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Course Instructional Design

The structure of a course helps shape educational outcomes.  Careful thought and planning is essential to ensuring and maximizing student learning

  • Course Planning - Regardless of your discipline, you have to carefully plan your course.  The resources here will provide you with some guidelines on how to go about planning a course as well as some questionnaires to ensure that you consider all the steps of planning. 
  • Learning Objectives - Learning objectives are also referred to as performance objectives or competencies.  They are brief, specific statements of what learners will be able to achieve at the conclusion of the instructional activity. Learning objectives are derived from course objectives, which are general statements reflecting the goals and outcomes of the course, while learning objectives are specific statements about expected student performance.  The resources here can help you in developing learning objectives for your courses. 
  • Online/Hybrid Courses - Hybrid courses are courses in which a significant amount of the learning activities takes place online, combining face-to-face classes with internet instruction.  An Online course is a course in which all learning activities take place online.  Because preparation for each is similar, we have combined them into one area.  The resources here provide guidance in how to manage the transition from the traditional classroom to the online environment. 
  • Syllabi and Learning Contracts - In order for students to achieve the course objectives, they have to understand the goals and objectives of the course as well as the instructor’s expectations.  A syllabus is a contract with the student on what knowledge will be gained, what content will be covered, the manner in which content will be covered and measured and an outline for accomplishing all of that.  A learning contract is typically signed for an independent study, but also includes the topics above.  The sites below will help you construct a syllabus or learning contract.
  • Universal Design for Learning - Universal Design for Learning (UDL) provides a plan for the creation of instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted to the needs of individuals.

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