Effective course design begins with understanding who your students are, deciding what you want them to learn; determining how you will measure student learning; and planning activities, assignments, and materials that support student learning. The syllabus provides the instructor and students with a contract, a common reference point that sets the stage for learning throughout the course. Although courses may vary in size, subject matter, or level, a systematic process will help you plan and structure your course and syllabus to effectively reach desired instructional goals.
“I try to ask myself “What are the most important things I want them to learn?” I also try to imagine what the student will be able to do having just received the materials I present (without any other assumptions of knowledge or background.)”
Prof. AJ Boydston, Chemistry
CIDR Teaching and Learning Bulletins
A collection of short papers on pertinent teaching and learning topics with practical suggestions and resources. Search for a topic of interest HERE.
- Changing a Course from Lecture Format to Cooperative Learning, by Prof. Dean McManus, UW School of Oceanography. (This is an update of an article which originally appeared in Paideia: Undergraduate Education at the University of Washington, 4(1), 12 – 16)
- New Scholarly Approaches to Teaching Slavery, by Prof. Stephanie Camp, Department of History, UW. (This paper was presented at the UW Curriculum Transformation Project, Diversity Teaching Workshop, November 14, 2001.
- Course-based Assessment. A PDF handbook designed to help you develop strategies that will help your students learn. From the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
- The Course Proposal: A How-To Guide for Grads, gradhacker
- Designing Effective and Innovative Courses. Online tutorial, Carleton College
- Brinko, K. T. (1991). Visioning your course: Questions to ask as you design your course. The Teaching Professor, February, 3-4.
- Davis, B. G. (1993). Designing or revising a course. In Tools for teaching (pp. 3-20). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- O’Brien, J. G., Millis, B. J., & Cohen, M. G. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
- Prégent, R. (2000). Charting your course: How to prepare to teach more effectively. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing.
- Svinicki, M. D., & McKeachie, W. J. (2011). Countdown for course preparation. In McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (pp. 10-20). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
- Wehlburg, C. M. (2006). Meaningful course revision: Enhancing academic engagement using student learning data. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing Company, Inc.