Designing Courses

Designing Great Courses

  • Designing a Course. Take a look at the materials the Eberly Center at Carnegie Mellon University developed. They follow the best practice principles in course design as advocated by Fink (2003) and others.
  • Designing significant learning experiences
  1. Dee Fink's Resources. You can find valuable, detailed information on course design in Fink's (2003) book Creating Significant Learning Experiences, arguably the best text on course design, and his Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning on his website. Definitely worth a visit. On his website Fink includes a table of examples of significant learning activities for the sciences, humanities, and business.
  2. Copyright Law and You. To ensure that you don't run into trouble with publishers of all sorts when using print or other resources for your class, read the brochure produced by the Association of Research Libraries. Please be aware that UTEP has a license with the Copyright Clearance Center, through its copy shops to facilitate the creation of course packs. The bookstore has an agreement with Xanadu. Check which service better suits your needs and is most cost effective for the students.
  3. Tutorial for designing open-ended problem solving exercises Designed by Lynch, Wolcott, and Huber the site helps you design open-ended problems to enhance student's problems solving skills. You may want to visit  Susan Wolcott's page on Steps for better thinking with lots of resources principles and methods for teaching critical thinking.
  4. Assessment and Rubrics. Rubistar offers editable, flexible, existing rubrics for all kinds of assignments. Be sure to also visit Bonny Mullinix's site for excellent information on rubrics and how to create them, especially her rubric of rubrics is a very valuable tool.
  • The syllabus. The syllabus is the first opportunity for students to learn about your class. Now that syllabi are publicly available you want to make sure they communicate clearly what your course is about. We recommend you create a learner-centered syllabus that goes beyond a listing of course objectives and weekly topics, but sells the course and what exciting learning it has to offer. The 12 Step syllabus structure guidelines provide many ideas on how to create a learner-centered syllabus. Please check this word document.