Course Design Toolkit

In this toolkit, you’ll find processes, resources, templates, and tools to help you on your course design journey.

Like all journeys, the path is not always linear and the road may change. That’s okay; in fact, that’s often a good thing. Being flexible and adjusting along the way happens during course design. 

The site is organized by stages in the course design process: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. Course designers call this process “ADDIE” for short. 

One of our favourite resources is Dee Fink’s Self-Directed Guide to Course Design for Significant Learning. If you’re designing on your own or with a team, this is a great go-to.

Stage 1: Analysis

The goal of the analysis stage is to thoroughly examine the current state of your course to identify goals, gaps, opportunities, etc.

You want to combine multiple sources of information including your experience, external and internal data, and sound pedagogy.

Some questions to consider:

  • What do you want your learners to remember, be able to do, feel 5 years after they complete your course?
  • What are the big learning goals for your course? What is course really about?
  • How does this course align with other courses in the program? Is there a program map you can use to reference?
  • Your learners will be highly variable. What do you know about adult learners? The processes of learning? Learners in this course? How does this information about learning impact your design choices?
  • If you’ve taught the course before, what has worked really well for students? What hasn’t? How will you design differently based on this information?
  • Learning outcomes are the backbone of backward design. How would you rate your learning outcomes?
  • Feedback and assessments need to align to learning outcomes. Do your assessments align? Do they assess what you really want students to learn? Do students receive ongoing, low stakes feedback? Are they engaging? Are there meaningful options? Could they be more authentic?
  • What media and materials are you using? Have you considered accessibility, cost, usability? Do they align with the outcomes and assessment?
  • What teaching methods and activities do you use? Do these align with the learning outcomes, assessments, media and materials?
  • What is your comfort with the course? Where do you want to stretch yourself with the design or delivery? What do you need to change, learn, continue doing to make this an engaging and effective teaching and learning experience?

Stage 2: Design

Stage 3: Development

Stage 4: Implementation

Stage 5: Evaluation