating the distinctions between the roles of educational assistants and teachers.
  • Host an interactive class on Class Collaborate (UNSW, n.d.) where experts in the field, including both educational assistants and teachers, discuss their roles and responsibilities. Allow participants to ask questions and engage in discussions. 
Code of Conduct

  • Educational assistants will develop a personal code of conduct to apply their understanding of ethical practices required in their professional roles.

Role of the Educational Assistant

  • Educational assistants will engage in an online quiz focused on the distinctions in roles and responsibilities between educational assistants (EAs) and teachers. This quiz will feature scenarios and comparisons, allowing participants to demonstrate their comprehension of the unique aspects that differentiate each role.
  • Alignment: I started planning with a backward design model with asking myself these three questions “What do I want students to know? How will I know that they have learned it? What activities/tools will the students need to show their understanding?” (Center for teaching and learning, 2024). This process allowed me to start with the goal and not get lost in creating activities to ensure there are purposeful learning opportunities in the unit as well as strong assessment that matches the learning. 
  • Learning Objectives: I wrote the learning objectives in student centered language, narrowed the objective down to focus on one skill, and incorporated action verbs which were measurable (Carnegie Mellon University, 2016). 



Carnegie Mellon University. (2016). Articulate your learning objectives. Retrieved from https://www.cmu.edu/teaching/designteach/design/learningobjectives.html


Center for teaching and learning. (2024). Backwards course design. https://teaching.uwo.ca/curriculum/coursedesign/backward-design.html 


Fink, L. D. (2003). A self-directed guide to designing courses for significant learning. Retrieved from 

http://www.deefinkandassociates.com/ GuidetoCourseDesignAug05.pdf

UNSW. (n.d.). Selecting technologies. Retrieved from https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/selecting-technologies


  1. awong

    As a parent of special needs children, I understand the importance of this course for teachers and Educational Assistants (EAs). The role of an EA can often be unclear to those outside of the classroom setting. This course is not only beneficial for teachers and EAs, but also for parents and children who receive care from this special group of caregivers and professionals who are undervalued.

    Hannah, thank you for coming up with such a wonderful idea for this amazing course. The recording of live sessions is an incredibly helpful resource for students who cannot attend classes. Backward design is an amazing tool to use when designing a course that already has a main focus. It allows educators to stay on track and reach the goal of delivering the course content. Using audience-focused language helps the target audience easily understand the material delivered.

    I am curious to know if male EA students can attend this class or if it is exclusively for female students. Also, what is will the quizzes be short answers or multiple-choice questions? What is the passing grade for this course?

  2. hwinsnes

    Hello Alice,
    The course is open to anyone who wants to take it. As for the quiz, I imagine it would be all case scenarios that they have to find or support different elements for the role of teacher or the role of the EA. I had not thought of the passing grade so that is a great question. My first response would be 60% would be a pass as it is important information for their careers moving forward so it needs to be more than the minimum 50% like other classes.

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