Course Design

Careful planning of a course creates a reliable guideline for the duration of the class and is a reference point for both the instructor and students. So, how do instructors decide what and how they teach? Many universities and professionals make use of "backward design," an approach popularized by Wiggins and McTighe (2006). Key questions to consider before you start planning your course are:

  1. What do I want my students to know, understand, and be able to do by the end of course?
  2. How will I know if my students have achieved these learning goals?
  3. What activities and experiences will I use to help students learn?

After answering these questions, you can assess what techniques need to be implemented in your course to achieve these learning goals. Consider Grant Wiggins' "Understanding by Design" video for additional help.


Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay (2006). "Understanding by Design" Pearson Education.