The theory which underlies the basis of this course design is the theory of backward design which was developed by Wiggins and McTighe. Backward design is course design which starts with defining outcomes. Thus, when designing we should go through following steps:
1. Defining course goals and learning objectives
2. Determining the assessment tools
3. Providing supportive learning activities
Course goals emanate from needs analysis and refer to the whole course.
Linder K. M. (2017) shapes the following postulates for course goals:
1. Course goals reflect the larger ideas of what you want your students to know and understand through your course and are most successful when they are aligned with larger program goals, disciplinary goals, or professional standards
2. Course goals are frequently not measurable, can be broad and vague
3. Course goals reflect essential questions for the course
Learning objectives represent decomposed course goals and are more direct. Linder K. M. (2017) assets:
1. Each learning objective should be connected to or stem from a course goal; in other words course goals and learning objective should be intentionally aligned.
2. Each learning objective should reflect what you want your students to be able to do.
3. Each learning objective should be measurable.
4. Each learning objective should be observable.
5. Each learning objective should target ONE specific aspect of student performance.
Every course goal is decomposed into SEVERAL learning objectives.
Assignments help us check whether students are able to attain their learning objectives, they measure and observe.
Thus, course goals, learning objectives, and assignments should be aligned.
Alignment is a key word in the course design.