Designing your course

Students at computer with instructor in MoroccoThere are three steps to designing a course and translating it into a thorough and viable syllabus:

Writing student learning outcomes (SLOs)

What should your students be able to know, do, and/or value at the completion of your course? This question sounds simple, but it is the critical linchpin to designing a course. Student learning outcomes provide a description of the behavior, conditions, and degree to which students should be able to perform upon the completion of the course. This handout, "Student Learning Outcomes" will walk you through the steps.

Matching Assessments to Student Learning Outcomes

The next step is to match valid assessments to student learning outcomes. This video will help you conceptualize the process and build skills to help you with this part of your course design. Afterwards, check out the section on "Assessing your students" for many types of assessments and ideas, including how to develop rubrics.

Developing a syllabus

Once you have you have your SLOs and they are matched to valid assessments the next step is to pull them together into the syllabus. This 2-page handout, "Syllabus: Basic Elements," will review the key elements that go into a syllabus. This outline will help you organize all the parts, but you should check with your Dean’s office or Academic Affairs committee since each college has identified a format that they wish you to follow.