Course Design (Teaching and Learning)

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Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

Having problems? Visit the RefWorks information guide.

  • Apps, J. W. (1991). Mastering the teaching of adults (Original ed.). Malabar, Fla: Krieger Pub. Co. Available in the CTLT Resource Room
  • Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press. Available in the CTLT Resource Room
  • Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher Education, 32(3), 347-64.Ubc-elink.png
  • Davis, J. R. (1993). Better teaching, more learning : Strategies for success in postsecondary settings. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press. Available in the UBC Education Library
  • Fink, L. D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences : An integrated approach to designing college courses (1st ed.). San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass. Available in the CTLT Resource Room and David Lam Library
  • Grunert, J. (2008). The course syllabus: A learning-centered approach. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Ubc-elink.png
  • Hubbal, H. & Levy, A. R. (2004). Graduate-Level Course Design and Assessment in Epidemiology: A Learning-Centred Approach. Journal of Faculty Development, 20(1), p.10-20.
  • Merrill, M. D. (2002). First principles of instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 50(3), 43-59. Ubc-elink.png
  • Slattery, J. M., & Carlson, J. F. (2005). Preparing an effective syllabus: Current best practices. College Teaching, 53(4), 159. Ubc-elink.png

Course design principles

  • Foster, G. (1993). Managing course design. British Journal of Educational Technology, 24(3), 198-206.Ubc-elink.png

Presents a framework for academic staff that explains aspects of managing course design. The main activities described are planning, including setting objectives and budgeting; leading, including decision making, motivating, and communicating; organizing, including designing an organizational structure; and controlling, including developing standards and evaluation.

  • Lockyer, J., Ward, R., & Toews, J. (2005). Twelve tips for effective short course design. Medical Teacher, 27(5), 392-392.Ubc-elink.png

Short courses are commonly used by physicians to stay up-to-date and acquire new skills for practice. Unfortunately, many short courses are not designed to maximize their impact on practice as they fail to acknowledge how people learn and change. Designers of effective short course planning should pay attention to writing outcomes based objectives; conducting needs assessments; determining the optimal content, resources, speakers and format; preparing ancillary materials (handouts and pre- and post-course assessments); and preparing speakers and evaluation. This paper discusses how each of the components of the curriculum design can be used to enhance the learning experience and obtain the desired course outcomes.

  • Lovell-Troy, L., & Eickmann, P. (1992). Course design for college teachers.Ubc-elink.png

This is a workbook that assists college faculty to design their own courses. The process is organized in a series of stages each of which is given a chapter: gathering, planning, implementing, teaching and evaluating. The first chapter on gathering describes the process for collecting as much information about the course as possible by describing the course, describing the learners, and preparing a content list and a resource list. These steps will help develop a broad and strong conception of the course. The next chapter addresses the planning stage which involves creating an ideal image of the course, and moving toward a more realistic one through analysis of the ideal course, diagraming the course and working out timing. This step helps to develop a course that reflects the interests and skills of the teacher, not just the dictates of the discipline. The next chapter on implementation shows how to consider all aspect of the design thus far in detail, prepare each "unit" for the classroom and other details. The final chapter reviews teaching and evaluating the course and offers suggestions for effective teaching and evaluation.

  • Posner, G. J., & Rudnitsky, A. N. (2006). Course design: A guide to curriculum development for teachers. Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.Ubc-elink.png

In presenting the concepts and skills of curriculum development and showing how to apply them to actual course planning, an attempt is made to bridge theory and practice in curriculum development. By developing a greater awareness of the important decisions to be made and the alternative courses of action available at each decision point, teachers are assisted in becoming flexible and systematic curriculum planners. Intended to be used as: (1) a textbook for graduate and undergraduate courses in curriculum development and instructional design or as a supplement to a "methods" course; (2) the basis for in-service workshops for classroom teachers; (3) material for individual teachers desiring to increase their professional competence; and (4) a self-instructional "lab" portion of courses in curriculum development or instructional design. The text begins with a set of guidelines for course development, and outlines the procedure for designing for an actual course. The planning process is explained by the provision of relevant design theory, frequent exercises, representative examples, a glossary of terms, and sample course designs completed by students. Four appendices represent course or unit designs in social studies for grade 5, Western art, social studies for sixth graders, and metric measurement for grades one and two.

  • Schmidt-Wilk, J. (2011). Course design as a strategic process. Journal of Management Education, 35(3), 319-323.Ubc-elink.png

  • Whetten, D. A. (2007). Principles of effective course design: What I wish I had known about learning-centered teaching 30 years ago. Journal of Management Education, 31(3), 339-357.Ubc-elink.png

Ten years ago, after 20 years as a university professor, I was asked to direct the teaching and learning support center at my university. I quickly realized I had almost no knowledge of the published scholarship on this subject. From my reading of this literature, I found the research on the predictors of student learning particularly informative. In particular, I gained an appreciation for the impact of course design. In this article, I summarize a framework for designing "significant learning experiences." In discussing the three key components of course design (learning outcomes, learning activities, and learning assessments), I offer tips and give examples relevant for the field of management. My intent is to share the most important information I have learned from a decade of conversations with experts on student learning-the things I wish someone had taught me 30 years ago.

CTLT Community of Practice

The Course Design community is for those interested in and/or involved in designing courses and curriculum, whether online, mixed-mode, or face-to-face, as grad students, instructors, instructional developers, educational technologists, or in other roles. As members of a community of practice, we will share ideas and experiences as we explore, develop, adapt, and apply approaches to all methods of course design.

  • To receive updates and join the community, enter your email address into the 'subscribe' feature on right hand side of this site, or email one of the co-facilitators below.
  • Come join us at our monthly meetings to learn and share about course design on UBC campus. You can register for the next few meetings here.
  • Have resources or ideas to share? You can use your CWL login to sign in and add to the Course Design blog or wiki. For more information, email

Related Events/Workshops

Online Resources

  • IDEA Center Publications
  • BCIT

See Also

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