Course design specialist and professor Dee Fink suggests that we ask the following key questions:

 

1.    What do I want my students to be able to DO when they have completed this class period, unit, or course?

 

2.    What will students have to know in order to do #1?

 

3.    How can I assess if theyíve mastered the key concepts (#2)?

 

4.   How can I tell if students are able to use their knowledge?

 

Ultimately,

What would distinguish students who have taken this course from those who have not?

 

What would I like the impact of the course to be 2 or 3 years after?

 

When you get right down to it, these are not easy questions to answer but starting with them helps to create a course that integrates

-        learning goals

-       instructional strategy (what you and the students do in class and between classes), and

-        assessment of learning (e.g., exams, written work, presentations)

 

If you would like more detail, Fink has excerpted

A Self-directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learningî

from his book Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses† (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003).