Taking over a course

A lot of things come into play when taking over a course. What learning objectives are there and how are you going to assess these? Are you allowed to make your own adjustments? To make all these aspects insightful, we constructed a manual that offers some structure.


  1. What steps should I take before designing my course?

    Open the course dossier and read the course manual.

    • Is it clear which learning objectives have to be achieved?
    • How are these learning objectives assessed?
    • Does the course have a fixed structure: how many lectures are there, are these regular lectures or seminars, what assignments will students need to make and what literature is mandatory?

    Talk to the course coordinator and/or a colleague who is/was involved with the course.

    • Do you know what is expected of you as a lecturer?
    • What went well the last time during this course, and what are points of attention?
    • If available: read the course evaluations and reflection of the previous lecturer?

    Read the Education and Examination Regulations (EER) of your faculty.

  2. What do I need to know before the start of the course?

    Do you know what kind of students take this course?

    • Is the course mandatory, or is it an elective/optional course?
    • Do you have sight on what courses students have taken previously, and therefore with what prior knowledge they attend your course?
    • What level are the students that attend your course on?

    How does this course/seminar relate to other courses?

    • What courses run parallel with this course?
    • How does this course follow up on the previous and connect to the next course?
    • Do you have a view on the time students have to spend on your course?

    Do you know what type of assessment is used?

    • Is it clear how the learning objectives are assessed?
    • In what way are you going to assess?
    • Did you check whether there already is an existing exam?
    • Do you know if there are practice exams or examples of final products available?
    • Is it clear which criteria you will use for the assessment?
    • Who is involved with the assessment and who has what role/responsibility?

    Is it clear which educational material is needed (e.g. literature, assignments, test material, etc.)?

    • Do you have access to these materials?
    • Do you know when students are going to need these materials?
    • Do you have access to materials that were used in an earlier version of the course?
    • Is the course already set up in Brightspace?
    • Have you thought about what (digital) tools you would like to use?

    Do you have a view of the amount of freedom you have?

    • Do you have ideas of the subject matter you want to implement and does this fit within the course and/or the mode of instruction.
    • Have you thought about what modes of instruction you want to use and are you allowed to pick whichever you want?
    • Are you allowed to deploy all (digital) tools or only tools mentioned in the course manual?

    How do you communicate with students?

    • Do you know what your role is, and that of the course coordinator?
    • Have you thought of if and in what way students can approach you for (personal) guidance?
    • Have you decided how you are going to announce study results (e.g. grades)?
    • Do you know what the rules are for handing in assignments?
    • Have you thought of whether you want to track attendance and if so, how?

Tips from colleagues

  • Talk to someone who has been part of the course or seminar before.
  • Ask other lecturers what methods they use to activate and motivate students.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help where and when you need it.
  • Don’t forget to put in a request for weblectures if you are planning to record your lectures.