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Faculty Hub for Teaching and Learning Across Multiple Modalities: Course Design, Development, and Assessment

This guide is designed to assist MDC faculty with their teaching methodology and pedagogy across multiple modalities

What Do You Want Students to Know?

The first step in designing your course is to know where you are going.

Your course goals take the very general course description and fill it out. At this stage,focus on the goals or learning outcomes. Sometimes goals and objectives are confused. The table below illustrates the differences.You'll get to the objectives later.

Course Goals or Learning Outcomes

  • Broad statements that describe what you want your students to be able to do once they complete the course.
  • They're overarching and relate directly back to the course description.
  • They tie the course to the program curriculum and are sequenced to support the student's progress.
  • These are not class activities.



  • Use action oriented and measurable verbs (see the Critical Thinking Resources)
  • Break down learning tasks and focus on specific cognitive processes.
  • Support students' mastery of a complex skill through practice in the discrete component skills
  • Clear objectives allow students to practice component skills and allow you to select appropriate assessment and instruction strategies.


Students will understand the effects of healthcare policy on health outcomes.


Writing may include objectives such as:

Identify the author's argument, enlisting appropriate evidence, and organizing paragraphs.

Problem solving may require

Define the parameters of the problem and choose the appropriate formulas.

Bloom's Taxonomy Resources

Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl (Eds.). (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Bloom, B., Englehart, M. Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green.

Writing Objectives Resources

How to Write Learning Objectives for Online This site compares objectives to goals, describes the importance of objectives, and explains the components of a well-written objective.

The Objective Builder This tool offers a step-by-step "fill in the blank" wizard that guides the user through the process of writing learning objectives.


Assessment: Measuring Student Learning

We assess in order to understand how and what our students are learning, and where there are still muddy points or confusion. Authentic assessment is built into your course or lesson right from the start, and is based on your learning outcomes. (See also Teaching Resources tab Language of Teaching section.)

Examples of Authentic Assessment:




Case studies


Group projects


Peer reviews


Research projects




Web sites



Student-led discussion

Student-created TED Talk

(via web conferencing or recorded)

From Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding


Sewell, J., Frith, K. H., & Colvin, M. M. (2010). Online assessment strategies: A primer. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6(1), 297.

Types and Purposes of Assessment



Image source and link to full size table

Reporting by: Sarah D. Sparks | Design by: Lovey Cooper Vol. 35, Issue 12, Page s3 

Accessibility Resources

Access for All: Getting Started with Accessibility

Start here

Ally and Content Accessibility resources. Ally is built into your Blackboard courses and is easy to use. It's the fastest way for you to ensure your course documents are accessible. 

Next, check out these other resources:

Web Accessibility Evaluation. This tool allows you to type in a web address, including a Blackboard course, to identify accessibility problems. It identifies the type of issue and the degree of importance. (To securely test your Blackboard course, use the WAVE browser extensions.)

Selecting font size for PPT presentations. Learn what size fonts are best suited to your application.

Hyperlink Usability: Guidelines For Usable Links. Learn best practices for writing discernable links.

Use the websites listed below to verify or test that courses have sufficient contrast for all students. Some of these sites permit you to upload your image and check it.