Course Design Tools and Resources

Course Design Tools and Resources

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives are short, outcome-specific statements that describe—from the student perspective—what visible performance will be assessed. A course will typically have course-level and module-level objectives, as well as objectives for all major assignments and assessments.


Assessments ensure students are learning the appropriate materials and skills from the course at an adequate level.

Grading Rubrics

A rubric is a grading tool that 1) allows instructors to objectively assess students’ work and 2) assists students in completing assignments by detailing the required components and describing what the results should look like at various levels of mastery or competence. Rubrics should list each of the required components and their possible point’s value. For each component then provide a detailed description that describes what successful completion looks like at various levels of mastery.


A syllabus should clearly state all course-related requirements, expectations, guidelines, and policies. The syllabus establishes the essential outline of the course.

Design Matrix

The Design Matrix is a quick reference tool used during the design and development of a course that helps look at all the major components of a course in one place. Using the matrix enables you to check alignment between course- and module-level objectives and assignments, assess the workload as it is spread across the course, make sure material is being introduced at the appropriate time, and more.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a system for classifying goals, objectives, and assignments according to the cognitive effort required of the student. The purpose of the taxonomy is to help faculty see the amount of effort they are really asking of their students in order to diversify their courses and help improve student learning. Most commonly used when writing learning Objectives, the taxonomy is also helpful when developing assessment activities and choosing types of questions to ask the students.

Other Resources