Planning your course gains special importance in a remote or online environment where adjustments to structure, content, and instructions can be challenging to make due to the asynchronous nature of the medium. This can be alleviated by carefully planning how you will introduce and reinforce your content and associated learning outcomes.
1. Use constructive alignment to ensure all course elements fit together
Constructive alignment is a process that helps you identify teaching and learning activities as well as assessment tasks that are directly linked to the intended learning outcomes. Through this process, Bloom’s taxonomy is helpful in determining learning outcomes at an appropriate cognitive, psycho-motor, and affective levels.
- Constructive Alignment (Teaching Commons)
- Bloom’s taxonomy handout created by BCIT (downloadable handout)
- Video about Bloom’s taxonomy created by Ontario universities
- Use this interactive tool to generate learning outcomes
- Read more about Fink’s integrated course design model (downloadable handout)
- Tips for course design that increases access (downloadable PDF)
- Look at our comprehensive YorkU Guide for Remote Teaching for more on constructive alignment
- Constructive alignment is an iterative process. While learning outcomes may be the start of course planning, they will likely need to be revisited once teaching and learning activities and associated assessments have been determined.
2. Use a pedagogical model to frame your course
Design course components such as outcomes, activities, etc. using evidence-based pedagogical frameworks and models that increase efficiency and ensure the effectiveness of the learning experience provided to your students.
- Universal design for learning helps maximizing our effort to remove all physical and cognitive barriers to learning, thereby ensuring every student, regardless of individual circumstances, gets an equitable opportunity to participate in the learning experience and achieve the intended learning outcomes. For this reason, it can be a framework used as the backbone of any course design or pedagogical model selected.
- The Community of Inquiry Framework is useful when aiming to create a socially-constructed learning experience through the development of three interdependent lenses – social, cognitive and teaching presence.
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