Whether developing a new course or revising an existing course, the goal will be to develop a course that helps learners to be successful and that is
- aligned with other courses in the program of study to help student achieve the program level learning outcomes;
- coherent so that there is a “match” of “fit” between the course learning outcomes, learning activities, learning resources, assessment and learner abilities and interests; and
- sequenced so that learners build on previous experiences and move to broader, deeper or more complex understandings and applications.
Course development and revision is a creative process. It allows the developer to make a range of different design decisions. Some factors that influence the design are structural. These are the “givens” in any situation over which we have little control. They can include things such as
- Guidelines from government and funding agencies e.g. program standards
- College policies and guidelines related to curriculum and instruction e.g. semester length, course outline policies etc.
- Available technology and resources
- Expectations of professional associations, licensing bodies and other stakeholder group
A word of caution– there are often innovative ways to work around these variables; they need not block our creativity.