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Developing College/University Academic Courses

Landing that adjunct or full time faculty position  at a college or university calls for celebration but it can also become a challenging experience. 

Some universities provide their professors with pre-designed courses that include the course content, grading rubrics, discussion questions, individual writing assignments, group assignments etc. but employment is usually accompanied by training to allow new personnel to become familiar with the platform they will be using. 

The supervised training may consist of days or weeks with access to a “sandbox” course for the purposes of exploration and practice in preparation for the actual “live” course that they will be facilitating.  

Often, the successful passing of the university’s training is a requirement to be assigned courses. 

Examples of learning management systems include but are not limited to: Canvas, Angel, Halo, WebCT, and even custom-built LSM systems. 

However, for those universities that require their professors to construct all the content of their courses, such as the syllabus, required readings, suggested readings, decisions regarding course textbook(s), discussion questions, grading rubrics, individual writing assignments, group assignments, creative benchmark assignments, such as the creation (CSI team one) and the analysis (CSI team two) etc., the experience can be quite overwhelming.

Adult students tend to be interested in how the course content relates to them personally as well as how they can actually apply it in the “real world.”

Dr. Mary Ann Markey regularly mentors individuals who find themselves entrusted with the responsibility of course development while having little or no experience in the process. 

She guides each of her mentees on an individual basis according to the requirements of the university where they are employed. 

Her experience with developing and teaching college and university courses is extensive, spanning from 2003 to the present time. 

More recently, she has created and is presently teaching two undergraduate courses that address the topics of forensic psychology and astro-sociology. 

Additionally, she is in the process of developing courses pertaining to the topics of Biophilia: Justice for Nature and Film Studies: the Genre of Science Fiction.

Dr. Mary Ann Markey