Better courses are designed before they are built. By planning carefully before starting to create content, your course will have a holistic look and feel with clear outcomes and progression step to step, activity to activity, and week-to-week. Course Outlines are designed to ensure that you have a solid platform from which to build the rest of your course.
In the spirit of best practice, the video (below) will cover the following Learning Outcomes:
- describe how courses are structured on FutureLearn
- explain the different sections of a course outline
- demonstrate what a completed course outline looks like.
The aim of the video is to give you a clearer sense of how a Course Outline helps you to shape a course that fits the FutureLearn’s platform.
How to create a course outline?
What are the most important things to remember when creating my course outline?
- Start with the Big Questions
- ‘Big Questions’ capture the essence of the course and help to focus the learning. One overall ‘Big Question’ that a course aims to answer can be broken down into smaller ‘Big Questions’ for each course week. The course’s learning outcomes should help learners to answer these questions. Well-written Big Questions and precise learning outcomes help to focus course design and keep learners’ minds on the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours you want them to gain by the end of the course.
- Use a variety of steps
- The most effective courses combine different media within a strong linear narrative. Whilst videos can be great for certain purposes, overusing them can produce a passive learning experience. When planning your course, try to break up long runs of video or article steps with opportunities to reflect, discuss or recall knowledge gained.
- Course length and flow
- It’s important to step back and check that each week of your course builds on the last, contains a consistent amount of work and strikes a balance between feeling too light and too dense
The following resources will be useful when you are ready to start planning and designing your course. Each course type listed below includes a link to a blank course template that gives you a structure within which you can design your course.
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