Course Design

Please refer to: Western University policy on course outlines and scheduling

Articles and Presentations

Parkes, J., and Harris, M. B. (2002) The purposes of a syllabus. College Teaching, 50(2), 55-61. (PDF)

Slattery, J. M., and Carlson, J. F. (2005). Preparing an effective syllabus: Current best practices. College Teaching, 53(4), 159-164. (PDF)

Productive Beginnings for University Teaching (PDF)
Presentation by Don Cartwright

Online Resources

Writing Learning Objectives (PDF)
This resource, developed by Raoul Arreola at the University of Tennessee, defines learning objectives, describes a simple method for crafting them and provides a list relevant verbs associated with Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Constructing a Syllabus (PDF)
This handbook from Brown University covers the fundamentals of course instruction and includes an online syllabus workshop. There are sample syllabi from 4 areas (humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, life sciences) with commentary and feedback from the Center for Teaching and Learning. Also offers a "Master Syllabus Form" to adapt to one's own pedagogical needs.

List of exemplary course syllabi from West Virginia University.

Resources on Course Development
Guide from the University of Pittsburgh that contains discipline-specific model syllabi.

Resources on Course Design
From University of Washington's Center for Instructional Development and Research (CIDR).

Tutorial on Designing Effective and Innovative Courses from Carleton University

An online version of a successful workshop originally designed for faculty in the Geosciences, but applicable to designing courses in other disciplines. The tutorial is divided into three parts: 1) setting goals, 2) designing the course, and 3) following through.

Recommended Books

Davis , B.G.(1993). Tools for Teaching. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

  • Available as an e-book from the library catalogue, or at http://teaching.berkeley.edu/bgd/teaching.html . There are also print copies in the library and at the Teaching Support Centre (LB2331 .D37 1993 ).
  • Contains useful tips and has excellent chapters on preparing or revising a course and creating a syllabus.

McKeachie, Wilbert. (1999) Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

  • Available in the Weldon Library: LB1738 .M35
  • Chapter 2 (Countdown for course preparation) and Chapter 3 (Meeting a class for the first time) contain particularly useful information for designing course outlines.

Toohey, S. (1999) Designing Courses for Higher Education. The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press.

  • Available in the Weldon Library: LB2361 .T56