Week 6: Integrated Course Design Continued


In the previous module, we explored the first two steps in the initial design phase of the Integrated Course Design process which involves identifying the situational factors and defining the learning outcomes. In this module we are going to continue to focus on the Integrated Course Design model, and we will examine the remaining steps in the initial design phase which include planning the feedback and assessment strategies, designing the teaching and learning activities, and confirming integration and alignment. As was mentioned in the previous module, assessment plays a pivotal role in motivating students to learn, and provides both feedback on progress and measures of achievement (Cauley & McMillan, 2010). Thus, it is important that educators transitioning to the online environment are aware of online assessment strategies and how they can be used to support deep student learning. It is also key that online educators are comfortable with a range of online teaching and learning activities to help learners reach the desired learning outcomes, and to successfully complete the assessments (Sewell, Frith & Colvin, 2010).

Learning Outcomes

When you have completed this module you should be able to:

  • Identify online assessment and teaching and learning activities that align with your learning outcomes.
  • Develop a design plan for one module (week, unit) of an online teaching and learning experience.
  • Provide feedback on a peer’s online design plan based on identified criteria.

Topic 1 – Online Assessment


Please read pages 13–15 of the following guide and watch the following video:

According to Fink (2003), once you have examined the situational factors and identified the learning goals, the next step of the Integrated Course Design model should focus on what students will do to demonstrate they have achieved the learning outcomes. Following backwards design and constructive alignment principles, the feedback and assessment methods should be aligned to the learning outcomes so that they reinforce one another. Clearly aligning assessments to the desired learning outcomes helps guide students’ learning as they can see clearly what to focus on, and how to demonstrate their learning (Biggs, 1996). Some assessment methods lend themselves better to certain types of learning outcomes. For example, a multiple choice quiz can assess students’ ability to “identify a learning outcome” but would probably not be the best way to assess the ability to “explain the purpose of learning outcomes.” The following resource from the University of Central Florida provides some suggestions for the kinds of assessment methods which lend themselves to assessing particular learning outcomes:

Fink (2003) describes two main types of assessment, “audit-ive assessment,” which is designed to help the teacher assign grades, and “educative assessment,” which is designed to enhance the quality of student learning. These terms are also commonly referred to as “summative” and “formative” assessment. Summative assessments are usually graded, and generally contribute to a significant percentage of the student’s grade in the course. End-of-semester exams, projects, portfolios, and presentations are often used to summatively assess students’ knowledge and skills. Formative assessment provides students feedback on their progress, and is typically ungraded or makes up a small percentage of the overall grade. Examples of formative assessment include self-tests, small group activities, blog posts, reflection questions, discussion forums, and other low risk activities that allow students to get feedback on their progress and test their knowledge, skills, and abilities. A popular type of formative assessment is “Classroom Assessment Techniques,” which can be used provide short-term feedback for learners and educators (Angelo & Cross, 1993). Fink (2003) describes four key components of educative assessment or formative assessment; (1) Forward-Looking; (2) Criteria and Standards; (3) Self-Assessment; and (4) “FIDeLity” feedback which states that high-quality feedback should be Frequent, Immediate, Discriminating and Loving.

Please read the following articles:

In terms of the online environment, Sewell, Frith and Colvin (2010) contend that exemplary online assessment should be (1) Authentic; (2) Challenging; (3) Coherent; (4) Engaging; (5) Respectful; (6) Responsive; (7) Rigorous; and (8) Valid. They also suggest that both formative and summative assessment are appropriate to online learning. The article provides examples of online formative assessment tools including individual and group assessments, reflection and self-assessments, self-tests, and SCORM modules. They also describe examples of online summative evaluation tools such as grading rubrics, and quizzes and tests, and they provide suggestions for reducing opportunities for cheating in the online environment. Kelly (2014) suggests that when selecting assessment for the online environment, alternative assessment methods such as writing assignments, collaborative assignments, case studies, and debates can avoid the problems often associated with tests and quizzes, and can reduce cheating. The article also recommends having students embed their own experiences in their assignments to make the assessments more authentic in the online environment.

Various technologies can enhance the experience of online assessment for both students and educators. When selecting assessment for the online environment, it is important that the choice of technology is determined by the learning outcomes. The University of New South Wales’ (UNSW) Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching (TELT) website provides examples of the educational application of some common technologies and features and provides a useful matrix for matching learning outcomes with technology tools, and conversely how these tools can contribute to learning outcomes.

Also, Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy can also be a helpful resource for matching learning outcomes to online assessment tools.

Learning Activity 1 – Online Assessment

Please examine the online course that you are using for the Online Course Audit Assignment and analyze the assessments and the educational technology supports used. Assess how well the assessments align to the learning outcomes and share your analysis in your blog with the tag “EDDL5141.”

