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

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.

Listen to Jennifer Gonzalez, from the Cult of Pedagogy talk more about Backwards Design

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.

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.

Listen to a Voice Thread explaining more about UDL

Contact Info

Kate Elliott
Director, CELT
Associate Professor of Art History
Luther College
700 College Drive
Decorah, IA 52101

Phone: 563-387-1587