General resources about Course Design:
A handbook for Faculty, Teaching Assistants and Teaching Fellows.
When designing a course, the natural inclination is to begin by examining the course material and developing class lectures according to the selected texts. This approach makes content the focus of the course and may leave the knowledge, skills, and values we want students to have upon completion of the course undefined. Whether designing a new course or modifying an existing one, thoughtful planning during the design stage can help instructors develop a successful course.
Effective course design makes the biggest difference in classroom learning and success. Consider these strategies and resources for designing your course.
In an attempt to build a better intensive course, Torma does the math on credit hours, student-directed learning, and instructor-directed learning. This piece provides a helpful framework for anyone working through seat hour issues regarding fully online courses, blended/hybrid courses, face-to-face intensives, etc.
Syllabus, an online journal that posts annotated syllabi and short-article course descriptions submitted by college and university professors.
Helps you articulate goals for a course or portion of a course; build a course or portion of a course that meets those goals and assesses student learning; and explore a variety of teaching techniques that emphasize student engagement.
In the backward design process you structure student learning based upon assessments that are intentionally designed to provide evidence that students have achieved the course goals.
University of Tennessee (Knoxville) site with a course design chart to guide you through the instructional design steps of analyzing, designing, developing delivering, and evaluating an online course. Plus a compendium of teaching tools and a glossary of definitions.
This tip provides some important questions and considerations you should keep in mind as you undertake efforts to design your courses.
Info page, with files and web links, on Understanding by Design, and approach to backward course design developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.
Matching student learning activities to course outcomes is one of the most important parts of the learning design process. This brief note provides questions to help you select learning strategies that align with the course outcomes, assessments, and goals.
In designing assessments or assignments for a course, instructors often think of exams or term papers, but there are many other types of assessments that may be appropriate for your course.
How to extract big picture open-ended discussion questions (what Understanding by Design calls Essential Questions) from one's stated learning goals, and to embed them into the syllabus and the course activities.
Self-assessment of instructional goals to help faculty become more aware of what they want to accomplish in individual courses, locate Classroom Assessment Techniques they can adapt and use to assess how well they are achieving these goals, and provide a starting point for discussion of teaching and learning goals among col
An online tutorial describing a methodology for creating online learning. Upon completion of the course you should be able to: explain why online education is an effective learning format for adult learners; write measurable learning objectives; organize content into an online format, etc.
Report on a course that is part contemplative and part active. There is a 'What' focus of the class and there is also a 'How' component. In other words, students are encouraged to start thinking about big questions, and then apply those in real-life situations.
Papers, projects, and presentations are excellent opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning and investment in a course.
This introductory course fulfills a number of goals for students and colleges, including recruitment ad screening of majors, provision of prerequisite knowledge, explorations of learning, commitment to college, and cognitive development.
An overview of the research on universal design, which aims to design instruction to maximize the learning of students from a wide variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds, English language skills, learning styles, and disabilities.
Series of detailed questions to guide you through the construction of a course, organized in categories such as: where are you? Where do you want to go? How would you know if the students got there? How can you help them get there? What are the students going to do? etc.
This website is a rich repository of resources to support the design model advocated in the book Understanding by Design (Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, 1998), particularly around backwards design for effective outputs.
Five ideas on how to structure your course so students will stay engaged in your classroom and in the learning process.