Course Development

Course Development

Our consultants often meet with individual faculty members and associate instructors to help design new courses or revitalize existing ones. The principles guiding our work include Backward Course Design and the Decoding the Disciplines model. CITL also offers a variety of workshops and institutes on course design and development, including the Course Development Institute (a series of workshops offered every summer that leads instructors through the process of designing a course), Project Engage (for the development of service-learning courses), and the Institute for Designing Online Courses. In these workshops instructors can work with consultants to develop a particular course and receive feedback from their colleagues on their work, a process that instructors find particularly beneficial in helping them think through the goals and design of a course.

Among the issues we can help you address as you design a course are the following.

Situational factors: developing a course that takes into account the class size, the nature and demographics of the students enrolled (e.g., majors versus non-majors), the constraints and opportunities of the physical space and technology available (e.g., IUB’s active learning classrooms), and other factors.

Course goals and learning outcomes: developing course goals to articulate how students will be different at the end of your course, and how they will acquire the knowledge and skills needed to achieve the course goal.

Assessments and assignments: designing an assessment (a test, writing assignment, or other form of assessment) that will enable you to determine whether your students have achieved your course goal; helping with the development of rubrics to evaluate student work; designing and interpreting the results of informal assessments such as Classroom Assessment Techniques.

Bottlenecks to student learning: using the Decoding the Disciplines model to determine the specific points in a course at which students struggle to learn key course concepts or disciplinary ways of thinking, and discussing how to address those bottlenecks.

Course organization: ensuring that all the content in the course connects with and helps students reach the course goal and learning outcomes; determining a logical sequence of topics and activities in the course to prepare students for the final assessment; designing in-class and out-of-class work to ensure that students are prepared for activities and assignments.

Student motivation: motivating students to complete the work required for them to achieve the course goals and learning outcomes.

Syllabus development: writing a syllabus that clearly communicates expectations and course policies to students; making your syllabus accessible to students with disabilities.

Service-learning: designing new service-learning courses or revising existing courses to include a service-learning component; identifying appropriate service-learning activities that meet academic objectives and community needs; establishing and maintaining partnerships with community agencies and organizations. 

Teaching with writing: designing connecting assignments that fit your course goals, help students learn course material, address disciplinary concerns, and are as easy and fast to grade as possible. Contact the CITL Writing Program.

For more information or to get help in developing a course, contact Lisa Kurz or contact CITL.