1. Required Workshops 
  2. Optional Workshops – Choose One 

Course Design Fundamentals consists of five workshops appropriate for Carleton instructors wishing to cultivate essential course design strategies, regardless of years of experience, teaching modality, or class size. This program is designed to help you receive formal recognition while you revisit the foundational principles of course design and delivery that will translate into deeper, more effective teaching and learning experiences. 

The program is designed to be a flexible series of five workshops that you can take in any order. There are four required workshops and one elective. Most workshops, facilitated by the TLS team, are offered every term; check out our Events page for more information on dates/times for specific workshops. The CDF experience culminates with a guided reflection that centres on your takeaways and plans to make changes to your teaching practice. 

Participants who complete this program will be able to: 

  • Plan and design fundamental learning experiences 
  • Explain and apply the process of aligning fundamental course elements
  • Distinguish between types of assessment on the basis of their purpose and place in learning 
  • Apply principles of cognitive theory of multimedia learning when teaching with a variety of media 
  • Describe effective strategies for fostering active learning 

To register for the program, simply: 

  • Click on this link.
  • When prompted, enter your MyCarletonOne login information. 
  • When prompted, enter “CDF” as the enrolment key password. 

To complete the program, you will: 

  1. Register — see the steps immediately above. 
  2. Attend and participate in four foundational workshops (“Learning Outcomes: Blueprints for Course Design,” “Designing Learning from Scratch,” “Assessment Fundamentals,” and “Learning Effectively with Multimedia”) 
  3. Attend and participate in one session of your choice (“Incorporating Activities into Smaller Lecture Classes” or “Incorporating Activities into Large Lecture Classes” or “Incorporating Effective Online Activities into Your Course”) 
  4. Submit your reflection on the experience and submit it via the cuLearn page for the program. 

Participants can complete these workshops in any order, and on any timeline that suits their schedules. For those looking for a more intensive experience, we sometimes offer the workshops in consecutive order. 

Instructors who complete the CDF program’s requirements will earn an official Letter of Completion for inclusion in their teaching dossiers, confirming that they have participated in 15 hours of workshops dedicated to pedagogical development. 

To view and register for upcoming sessions, visit the EDC events page 

Required Workshops 

Designing Learning from Scratch 

When we begin designing a learning experience, sometimes we are uncertain how to start and the task quickly appears to be a more complex challenge then we anticipated.

In this first Course Design Fundamentals workshop, we will introduce you to a teaching framework and pedagogical strategies aimed at helping you begin designing a learning module from scratch. We will promote the purposeful design approach that considers learning to be a complex journey without losing sight of the interrelationships between the required elements (van Merrienboer and Kirschner, 2017).

At the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Explain the importance of alignment among learning outcomes, assessments, rubrics and activities 
  • Write examples of learning pre-requisites, learning outcomes, teaching strategies and simple rubrics 
  • Begin designing student-centered learning experiences 

Learning Outcomes: Blueprints for Course Design 

Most simply defined, learning outcomes describe what learners are supposed to know, be able to do, or value at the end of a course or module. In the same way that we tell students that their papers should have an argument or thesis statement that guides what they write, effective learning outcomes should guide students through what the course priorities. The goal of this workshop is to provide you with the tools for developing clear and measurable learning outcomes. 

At the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Explain the relationship between learning outcomes & course design 
  • Write learning outcomes using Bloom’s Taxonomy 
  • Evaluate learning outcomes for specificity, measurability, & attainability 

Learning Effectively with Multimedia 

“People learn more deeply from words and graphics than from words alone. This assertion can be called the multimedia principle, and it forms the basis for using multimedia instruction—that is, instruction containing words (such as spoken text or printed text) and graphics (such as illustrations, charts, photos, animation, or video) that is intended to foster learning” (Mayer, 2009).

In this workshop, we will introduce the basics of the cognitive theory of multimedia learning (CTML) which incorporates concepts from both the science of learning and the science of instruction and discuss research-informed principles derived from it. You will engage in several short and fun “brain exercises” as we discuss the difference between rote and meaningful learning, the importance of long-term memory, and what happens when visual and verbal information is not “in sync.”

We will critically analyze examples of learning material that combine words and pictures and suggest improvements based on the examined principles. You will leave this session with practical skills that will inspire you to rethink how to effectively use multimedia in your teaching for the benefit of your learners.

At the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Explain the basic premises of the Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning and the impact of theory on multimedia instruction 
  • Critically analyze examples of instructional scenarios that utilize multimedia, and suggest improvements based on evidence-based principles. 

Assessment Fundamentals 

Assessment is often one of the most dreaded parts of teaching and learning. But as challenging as it can be, designing sound assessments is critical to the success of your course. This workshop will enable you to: 

  • Distinguish between various types of assessment on the basis of their purpose and place in learning 
  • Discuss methods and tools for providing effective feedback to support student learning 
  • Appreciate the role grading plays in communicating student learning and highlight techniques that can make that communication clear and accurate. 

Optional Workshops – Choose One 

Teaching with Your Mouth Shut: Incorporating Activities into (Smaller) Lecture Classes 

If you teach smaller classes (under ~60 students) and are looking for ways to engage your students in the learning process that go beyond the standard lecture, then this is the workshop for you! This session will introduce you to a range of tried-and-true activity ideas and effective practices for running them, while creating opportunities for you to reflect on their applicability for your own teaching. You’ll leave this session with some new “tools” to add to your existing teaching toolkits. 

At the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Describe a series of learning activities 
  • Explain some effective practices for facilitating activities 
  • Reflect on which activities and facilitation techniques you might want to refine or add to your teaching tool kit 

Note: The focus of this workshop is on face-to-face instruction methods, and so we are not offering it during the COVID-19 era.

Incorporating Activities into Large Lecture Classes 

If you teach larger classes and are looking for ways to engage your students in the learning process that go beyond the standard lecture, then this is the workshop for you! This session will introduce you to a range of strategies, activity ideas and effective practices for running them, while creating opportunities for you to reflect on their applicability for your own teaching. You’ll leave this session with some new “tools” to add to your existing teaching toolkits. 

At the end of this session, you will be able to: 

  • Describe a series of learning activities 
  • Explain some effective practices for facilitating activities 
  • Reflect on which activities and facilitation techniques you might want to refine or add to your teaching tool kit 

Note: The focus of this workshop is on face-to-face instruction methods, and so we are not offering it during the COVID-19 era.

Incorporating Effective Online Activities into Your Course

Digital technologies enable us to provide a variety of learning and communication opportunities. Additionally, they allow us to reach out to and actively engage course participants, and to frequently gauge students’ progress.

In this online session, we will showcase several “best-selling” engagement and communication online activities, which have been successfully incorporated in many Carleton courses in previous years, and we will focus on the pedagogical principles behind them, rather than technical solutions. The activities we will discuss include weekly announcements, the Ask the Instructor forum, discussion forums, student feedback, and more. Participants will also gain access to a follow-up video, where additional activities are discussed.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Become familiar with several effective online activities, underlining pedagogy and facilitation strategies
  • Reflect on which activities and facilitation techniques you might want to refine or add to your teaching tool kit
  • Have at least one online activity ready to include into your course

To view and register for sessions, visit the EDC workshops page 

To self-enroll in the cuLearn course, visit the cuLearn course and click Enroll.

If you would like a record of courses you have already completed, please email elspeth.mcculloch@cunet.carleton.ca.