Simple, Consistent Course Design Facilitates Student Self Regulation

Instructors play a limited role in facilitating learning, says Richard Smith, clinical associate professor and coordinator of the instructional technology program at the University of Houston–Clear Lake. “If the instructor has not designed that course, the instructor is not the real teacher of the course. Whoever designed that course is the teacher of course. The instructor, in essence, is like the homework checker. You can be a really good homework checker, or you can be a lackadaisical homework checker. You can put a lot of effort into it or not so much effort into it. You can participate, going on discussions, putting a whole lot of information in the discussions or not a lot. But the general design of the course is what’s doing the teaching,” Smith says.

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