Learning by Design

Student learning and success in a course are affected by instructional decisions that take place well before the first day of class. Careful planning and attention to a course's design can both facilitate student learning as well as make teaching fulfilling and more satisfying. This program is designed for faculty who are preparing to teach a new course for the first time and/or who want to re-think or re-envision - in small or big ways - a course that they already have experience teaching. Participants in the program will learn about fundamental course design principles and apply them to the design of a new course or the partial/full re-design of an existing course. Necessary books and lunch will be provided.

Program Information

This program will meet six times during the semester (weekly) both at Scott (Omaha) and City (Lincoln) campuses.

Fall 2023 Schedule: 

City Campus (Lincoln) Sessions Scott Campus (Omaha) Sessions
Date Room # Time Date Room # Time
09/28/2023 ERC D110 9:15 am - 10:30 am 09/27/2023 PKI 250 11:00 am - 12:15 pm
10/05/2023 10/04/2023
10/12/2023 10/11/2023
10/26/2023 10/25/2023
11/02/2023 11/01/2023
11/09/2023 11/08/2023


To register please follow: https://engineering.unl.edu/ecec/registration/. If you have any questions about this program, please contact Dr. Tareq Daher at tareq.daher@unl.edu or (402) 472-4761

Program details

Session 1 description: The first session overviews the backward design framework's three stages (identifying desired results, determining acceptable evidence, and planning learning experiences). Participants identify a unit in an existing or future course they are teaching and complete the Backward design worksheet. Suggested RBISs are self-reflection and gallery walk.

Session 2 description: The second session focuses on learning goals. Blooms’ cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains are introduced. Faculty will individually develop learning goals for their unit. Then pair up to review each other’s’ goals based on guidelines demonstrated in the session. The third activity will be to align learning goals with ABET or other accreditation outcomes.

Session 3 description: The third session focuses on assessment. Three types of assessments for understanding are introduced. For each type, examples of CATs are provided. Participants develop an assessment that aligns with the learning goals they defined in session 2. The assessment is based off the CAT book.

Session 4 description: The fourth session continues the conversation on assessment, with a focus on developing rubrics. Three types of rubrics are introduced and participants align rubrics with assessments they created in session three. Participants create a rubric for the assessment and then work in pairs to evaluate each other’s and refine their rubrics.

Session 5 description: The fifth session focuses on designing a learning plan. Participants identify formative assessments that aid student learning and use the WHERETO model to develop a learning plan that aligns with their learning goals (session 2) and assessments (session3).

Session 6 description: The last session of this program is focused on building the unit in Canvas. The session begins with an overview of Canvas. Each participant will have an empty course shell. Participants develop the primary components in the LMS including adding their learning goals, assessments, and activities.

The Learning By Design sessions are part of the ARISE Program. ARISE is an institutional-level program aimed at enriching the way STEM courses are taught at UNL.  It is a three-year, $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through the WIDER (Widening Implementation & Demonstration of Evidence-Based Reforms) Program

For information about the ARISE program contact:

Dr. Lance Perez (PI and Project Director)—lperez1@unl.edu

Funding Provided 
Project Led
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