Course Design

Course design is the process an instructor must go through at the start of any course to plan for successful student outcomes.  This process may also take place for a course Re-design.  As the instructor, you may want to consider your governing values (basically your teaching philosophy statement), who your students are and course context (situational factors), the overarching goal(s) for your students, what you want your students to understand, and the essential questions your students should be able to answer by the end of the course (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005; Fink, 2005).

Based on works by: Fink (2003) Key components of integrated course design.

UBC’s Curriculum MAP is a tool to support course design and curriculum mapping using the principles of constructive alignment in a step-by-step process.  Faculty are able to map course learning outcomes to Program Learning Outcomes, Ministry Standards and UBC Strategic Priorities.  The tool also has a Syllabus Generator feature which follows Senate guidelines.

UBC’s Curriculum MAP Site

The Student Course Time Estimator tool is a planning tool that helps instructors and course designers estimate the expected student time commitment in a course based on the assigned learning activities.  If you require assistance with this tool, please contact

Student Course Time Estimator

Context & Learner Analysis

Context has a complex and powerful influence upon successful performance-based learning.  Contextualizing instruction makes abstract concepts more concrete, promotes understanding and retention.   (Tessmer & Richey, 1997)

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes represent what is formally assessed and accredited to the student.  They offer a starting point for course design.

Assessment Strategies

Assessment has two main purposes: assessment for student learning (which is ongoing or formative) and evaluation of student achievement (which is summative).

Instructional Strategies

Instructional strategies are techniques teachers use to help students become independent, strategic learners.

The Course Syllabus

The syllabus is where you can outline your plan for the course and how you will make the course fair, equitable and inclusive.