Six Principles of Course Design at Schulich

At Schulich, course design is guided by six foundational principles that inform all aspects of a course from the selection of impactful activities to the authentic assessment of learning.

We aim to design courses that recognize and celebrate the diversity of experiences and backgrounds of our students and instructors. Clearly articulated learning outcomes serve as the framework of our courses, around which all activities and assessments are designed.  Our students actively participate in experiential learning opportunities and develop real-world problem-solving skills, as they make lasting connections with industry leaders. They are also encouraged to reflect on their learning to develop an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses and to develop strategies to continuously improve. Instructors do the same; they continuously build upon student feedback from each course iteration to design better, more effective learning experiences.

Video: Dean Detlev Zwick (former Associate Dean Academic) reviews the six principles of course design at Schulich.

Course Design Testimonials

Reflections from Instructors on their Courses

Minerva Cernea

Experiential Education Faculty Lead
To transform an experience into experiential learning, it is important to include the reflection piece. At Schulich we have many EE courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, and we are working toward including more experiential learning where courses and programs allow.

Minerva Cernea

Experiential Education Faculty Lead
To transform an experience into experiential learning, it is important to include the reflection piece. At Schulich we have many EE courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, and we are working toward including more experiential learning where courses and programs allow.

Course Design & Approval Process

Looking to design a new course or update an existing one? Follow the steps below.

All instructors are encouraged to use the following process periodically to review and rethink their courses and keep them up to date.

1. Determine the Change

Consider student feedback, course evaluations, instructional challenges, and gaps in learning outcome achievement. Browse the resource section below for additional ideas.

2. Determine the Scope of the Change: Is It Major or Minor?

Some changes don’t require program/faculty approval, such as updating course material, activities, sequence of content, etc. Some do, such as changes to course numbers, credit value, course title, course calendar description, or learning outcomes.

Assess the nature of the change using these guidelines for Major vs. Minor changes.

3. Consult with Colleagues

As changes are introduced within individual courses, it is important to still maintain the curriculum’s overall coordination, coherence, and comprehensiveness. Changes to courses need to be assessed for impact as they could affect program level outcomes, multi-section courses, core courses, or pre/co requisites. All major changes need the approval of the area coordinator and relevant program director(s). This assures that there has been a review of the change in the context of other offerings in the discipline and the program.

4. Prepare the Proposal Package for Submission

Fill out the course change proposal form and prepare the supporting documentation. Send the package to the area coordinator and program directors(s) to obtain their formal signatures of support.

The proposal package should include the following:

  • proposal form
  • revised course outline
  • motion/rationale document addressed to the applicable program committee
  • signatures of approval/support (forward the corresponding emails of support from the area coordinator and program directors(s) to the committee secretary)

5. Submit the Proposal to the Applicable Program Committee

Send the complete package to the relevant program committee secretary. A full list of program committees, secretaries, and meeting dates are available here.

Once approved by the program committee, the proposal will be submitted to Executive Committee for review and addition to the next Faculty Council agenda. This will be done by the program committee secretary.  Faculty Council is the forum where faculty colleagues will review and approve the proposal. Faculty are encouraged to attend the meeting to address any questions.  Once approved, the governance process is complete and the change(s) will be communicated to the scheduling team in the ADA Office for incorporation during the next scheduling period.

Have questions? Contact the program committee secretary or email Schulich Faculty Council.

Have an idea for a new course? Follow the process below to prepare the proposal and obtain the necessary approvals.

1. Identify the Purpose of the New Course

Does it fill a gap in current offerings? Consult with the area coordinator and program director(s) early on to ensure there is support and that your course will complement existing offerings.

2. Build the Course Outline

Download the course outline template.

Start by determining the overall course goals, target audience, and learning outcomes. Use the learning outcomes to select your course materials, activities, and assessments.

Refer to the six principles of course design above, the resources section below, and the innovative courses and instructors featured on this site for ideas.

3. Consult with Colleagues

Building a course should a collaborative process. Faculty are encouraged to think about their course in the context of the larger curriculum and to understand where and how it will complement other courses in a program. Feedback and endorsement from your tenure stream faculty colleagues is key to the approval process and ensures the curriculum’s overall coordination, coherence, and comprehensiveness.

4. Prepare the Proposal Package for Submission

Fill out the new course proposal form (grad or undergrad) and prepare the supporting documentation. Send the package to the area coordinator, program director(s), and faculty colleagues across areas to obtain their formal signatures of support. A minimum of six faculty colleague signatures are required.

The proposal package should include the following:

  • motion/rationale document addressed to the applicable program committee
  • proposal form with signatures of approval/support (forward the corresponding emails of support to the committee secretary)
  • course outline
  • library statement

5. Submit the Proposal to the Applicable Program Committee

Send the complete package to the relevant program committee secretary. A full list of program committees, secretaries, and meeting dates are available here.

Once approved by the program committee, the proposal will be submitted to Executive Committee for review and addition to the next Faculty Council agenda. This will be done by the program committee secretary.  Faculty Council is the forum where faculty colleagues will review and approve the proposal. Faculty are encouraged to attend the meeting to address any questions.  Once approved, the faculty governance process is complete and the change(s) will be communicated to the scheduling team in the ADA Office for incorporation during the next scheduling period.

Note: Graduate courses will also be reported to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. This step will be handled by the Schulich Faculty Council Secretary.

Have questions? Contact the program committee secretary or email Schulich Faculty Council.

Forms & Templates

Download the proposal forms and Schulich course outline template here.

Resources

Browse these resources to get design ideas. Find information on funds that can support the associated costs. Can’t find what you’re looking for? The Schulich T&L team is here to support instructors through the design process. A full list of our staff and services are available here.

Innovative Courses and Instructors

Check out examples of course innovation at Schulich.

Learn More