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Course design

These resources provide templates, information, and strategies to assist you in designing your course with key instructional design principles.


Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956) is a framework for focusing course components in higher and lower level thinking skills. Bloom’s Taxonomy is used to write measurable learning objectives and designing aligned assessments. This resource provides an explanation of the cognitive domain along with a few verbs that can be used for writing learning objectives. There are several other Bloom’s Taxonomy verb lists available. This one is not all inclusive.



Metacognition is defined as thinking about one’s own thinking. Students (and faculty) who use metacognitive practices in their learning become aware of their own learning process and then can make changes to effect their outcomes.

There are several strategies that can be used to encourage metacognition. Here are two:



Understanding the basics of student motivation can improve student expectations, outcomes, and engagement. These are resources that provide foundational knowledge. There are several other resources available. In addition to the fundamental approaches, consideration should be given to mindset, grit, persistence, and failure.

  • Ambrose, et al, S. A., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M. C., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: 7 research-based principles for smart teaching. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Wigfield, A & Eccles, J. (2000). Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25(1), 68-81. DOI: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1015
  • Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
  • Boyd, D., Baudier, J., & Stromie, T. (2015). Flipping the mindset: Reframing fear and failure to catalyze development. To Improve the Academy, 34, p. 1-19. doi: 10.1002/tia2.20028
  • Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The power of passion and perseverance (1st ed.). New York, NY: Scribner.
  • Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
  • Carol Dweck Ted Talk Video:  Developing a Growth Mindset


Teaching Problems

Consult this Carnegie Mellon’s Eberly Center website to help you diagnose your own teaching problem and find solutions that work for you.