Designing Your Course

Following the Backward Design process developed by Wiggins and McTighe, we encourage you to align course learning goals, assignments, and course activities, in order to clarify –– for yourself and to your students –– what you would like students to learn and then to assess whether and how your goals have been met. On this website, we describe the various components of teaching a course. We hope that you will think carefully about these components and make your logic explicit to your students.

Developing Learning Goals

Effective course design begins with the question, what do I want my students to know and be able to do by the end of my course?

Assessing Learning

Creating coursework assignments, including group/peer work and digital assignments, and best practices with grading.

Curating a Syllabus

Once you have thought about your learning goals and assessments, we encourage you to brainstorm or adapt your content and arrange it into a semester timeline to include on your syllabus.

Evaluating Student Work

As instructors, we need to assign grades to our students–but perhaps more importantly, we need to give them meaningful evaluation on their work and guidance on how to improve it.

Designing for Collaborative Learning

An introduction to different approaches to peer review and group work, some considerations to help with planning for each activity, and some different approaches to grading peer review and group collaborations.

Cultivating Active Learning

Whether you’re teaching a large lecture or a small seminar, there are strategies you can employ to help students engage more deeply with the ideas you’re presenting or discussing.

Teaching Evaluations and Using Feedback

Designing mid-semester evaluations and using end-of-semester reviews to improve your teaching.