Course Design

Instructing one or more courses involves putting many different wheels in motion. Thoughtfully designed courses will support student learning and save instructors time when sharing content and delivering assessments. This page offers a variety of resources that support course design and development.

If you do not know where to start, consider reviewing the resources on Learning Outcomes and Backward Course Design. These pages encourage instructors to engage with course design/redesign from the perspective of constructive alignment (Biggs, 1999). This student-centred approach involves establishing learning outcomes first – i.e., determining what you want your students to do, know, and value by the time the course ends. Once learning outcomes are established, it becomes easier to select assessments that will effectively evaluate how well students have achieved those outcomes. The last step in the alignment process involves determining what in-class experiences will help students acquire the relevant skills and knowledge and support their success during assessment.

A constructive alignment approach will help you (the instructor) to:

  • focus your energy on what you want students to learn (and not on covering content)
  • identify and communicate the relative importance of the concepts, theories, methods, and examples covered in the course
  • implement teaching strategies and assessments that effectively support and evaluate student learning

Topics in Course Design

Programs and Recommended Resources

The Centre for Teaching and Learning offers the following:

Graduate students can learn more about course design strategies by enrolling in the Advanced Teaching Program (ATP) or SGPS 9500. Also, the Future Prof Series (FPS) occasionally offers a workshop focused on course design.


If you would like to discuss course design strategies with an educational developer, or make an appointment to receive feedback on a draft outline/syllabus, please contact: