Course Innovation

Courses are the building blocks of programs. This is where much of the curricular innovation takes place, both in terms of content and teaching approaches. A good course design:

  • Defines expected learning outcomes (ELOs; knowledge, skills) for the course (5-8 ELOs are usual) also vis-a-vis the program-level ELOs, then breaks those down to the topic or session level;
  • Addresses how the learning outcomes are achieved through the course content and delivery modes (including formative assessment); and
  • Demonstrates how the achievement of the learning outcomes is assessed through appropriate assessment tools.
  • Accommodates, through its design, students with disabilities (please see here).

Please note that there tends to be a conceptual difference between course objectives and ELOs. Course objectives are often input-oriented (e.g., “We will learn how to do regression analysis and check model validity; …”) while ELOs are output-oriented (e.g., “The student will be able to perform multiple regression analysis using X software; the student will be able to perform basic validity checks for regression models; …”).

Here also a good document on Course Delivery through Constructive Alignment:


UGuelph — Constructive Alignment

When (re-)designing a course, please also consult the following pages, which look at course design from a learning and assessment perspective:

Academics|Accessible Course Design (please expand the appropriate box)
Teaching Support (also see the SCTE tab)

Courses tend to live — they are updated as new issues emerge based on the latest research or in practice. Continuous improvement of courses may also be based on feedback received from students during / after teaching a course. Finally, as content in courses shifts, other related courses may also need to be updated. Updating a course entails the submission of a course change form – a short form that can be submitted to the relevant program committee without much effort. Everyone is encouraged to periodically review and rethink their courses and update them.

For information on incorporating Riipen projects in a course, please see the following two resources provided by the company:

Riipen Overview

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started (for instructors) 


Below the required forms for proposals of and changes to Undergraduate and Graduate courses.