The Course Alignment Process


In brief: A course alignment exercise consists of a series of steps to critically review and confirm that all key components are aligned with the course learning outcomes. Creating and Validating Course Alignments Whether you are creating a new course or validating the alignment of an existing course, the process is the same. The first step is to review your course learning outcomes. It is important to begin with student learning outcome statements that 1) identify the precise knowledge, skills and [...]

How does Course Alignment Promote Teaching Excellence?


In brief: Conducting a course alignment exercise allows Instructors to create a curriculum blueprint; helps Instructors validate that the assessment activities evaluate the right knowledge, skills, and attributes and at the right level of complexity; confirms if teaching resources are optimal for promoting a quality learning experience that supports student success. Course Alignment Exercise Meyers and Nulty (2009) identify five design principles that are key to effective course design in higher education. [...]

What is Course Alignment?


In brief: Course alignment is a quality assurance check of a course design Course alignment is an analysis of the key components of a course to determine that they work as an aggregate body to meet the overall curriculum objectives An alignment exercise can be performed to validate a specific evaluation, a course plan, or an entire program curriculum. *Note: this module focuses on alignment in a course plan Course alignment [...]

Planning a Lesson


In brief: Lesson plans outline the activities you and your students will do during one class session. A lesson is one component of a unit of instruction that most likely includes other activities out of class. As such, it’s important to design the whole unit before planning individual lessons. As the content expert, you should plan for the best use of your limited time with students. You should also ensure your activities reflect the [...]

Instructional Flow


In brief: While the instructional framework provides a concrete template to follow when planning instruction, it can be adapted. Concepts and skills often need to be taught side by side, and when this is the case, the flow of instruction can vary depending on how you approach the topics. The four phases of instruction give a concrete framework for planning the sequence and types of activities for learning. Download Instructional Flow [...]

Planning a Unit


In brief: All activities in a unit of instruction should follow the general Instructional Framework to include Introduction, Presentation, Practice and Application. These should all work towards helping students meet the learning outcome. When planning a unit of instruction, you should plan both appropriate learning activities and ways to give and receive feedback on learning at each phase of instruction. This section will guide you through the process of planning a unit [...]

Essential Components of Instruction


In brief: For each unit or module, there are four essential phases of instruction that focus on the intended learning outcome: Introduction, Presentation of Content, Practice and Application. Feedback is a key component of instruction and should be included in planning at every phase of instruction for improved student learning. Several Instructional Design Models and frameworks that exist outline the entire process of designing a learning experience from analyzing the audience to [...]

How does Instructional Planning Promote Teaching Excellence?


In brief: Instructional planning is the deliberate selection and sequencing of learning activities both in and out of the classroom to best support the achievement of the learning outcomes. Typically, instructional planning works at the unit level with one or two learning outcomes as its anchor. A unit may span over a few weeks and include one or more in-class sessions. You may need to break your course down into smaller, more manageable chunks [...]

Developing a Balanced Assessment Plan


In brief: As you finalize each of your assessments for your course, you will need to consider them as a whole and determine if your strategy is balanced in relation to your learning outcomes and diverse in the methods you use. The weight of each assessment should be related to the effort of work required and the portion of the learning outcomes being assessed. The timing of assessments is influenced by many factors including [...]

Planning Effective Assessment Tasks


In brief: Many factors make an assessment effective. Scaffolding assignments promote deeper learning by distributing learning and providing regular feedback. Designing assessments using authentic tasks that are framed around students’ interests, experiences and backgrounds increases motivation and engagement. Once you have determined the type of assessment to use, you should plan the scope and sequence details of the assessment task. The scope refers to the depth and breadth of content and skills [...]