Designing Your Classes
CELT provides support to Luther faculty in the course design process. Explore these resources to ensure that you are designing your classes to achieve desired learning goals and equity in your classroom.
Backwards Design is a course or assignment design process where learning goals are set first, and all other aspects of a course or assignment follow. A learning objective is what students are expect to learn or to be able to do. When these are defined, the backwards design process creates a course best suited to achieve these goals.
To quote from UC-Davis Center for Learning: “By starting from a learning-centered approach, it is easier to prioritize these content-oriented learning outcomes into three groups: the critical, the important-but-not-critical, and the nice-to-know.” This helps us to isolate what absolutely MUST be covered, taught, and experienced in our classes, and what we would like to be cover, taught, and experienced.
Asking yourself those hard questions, will help you focus in on the essential learning outcomes for you course, helping you streamline the content, the assignments, and the structure of your class.
How-to of Backwards Design
We have created a series of Voice Thread presentations to guide you through the Backwards Design process for your course planning.
- The first Voice Thread presents the basics of Backwards Design and how we begin to write learning outcomes.
- This second Voice Thread discusses Step Two of Backward Design: Assessment.
- The third Voice Thread discusses Step Three of Backwards Design: Creating Assignments
- The fourth Voice Thread Voice Thread discusses how and why you should keep transparency in mind as you are building your Assignments.
Universal Design for Learning
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a strategy for teaching that helps give all student a chance to succeed. It prioritizes flexibility in course and assignment design to allow students to choose the best way to access and complete course material. Designing your courses according to UDL is an important tool to achieve equity in your classroom, because even though it helps ALL students, it is especially impactful for student with learning differences or those who come from under-served populations in higher education.