Designing your Course to Maximize Student Learning

Thursday, Friday 8:30am-11:30am Northrop Hall: 116


Anne Egger, Central Washington University
The workshop is for anyone who wants to incorporate what we know from the research on learning into their teaching. Participants will both learn about and be engaged in best practices as they design (or redesign) their own course.


Our understanding of how people learn and what classroom practices best support that learning has grown and solidified over the past few decades. Over the course of the workshop, we will engage in a series of activities that will help you think about your course from the student learning perspective, addressing the topics of designing effective and engaging courses through backward design; metacognition, motivation, and the affective domain; active learning techniques; and assessing learning. You will learn about pedagogical techniques by engaging in them, not just by hearing about them. You will leave the workshop having begun to (re)design your course and with an action plan and resources for continuing the process.

Target Audience

This workshop is appropriate for anyone interested in designing (or redesigning) a course. We seek participants from all types of institutions of higher education and across a broad spectrum of disciplines, and we particularly welcome graduate students who want to learn more about course design.


By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Use what's known about how people learn to build strong courses
  • Incorporate strategies that support all students to be successful
  • Implement effective teaching activities that align learning goals, assessments, and instruction


The workshop will consist of a series of sessions that follow a backward design process, including:

  • Developing course-level and activity-level goals that match your goals
  • Designing assessments that assess what you really want them to learn and be able to do
  • Engaging students through substantive active learning opportunities
  • Addressing motivation, metacognition, and the affective domain.
Each session will include an activity, a short presentation, and work time to add ideas to your action plan.


  • Participate in all workshop activities and discussions.
  • Prepare in advance for workshop via readings or other activities developed by workshop leader.
  • Submit an action plan and evaluation at the end of the workshop.

Daily Program

See the Program Page for a detailed schedule of daily events.