When designing a course, start by identifying what skills and knowledge you want your students to have learned by the end.  These will be your learning outcomes.  These should be specific, measurable, and student centered.  Frame your learning outcomes by stating, “Students will be able to…”

To help articulate your learning outcomes, reflect on these questions:

  • What is the most important information for my students to learn?
    • facts, core knowledge
  • What are the most important ideas for my students to take away?
    • theories, broad themes, perspectives
  • What are the most important skills for my students to be able to demonstrate?
    • critical thinking, writing, problem-solving, lab/technical

The next step is to assemble your course.

  • What materials will students need to reach the learning outcomes?
    • textbook, articles, lecture content
  • What activities and assignments will help students reach the learning outcomes?
  • How will I assess if students are meeting the learning outcomes?
    • CATs, exams, homework
    • grading policy/format
    • See Assessment

Then, create an outline of your course.

  • Order of topics
  • Time spent on topics

Finally, write your syllabus.