Course Design

Intentional planning to integrate best practices for teaching to improve student outcomes. Learning objectives, activities, and assessments are aligned.

Canvas Scavenger Hunt

This scavenger hunt is designed to get you thinking about the challenges that students may face when navigating your Canvas course.

Course Mapping Workshop

Faculty talking with instructional designers about course materials.

Aug 10 | This workshop walks participants through the backward design process from writing course goals all the way up to brainstorming learning experiences.

2022-2023 Teaching Planner

In this planner, you can organize some of your teaching-related responsibilities, debrief on classroom experiences with an eye toward iteration, journal on your own professional development experiences, and note any questions you might have about teaching throughout the year.

Identifying, prioritizing, and aligning learning goals to assessments with the iTGI

The Interactive Teaching Goals Inventory tool provides instructors with a valuable resource to align their learning goals with various assessment techniques.

Canvas Commons: Modules for Instructors

Use high-quality instructional modules to supplement student support information in your course.

Assessment Begins with Learning Goals

Course creation begins by deciding what students will know and be able to do by the end of the course.

Institute for instructors to focus on online teaching

The Center for Transformative Teaching to conduct Institute for Online Teaching starting in May 2022, open to all instructors at the university.

Course Mapping

1-13-22 This four-hour, highly interactive workshop will walk participants through the backward design process from writing course goals all the way up to brainstorming learning experiences.

Teaching Philosophy: Finding Your Why

1-12-22 This 90-minute, discussion-focused workshop will help participants consider what aspects of teaching they're most passionate about to write or revise a teaching philosophy.

Aspirational Teaching Institute to provide resources, insight for faculty

The Aspirational Teaching Institute will provide resources and insight to faculty members teaching gateway and large enrollment courses, and more.

Finding and Implementing OERs

11-2-21 This workshop was beneficial for instructors interested in alternatives to or supplements for current textbooks.

An Introduction to Backward Design

10-7-21 In this workshop, participants learned about the basic components of backward design and how it can help ensure alignment between course goals and assessments.

Backward Design Self-Guided Mini-Course

An asynchronous, self-paced introduction to the Backward Design model of course planning.

Accessibility and UDL Instructor Resource

Curated by several university departments and experts, the Accessibility and UDL Instructor Resource is available through Canvas.

Using creativity and humor to enhance learning

Injecting creativity into education has been a persistent challenge but Justine LaViolette found that a puppet can teach entomology.

Small things, big impacts

During the pivot to online in 2020, Professor Roland Vegso prioritized small organizational features that ended up making a big difference for his students.

Impacts of Cognitive Load on Student Learning

This video explains aspects of course design that can contribute to cognitive overload as well as simple things instructors can do to reduce the cognitive load of their students.

Using Accessibility Checker in Canvas and Office

This presentation focuses on making course materials more accessible and working towards Universal Design for a biology course.

Lessons Learned from the Fall

1-19-21 This workshop presented data collected from the students that visited CAST this fall to help faculty and staff better understand the challenges that students were facing.

Making your course more user-friendly for students

11-20-20 Students are reporting that one of their biggest challenges this semester is dealing with the cognitive load required just to navigate their widely varying courses.

Teaching in a Flexible Hybrid Classroom

7-30-20 This interactive workshop identified which aspects of a course are best delivered online versus in the classroom.

Remotely Facilitating an In-Person Course

7-29-20 This interactive workshop provided strategies for promoting an engaging instructor presence and maintaining student interest without being physically present in the classroom.

Having a great first week online

7-23-20 This workshop helped faculty teaching face-to-face/hybrid courses and focused on making the best use of this time to prepare students.

Maintaining Student Motivation and Interest in Online and Hybrid Courses

7-22-20 This webinar taught strategies for assessing student interest and helping students stay motivated online.

Using Zoom to Facilitate a Hybrid Course

7-21-20 This workshop gave detailed instructions on the different settings and functions available in Zoom.

Creating a Sense of Community in Your Online or Hybrid Course

7-20-20 This workshop helped instructors create a sense of community in their online courses and gave guidance on making sure students feel connected.

Building a Better Container: Accessibility, Access, and Universal Design

7-16-20 The goal of this workshop was to provide faculty with an overview of the interrelationship between accessibility and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Essentials for Getting Started

7-14-20 Instructors were provided with strategies that have a significant impact on online learning, especially for the first week of classes.

Course Mapping: Applying Backward Design to your Course Planning

7-7-20 Participants were guided through the backward design process to ensure their course design aligned with their overall goals.

Anti-Perfectionism: How to Roll with the Punches During a Pandemic

7-6-20 This session began by providing a few “anti-perfectionist” teaching strategies that involve figuring out when a teaching goal matters.

Course Design

Course design is the careful planning of a course such that the learning goals are aligned with assessments and learning activities.

Course Planning

A good way to keep course planning from becoming overwhelming is to break the process into steps

Creating a Syllabus

Learn some essential points of your syllabus should include to ensure effective communication to students from the start

Additional Materials

Additional course design materials, part of the Knute Broady Collection.

Fresh Voices on Course Design

The Fresh Voices sections of the Knute Broady Collection aim to highlight recent publications and the work of emerging scholars

Course Structure and Organization

Learn the basics of Canvas such as organizing lesson plans and communicating with students


To keep your students (and perhaps even yourself) from going adrift, regular and supportive communication is critical in an online course.


This collection aims to provide instructors with a succinct foundation in teaching topics supportive of UNL’s instructional goals.