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 theyÃve mastered the key concepts (#2)?
4. How can I tell if students are able to use their knowledge?
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 LearningÃ®
from his book Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Coursesâ€ (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003).