Course Design

A successful course depends on the planning that precedes it. The articles and links in this section serve as planning guides for both faculty and GSIs. They provide instructions for developing a new or existing course and for creating a syllabus.

Preparing a Course, from Teaching @ Ohio State: A Teaching Handbook

Chapter VI of the OSU Teaching Handbook focuses on the planning that precedes the course, including sections about course content, course goals, and structuring an effective course.

Course Design (University of Pittsburgh)

In TA Handbook: The Teaching Assistant Experience, the Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education offers some guidance on teaching a class for the first time. Topics discussed include how to structure a course, write a syllabus, take advantage of online course software, and present a lecture.

Radical Course Revision: A Case Study (Stout, 2001, The National Teaching & Learning Forum)

Essay focused on how to revise a course, through rigorous, critical reflection on teaching, the same kind of systematic critical reflection that is often applied to research. This article includes four steps for successful “radical revision” of an existing course.

Preparing or Revising a Course (Davis, 1999)

Many teachers, hoping to impart to students everything they know about a subject, attempt to include too much material by half. The suggestions in this article are designed to help you limit the content of your course, structure and sequence the activities and assignments, set policies, and handle administrative tasks. Summarized from Gross Davis’ book, Tools for Teaching (1st Ed., Jossey-Bass).

Course Design and Planning Materials (Cornell University)

Resources from the Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence, including a downloadable syllabus template, Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Outcomes, a course materials checklist, and reflective course planning questions.