Design a Course

A successful course starts with thoughtful planning and design.

Whether you are planning a new course or updating a current course, CTLM can help you accomplish your goals.

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Success stories

Students in a kinesiology class write answers on a dry-erase board.

Large class, no large lectures

CTLM is working with instructors in the Department of Kinesiology on a plan to transform a large introductory physiology course, Kinesiology 335, by eliminating large lectures.

The core group learning component will be a biweekly “laboratory workshop” designed to give students the opportunity to apply the concepts they’re learning through experiments, case studies and group-based question-and-answer sessions.

Students come to this course with varying levels of experience and knowledge – this approach provides more opportunity for differentiated instruction as well as a more holistic, meaningful understanding of physiology.

Thoughtful design to support online learners

Many online learners have full-time careers, families, and other obligations. As CTLM designs courses for this student population, we carefully think through ways our courses are an asset to each learner’s life and career journey.

We work closely with UW-Madison Online programs. As part of our strategy to welcome new students to the online space, we’ve created a robust “getting started” module to onboard students into each course effectively.

We support instructors in the creation of course assets, program templates, quality review, universal course design, and much more. We’re especially mindful about thinking through student-to-student interactions to build community.

Seen from above, a woman studies on her laptop, flanked by a backpack and a phone.

Plan your course, step by step, with these self-guided resources

Start with identifying the intended course learning outcomes and work backwards to align those goals with course content, assessments and activities. This kind of planning process can guide you to designing engaging activities and assessments that promote the kind of learning you hope your students will experience.

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Check out these additional resources

Course Success Self-Review

Get specific, actionable, confidential feedback and recommendations in less than an hour. Improve student learning by enhancing your course design and delivery.

Collaborative for Engineering Education and Teaching Effectiveness (CEETE)

Helps instructors in the College of Engineering apply the design process to their course so that instruction is based on desirable outcomes for students in a positive, inclusive learning environment. 

Design Lab

A digital media design consulting service that helps instructors create and incorporate digital media (or multimodal) assignments in courses.

L&S Instructional Design Collaborative

Supports instructors in the College of Letters & Science with the selection and use of technologies to enhance teaching and learning, and the design of course activities and assignments. 

Writing Across the Curriculum

Helps instructors find creative and effective ways to incorporate writing and speaking assignments into courses at all levels and in all disciplines.