Aligning Goals with Your Course

A clear and direct articulation of learning goals sets the stage for course and assignment design through better aligned goals, objectives, and teaching strategies. Identifying your student learning goals enables you to then examine your course to see where you’re providing opportunities for students to acquire and practice the skills that will help them reach these goals.

To achieve alignment, here are some questions you might ask:

  • What teaching strategies will you use to introduce your students to these concepts or skills?
  • What activities and assignments will encourage deepened engagement with these concepts or practice of these skills?
  • Where in the course is it appropriate to ask students to demonstrate their progress toward these goals (in ways that are ungraded and graded)?
  • What kind of feedback from you will help students to improve their progress?

Ideas to consider when answering the above:

  • Think about the assignments in your course: are any specifically designed with your course goals in mind?
  • Are questions on tests targeted to assess your students’ mastering of certain learning goals?