Documentation:Course Design Intensive/Facilitators Guidebook/Day 2 Learning Plan

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Day 2 will unpack the learning outcomes and alignment homework we will give you as pre-work for Day2. We will then focus on the principle of alignment, and backwards design in more detail - as well as assessment methods to assist student learning.

1. Complete Key Question 3 on your Course Design Working Doc. This will help you define your priorities for your course.

2. Refine your priorities to create beginning learning outcomes for your course and share them so that others can learn from your approach.

A) Using the resources below, post at least 4 learning outcomes for your course as a whole according to your priorities in this Google spreadsheet.

B) For each of the 4 learning outcomes for your course that you post, explain which of the taxonomies you have chosen to construct your learning outcomes from, and why you think the taxonomy you chose facilitates the learning outcomes for your students' learning best.


3. Watch Roselynn Verwood's screencast on iterating your syllabus and aligning course outcomes. We will debrief the screencast on Day 2 as an introduction to how to align your course.

What You'll Need for Day 2

Course Examples:

Day 2 Learning Outcomes

Theme: Defining the “What”: Aligning Outcomes, Evidence & Assessment

Essential Question for Day 2: What counts as evidence of understanding?

By the end of day 2, participants will be able to:

  • Identify and articulate at least 4 learning outcomes for your course that are learning-centered.
  • Identify and implement principles of alignment into your course design, and appreciate the iterative nature of course design.
  • Articulate the difference between auditive and educative assessment and their impact on learning.

And will have:

  • Completed Parts 2 and 3 of the Course Design Working Doc: Outcomes, Evidence and Assessment.
  • Started to work on their course design plans using the 3 Column Course Planning Doc or another approach that makes it easy to assess alignment between outcomes, evidence, assessment methods and learning activities.
  • Begun to develop an assessment plan for your course by identifying how students can demonstrate their attainment of at least two of your learning outcomes.


9:00 am -12:00 noon

Welcome, Agenda, Debrief Feedback from Day 1

9:00 am - 9:30 am with Judy

Purpose: to make space to address any muddy points (from wiki discussion page) and share results of end of day poll on Day 1 to set the tone for Day 2.

Reflections on a Course Design (Part 1): Patrick Walls - Math

9:30 am - 10:00 am with Patrick Walls.

Purpose: to offer a relevant example of course design as it looks in practice.

Patrick will share his experience with designing a course using backward design and big ideas as his starting place.

Iterative Course Design

10:00 am - 10:15 am

Purpose: to debrief the concept of iteration.

Group discussion: at your tables, discuss:
  • What stood out for you from the Verwood screencast - what was important in the demonstration?
  • What are the implications for your course design process?
  • How does the concept of iteration relate to Patrick's example?

Design Feedback Groups: Learning Outcomes Debrief

10:15 am - 11:00 am

Purpose: an opportunity to get feedback on learning outcomes as you refine them.

Design Feedback Group: Learning Outcomes - Feedback

Share one learning outcome with your group. Look for feedback on the following (or on anything else that is important to your process:

  • does it clearly work as a guide for students?
  • does it support the big idea for your course?
  • does it have enduring value?
  • is it reasonably achieved in the timeframe for your course?

Use this time to refine your learning outcomes based on feedback.

Outcomes, Assessment & Alignment

11:00 am - noon

Purpose: to introduce the concept of meaningful assessment and practice alignment with learning outcomes.

Work in pairs: practice aligning a sample learning outcome with an assessment method/approach.
  • select a sample learning outcome to work with.
  • choose a suitable assessment & articulate why you think it aligns with the outcome.
Independent work: if time permits: Practice alignment with one of your learning outcomes.
  • Select 1 learning outcome that you want to align with evidence and assessment method.
  • Identify how students can demonstrate their attainment of/progress towards the learning outcome.
  • Identify a assessment approach that supports students' learning relative to your learning outcome.



1:00 - 4:30 pm

Assessment Techniques and Rubrics

Promising Assessment Techniques at UBC

1:00 - 2:00 pm with Judy

An interview with Brett Gilley on 2-Stage Exam

Using Assessment as a Tool for Learning

Purpose: highlight 2 stage exam process as an example of assessment as a tool for learning.

Individual reflection:
  • Would a 2 stage exam process help learners meet learning outcomes?
  • Why or why not?
  • If you have a rationale for designing this into your course, add it to your plan.




Design Feedback Groups

2:30 - 3:45 pm

Design Feedback Group: Alignment: Outcomes, Evidence and Assessment.

Note: you may want to work independently or seek feedback from peers and facilitators as you work on alignment.

  • Select 4 learning outcomes (or whatever number of learning outcomes that you have for your course) that you want to align with evidence and assessment methods. You can either work with each learning outcome individually, or work with all of them concurrently. Add them to column one on your copy of the 3 Column Course Planning Doc.
  • Identify how students can demonstrate their progress towards learning outcomes
  • Identify which approaches to feedback are likely to assist the learning process for each learning outcome.
  • Consider who will assess (self, peer, instructor, auto)



3:45 - 4:15 pm

  • Day 2: Re-cap of Day 2, Formative Feedback, Pre-work for Day 3, Check-out on day

Feedback to team

  • Formative Feedback Form (Sue) mapping on wall

Homework for Day 3


Day 3 will be about integrating learning activities to support the outcomes you have defined for learners and the evidence they are expected to produce. You will also be thinking about potential "learning pitfalls" that your students may experience and identify strategies for addressing those that you can incorporate into your course design plan.

1. Identify a learning challenge or pitfall that students may face in the course you are designing for them. In your opinion, what are the factors that contribute to this learning challenge? Identify 3 key words that represent this challenge. Be prepared to submit this (in writing) on Day 3 so that they can be themed into groupings of "like" challenges. *

Additional information: Learning challenges or pitfalls may arise from (for example):

  • misconceptions about an aspect of the subject matter
  • faulty beliefs about learning
  • problems with attitude or motivation
  • lack of preparation

2. Describe your course in a way that will inspire your learners (in preparation for writing your syllabus). Write it out in order to share. Keep it short and inspirational. Be sure to include the big idea that you are working with and any course level learning outcomes that you have developed.


3. Begin to consider a sequence for how your course will unfold - what should come first/last/in between. - note: the course sequence planning guide (see below) may help you with this.


Day 2 Resources

Note: Core learning resources for Day 2 are bolded.

Learning Outcomes


Exam Wrapper
2 Stage Exam Process
Peer Assessment
Wikipedia Projects - UBC Examples
SPAN312 Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Latin American Literature in Translation Jon Beasley-Murray
HIST 396 North American Environmental History Tina Loo
Linguistics Rose-Marie Déchaine
FNH 200 Exploring Our Foods Judy Chan

Learning Research


Allan, J. (1996). Learning outcomes in higher education. Studies in Higher Education 21(1): 93-108.

Harden, R. M. (2002). Learning outcomes and instructional objectives: is there a difference?. Medical teacher, 24(2), 151-155.

Kennedy, D., Hyland, A., Ryan, N. (2009). Learning outcomes and competences. Bologna Handbook, Introducing Bologna Objectives and Tools. Retrieved from:

Writing Learning Outcomes: A Guide for Academics (2007). Retrieved from:


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