Course Design

Understanding by DesignOnline Workshop Home Page 

Description: In this unit you will learn about course design and lesson planning. In addition to this Introductory page you will find lessons on Backward Design ,Writing Outcomes using Blooms Taxonomy,  Lesson Plans, and Integrating V&C core concepts and competencies.

This unit was designed by Suzanna Klaf, Ph.D. Associate Director, Center for Academic Excellence at Fairfield University for a workshop she presented for the Connecticut Community Colleges' Teaching and Learning Center's Pathways workshop.

The way that you design your course influences how and what students learn. Many faculty approach course design using the standard course planning method outlined below. Student-centered learning requires faculty to rethink their approach to course design. This "backward design" approach begins with clear goals, outcomes and assessments.

What is Understanding by Design( Backward Design)? Check out this video by Jay McTighe  explaining the concept.


This assignment  provides resources that can be used to guide you through the process of course design/redesign. While you can work through the process on your own, you may find it easier and more beneficial to work with a Teaching and Learning/Faculty Development staff member or even request that the Teaching and Learning Center on your campus offer a workshop on the process using the resources provided or similar resources. 

1) Read this journal article about course structure:

Increased Course Structure Improves Performance in Introductory Biology,  

Scott Freeman, David Haak and Mary Pat Wenderoth

2) Read through each of the sections  offered in the POWER site. You will find lessons on Backward Design ,Blooms Taxonomy, and Lesson Plans. and Assessment.                                                        


3) Redesign your course to make it more student-centered. Use the resources presented in this unit and in the active-learning unit to aid you in redesigning your course. There is a lot involved in course design/ redesign and you may find it  helpful to work with your Teaching and Learning Center staff and/or other faculty members. The Your Teaching and Learning Center staff may be willing to organize a workshop using this material or similar material for you and your colleagues. 

Here are some  handouts, and worksheets to help you with your course design. 

Fink Idea Paper                Understanding By Design Handout 1              Blooms Taxonomy

Course Design Worksheets

(The process  of course redesign is time consuming and the in-person workshops on course redesign are usually full day or multi-day workshops. If you are doing this on your own, you may find it helpful to print everything ,including the ppt out and work offline. You will find page numbers in the bottom corner of the powerpoint slides that correspond with activities in the handout. )

Additional Resources for Course Design

On the Cutting Edge workshop has on online course design workshop and resources for Faculty Development/ Teaching and Learning staff to use to deliver an in-person version of the workshop.

NEXT: Understanding by Design

Additional units on Course Design: Backward Design ,Writing Outcomes using Blooms Taxonomy,  Lesson Plans  and Integrating V&C core concepts and competencies.

Back to :Online Workshop Home Page 


You need to be a member of PULSE to add comments!


© 2019   Created by PULSE Leadership Fellows.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service