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Whether building a course for the first time or re-designing, careful course planning can lead to a more efficient and successful experience for both faculty and students.


Learning Outcomes and Objectives

Course Learning Outcomes or Goals help determine the content and activities a course will need. They provide the road map for student success by being clearly defined, measurable, and aligned to learning activities.


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Organization and Structure

Determining the organization and structure of your course can start with a course calendar or course map to provide a visual representation of due dates, activities, and assessments and their cognitive load for students. Make sure your Blackboard Course matches your course organization and provide navigation instructions.


Instructional Materials

Instructional materials, such as textbooks, articles, and resources (whether professionally or instructor/institutionally produced), should be provided to students to ensure accessibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.


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Teaching with Technology

Including educational technology is a great way to improve a course's efficiency and student engagement. UTEP offers many tools, programs, and support for teaching with technology.


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Building a Community Plan

Though designed for distance education, an emphasis on Regular and Substantive Interaction (federal distance education regulations) can help improve overall communication in the classroom. UTEP has many tools available to help build a community plan for a course.


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Assessments and activities in a course should align with the learning outcomes and objectives of a course and provide an opportunity for students to develop higher-order thinking and problem-solving abilities, experience real-world application of learned skills, and encourage collaboration.


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Building a Syllabus

The syllabus outlines expectations for teaching and learning and provides a road map for success in a course. It should include university and course policies, technology requirements for participation, communication requirements, grading criteria, assignment outlines, etc. For assistance with building a syllabus, see this Guided Syllabus Template.

Teaching Assessment and Feedback

Feedback from students and peers on the effectiveness and engagement of a course is just as important as the feedback they receive for their work. Some ways that you can collect feedback:

*The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity (NCFDD) is a significant contributor to teaching and professional development resources licensed by UTEP. To access NCFDD materials, you will need to Activate your account.