Designing a new course can be overwhelming. Where do you start? A lot of times you do not start from scratch - instead you update an existing course. And oftentimes you redesign the course a little bit every year. Based on your own experiences, course evaluations and assessment results you gain new insights, read new literature and find modes of instruction and tools you can use. The guiding principle when it comes to course design is constructive alignment.
Designing a course in 4 steps
Determine the learning objectives and modes of assessment
The starting point is to determine what you want students to learn from the course, and decide what they must have achieved at the end of the course. This knowledge and these skills and attitudes can be described in learning objectives. You can then determine what assessment types the students have to complete to show what they have learned. What do students need to do to convince you that they have achieved the objectives? What level do they need to obtain?
You can then choose which modes of assessment and what content matches these learning objectives and decide how you will assess the student’s work or behaviour.
Determine the learning activities
With this step you decide what activities students can perform to work towards completing the learning goals. What exercises can they do? How should students’ intermediate knowledge be assessed? What materials can they study? How can students learn from each other?
Determine modes of instruction and tools
During this step you determine how you make the learning materials available and how students should work. For example: do students work with their fellow students or is the focus on individual study? You also choose how important ICT tools and modes of instructions are. This way you create a varied learning environment also known as blended learning. On the website RadboudEDIT you will find activating modes of instruction.