Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version

Spring 2023

Document Type



Copyright © 2023 Abigail Cochran,


In this benchmark portfolio, I reflect on course design and assess student learning in a cross-listed course that serves as a core, introductory course for all undergraduate minor and graduate major students in the Community and Regional Planning (CRP) program, CRPL 400/800: Introduction to Planning. CRPL 400/800 is a survey course intended to introduce students to the discipline of community and regional planning. I taught this course fully online in the spring of 2023, which represented a new format for the class (it is typically taught in person) and a new format of instruction for me. Content wise, this course touches on major concepts, principles, issues, theories, and practical aspects of planning in general, and specifically as applied to the discipline’s major sub-specializations: urban design; transportation and land use planning; housing, community, and economic development; and environmental planning. CRPL 400/800 is an important course for introducing students to community and regional planning as a discipline and practice, as well as for attracting students to complete more advanced courses of study in the CRP program (i.e., the Master of Community and Regional Planning). In the development of this portfolio, I completed a series of memos documenting scholarly reflection on the course from the design stage, i.e., developing the syllabus, through implementation, or teaching the course. In these memos, I outlined course goals and associated student learning objectives, described course activities designed to facilitate student learning aligning with these aims, and, ultimately, documented student learning through assessment of qualitative and quantitative data. This portfolio also includes a reflection on the course, in which I discuss what I have learned by participating in the Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST) Project and developing the portfolio, as well as future plans for CRPL 400/800 and use of this document.