Documentation:Course Design Intensive/Facilitators Guidebook/Day 1 Learning Plan

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Preparation before Day 1
  • Readings:
  • CDI Working Guide: Please download a copy of the CDI Working Guide. Complete Part A (Learning Context & Situational Factors) and bring to Day 1. You can choose to use the document in either Google Docs or MS Word:
  • Learning Outcomes (optional): If you haven't completed the Instructional Skills Workshop (ISW) and are not familiar with creating Learning Outcomes, you may want to prepare yourself in advance by reviewing the Learning Outcomes resources (Day 1 homework at the end of this wiki page).




All Facilitators - 40 minutes

  • Welcome: Introductions
  • Pre-Survey - How did we use the information?
  • CDI overview:
  • CDI Schedule
  • CDI Outcomes
  • Wiki & Resources
  • Design Feedback Groups
  • Burning questions about course design (parking lot + Wiki discussion board)

Course Design: Table Discussions

9:45-10:05 with Isabeau

Discussion: Learner-Centered Teaching and Course Design

Purpose: To activate prior knowledge and share experience related to the concept of learner centered teaching and course design.

Table Discussion: at your tables discuss the following:

1. Please share 1 or 2 things you found significant or surprising in the articles that were part of the pre-CDI work.

2. How does the concept of "learner-centered" teaching show up in your own practice? Do you have concerns about implementing a learner-centred approach? Are there aspects of learner-centered teaching that you find challenging?

(Please make sure that all table members have a chance to talk and contribute)

Learner Centered Approach

10:05-11:05 with Isabeau

Snapshot: Student Development Theory

Purpose: to support a deeper understanding of the student experience by situating it in student development theory.

Michael Wesch - 2014 at Pasadena City College - excerpt from talk (16:15 -19:40)

Challenge: How do we move students from seeking the right answers to asking their own questions?

Purpose: to introduce key concepts related to learner centeredness in course design.

Group Activity, at your tables, discuss:
  • What characteristics of learner-centered teaching/course design are highlighted in your example. Consider:
  • How does it engage students in the hard, messy work of learning?
  • In what ways is explicit skill instruction included?
  • What opportunities do students have to reflect on what they are learning and how they are learning it?
  • How does it tap into student motivation by giving them some control over the learning processes?
  • How does it encourage collaboration? ; and
  • What would you change/adapt to make it more learner centered (if changes are necessary)?

Please draw from the resources below in your deliberations. Be prepared to report out to the large group: (1) one learner-centered practice featured in this example and (2) one way you could make the activity outlined in the example more learner-centered. Please try to explain these points in a way that doesn't require understanding all the details provided in the example.

Resources for group work:

Design Feedback Groups: Context and Learners

11:05-12:00 pm Judy to introduce, then move into Design Feedback Groups

Key Question: What factors influence the design of your course?

Group Guidelines: purpose of the design feedback groups

Get Acquainted:

  • Introduce yourself (name, dept, course)
  • What are the important contextual factors of your course that you’d like to share with the group that will help us when we give feedback? (from Part A of your CDI Working Guide)
  • Take between now and noon to add/modify your Working Guide. Is there any new information that you'd like to add?


1:00-4:30 pm

Design For Understanding

1:00-2:00 pm with Sue

Backward Design, Big Ideas & Essential Questions

Purpose: to introduce the backward design framework and key concepts related to designing for understanding.

Group Activity (15 minutes)

Discuss with your tablemates what might be a “big idea” to frame the course around.

  • What is the “enduring understanding” that you want students to remember after they’ve forgotten the details of the course?
  • Remember it should be core to the discipline, have enduring value, require uncoverage, provoke thought, and engage inquiry.
  • If you have time, propose some essential questions to go with the Big Idea.

Record your suggestions on the flip chart paper.

Additional resources:

Gallery Walk & Debrief

Plan Your Course: Big Ideas and Essential Questions

2:00 - 2:35 pm with Sue

Independent work: Sketching your big ideas and essential questions

This is your opportunity to identify the big ideas (enduring understandings) and essential questions relevant to your course.

What do you hope endures for students long after your course is over?

  • What's the "why" of your course?
  • Why should students take it - why should they care about what you are teaching?
  • What's the real "why" of your course?
  • What are the linchpin ideas in your course (ie. they hold together the related content knowledge)?
  • What understandings will endure as organizing ideas for learners to refer to and relate to as they learn and experiment with new ideas?

You may want to revisit your response to this question from Part A of the CDI Working Guide:
Imagine it is two years from now and you've run into one of your students who had taken your class this year. S/he's telling you that the most important thing s/he learned in your class was X. What do you hope X is?

Paired activity: In a pair or group of 3, share your big ideas and essential questions. Help one another to refine those.

BREAK : 10 minutes

Setting Priorities: Course Mapping Activity

2:45-4:00pm Sue to introduce, then move into Design Feedback Groups

Purpose: to offer a non-linear way to prioritize what learners will need to understand, know, do, be aware of in order to grapple with those big ideas and essential questions.

Brainstorm your course using concept mapping

Starting from your big ideas and essential questions - work out from there (in concept map fashion) to identify:

  • what concepts will students need to know in order to grapple with the big ideas and essential questions?
  • what will students need to do/ practice/ develop/work with in order to sufficiently learn those concepts.
  • How do concepts connect?
  • Where do priorities emerge?

Pair up: After concept mapping, share your draft with a peer. Offer feedback based on what you already know about their course, its context, and your perspective as a learner.

Homework Day 2: After concept mapping you can organize your ideas into the Priorities chart. Your next step is to create learning outcomes based on the information in your Priorities chart. Use your CDI Working Guide and the homework instructions to help you draft learning outcomes.

Debrief and Feedback

4:00-4:30 pm with Judy

  • Re-cap of Day 1
  • Brief overview of Day 2 and Day 3
  • Revisit burning questions, Parking lot, Muddiest Point
  • wiki page discussion board

Feedback to team

  • At the end of Day 1 of CDI, I am inspired by ...
    • Enter your top three one-word answers here:
    • Using code: 4161

Homework for Day 2


1. Using the work you did on the concept map, fill in columns 1 and 2 of the “Priorities chart” (on page 4 of the original) of the CDI Working Guide.

2. Drawing from your concept mapping activity and the Priorities Chart, create course-level learning outcomes. See Learning Outcomes section (pages 4 and 5 of the original) of your CDI Working Guide for suggestions on how to create course-level learning outcomes. These resources may also be helpful:

3. Share 4 course-level learning outcomes in this Google spreadsheet before 9 am on Day 2 of the CDI. You will doing pair work with these learning outcomes.

Day 1 Resources

Course Design

  • CDI Working Guide: You can choose to use the document in either Google Docs or MS Word:


Online Course Design

Alternate Course Design Planning Approaches

  • Concept Maps

Learning Centered Practice

Learning Outcomes

Diversity and Inclusion

Universal Design

  • Universal Design - UBC-O resource to help faculty with principles that can assist in designing inclusive speeches, presentations, and lectures.

Group Work

Expert-Novice Thinking



  • Consultation related to the selection and use of learning technology to help you meet learning outcomes:


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