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Course outline exemplars

The course outlines linked below provide examples of ways to make the elements of the course design more transparent for students:

ARBUS 400 Strategy & Program Integration

  • Reminds students of the ePortfolio component of their program, and informs them that in this course their capstone experience makes use of their ePortfolio.
  • Refers to other courses in the program to help students understand how this course interconnects with others. 
  • Includes a "course philosophy" section that helps to orient the students and begins to establish the tone of the course. 

AFM 361 Taxation 1 

  • Links learning objectives to the school's learning model.
  • Emphasizes that students have an obligation not only to learn, but to contribute to the course so that others can learn from them. 
  • Explains how three different assessment schemes will be employed in recognition that different students will excel in different ways. 
  • Includes a communication policy that explains how students can best contact the instructors with regard to different questions, concerns, and so on. 
  • ​Explains how a blended learning course design will encourage continuous learning. 

BIOL 364 Mathematical Modelling in Biology

  • Provides an alignment chart that links lecture topics, in-class and lab exercises, and graded assignments to one another and to the Intended Learning Outcomes of the course.

HLTH 260 Social Determinants of Health

  • Includes a visual metaphor to help explain the nature of the course: specifically, a photo of an iceberg indicates that the course will go beneath the surface of traditional assumptions about health. 
  • Includes a section called "Student Responsibilities and Rights" to help students understand the instructor's specific assumptions and expectations for the course, as well as the pedagogical strategies employed in the course (lectures plus active learning). 

PSYCH 340 Training and Development

  • Includes the objectives (or learning outcomes) for the course, and helps students understand those objectives by categorizing them.
  • Describes the pedagogical approach of the course: namely, students will engage in "active learning" activities during class with lectures only being delivered online.  

STAT 230 Probability

  • Includes the learning outcomes for the course.
  • Articulates how tests that are missed due to illness or extenuating circumstances will result in other components of the course being re-weighted. 

SYDE 162 Human Factors in Design

  • Employs a simple concept map to help students understand the components of the course and their relationship to one another. 
  • Identifies the Intended Learning Objectives for the course, and then shows how each assignment and assessment is connected to those Intended Learning Objectives in an alignment chart.
  • Indicates learning activities and assessments are formative or summative in nature. 

Related resources

Information for Instructors. Resources for instructors from the Office of the Associate Vice-President, Academic, including: a course outline template detailing the information you need to include in a course outline or syllabus and a course outline example that provides a model for organizing and formatting your course outline or syllabus. 

Faculty of Science Course Outline Guidelines.

Policies, Handbooks, and Templates related to teaching and learning at Waterloo.