Then, identify a potential online assessment to measure one or two of the learning outcomes that you identified for the online teaching and learning experience that you would like to design for your Online Design Plan Assignment and provide a rationale. Please post your analysis, online assessment description, and rationale on your blog with the tag “EDDL5141.”

Topic 2 – Online Teaching and Learning Activities


Please read pages 16-21 of the following guide:

After you have selected your assessment methods, Fink (2003) recommends that you plan the teaching and learning activities that you will use to engage students with the material and enable them to meet the learning outcomes. The key is to align the teaching and learning strategies with the assessment and the learning outcomes. Many teaching and learning strategies are flexible, and can be used to support a range of learning outcomes, but some of them are better suited for particular types of learning outcomes. In most cases, you will need to use a combination of teaching and learning activities to achieve the learning outcomes and to support the assessment.

Fink (2003) is a strong proponent of active learning and argues that students learn more and retain their learning longer if they acquire it in an active rather than a passive manner. He suggest that when selecting learning activities, two general principles should be followed in order to ensure a “rich learning experience.” Instructors should rely on direct rather than indirect learning activities, and they should include activities from each of the following three categories:

  1. Information and Ideas —Include activities that introduce students to the key information and ideas of the course.
  2. Experience —Include activities with an experiential component that allow students to acquire several kinds of significant learning simultaneously.
  3. Reflective Dialogue —Include activities that provide students time and encouragement to reflect on the meaning of their learning experience, individually or with others.

Please read the following article:

Riggs and Linder (2016) claim that “Active learning activities and pedagogical strategies can look different in online learning environments particularly in asynchronous courses when students are not interacting with the instructor, or with each other, in real time” (p. 1). They propose a three-part approach for implementing active learning practices into asynchronous online environments:

  1. An Architecture of Engagement —A new architecture of engagement that functions in a virtual, asynchronous environment should be intentionally created which includes elements of syllabus communication and engagement policy, course orientation, and course structure.
  2. Use of Web-Based Tools Outside the Learning Management System —The use of ready-made, web-based tools that are built for engagement but are located outside of the LMS should be considered such as online portfolios, brainstorming, and role-playing tools.
  3. Re-Imagine LMS Discussion Boards as Interactive Spaces —Well-designed and well-facilitated discussion boards should be used to create a rich space for active learning. Examples include discussion boards as presentation spaces, gallery and reflection spaces, and as work spaces.

When selecting teaching and learning activities for the online environment, it is also important that the choice of technology is determined by the learning outcomes. It can be tempting to fall into the habit of trying to use a lot of complicated online tools to provide opportunities for active learning. However, any educational technology that you choose should enhance your learning activities and align with your learning outcomes. The SECTIONS framework provides a helpful model for the selection and use of media and technology and includes a series of questions under a set of headings that can be answered by educators who are thinking of using technology for teaching and learning. To learn more about the SECTIONS framework please review the following article:

There are a range of additional theoretical models for selecting educational technology that have emerged in recent years including the Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model  (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) CC BY-NC 4.0, the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model (Puentedura, 2006) CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, and the Replacement Amplification Transformation (RAT) model (Hughes, 2005). Unfortunately, we cannot explore all of these models in detail in this module, but if you are interested in learning more about any of these models, you can review the links for additional information.

Learning Activity 2 – Online Teaching and Learning Activities

Please examine the online course that you are using for the Online Course Audit Assignment and identify the teaching and learning activities and educational technology supports used. Please select one educational technology and use the SECTIONS framework to examine how well it aligns to the teaching and learning context. Please share the results of your SECTIONS analysis on your blog with the tag “EDDL5141.”

Then, select at least two online teaching and learning activities that you feel are in alignment with the learning outcomes and assessment strategies identified for the online teaching and learning experience that you would like to design for your Online Design Plan Assignment. Please post your teaching and learning activities on your blog with the tag “EDDL5141.”

Topic 3 – Online Design Plan


Please read pages 21–25 of the following guide:

The final step in the initial design phase of the Integrated Course Design model involves checking the course design for integration to make sure all the components are in alignment and support each other. Fink (2003) provides a worksheet that can be used to review the decisions made in the first four steps and to ensure that the situational factors, learning outcomes, assessment methods and teaching and learning activities are all integrated with each other. Fink (2003) proposes five specific criteria for assessing the quality of course design:

  1. In-Depth Analysis of Situational Factors —The course design should be based on a systematic review of all the major situational factors.
  2. Significant Learning Goals —The course design should include learning goals focused on several kinds of significant learning.
  3. Educative Feedback and Assessment —The course design should include components of educative assessment such as forward-looking assessment, opportunities for students to engage in self-assessment, clear criteria and standards, and “FIDeLity” feedback.
  4. Active Teaching/Learning Activities —The course design should include learning activities that engage students in active learning.
  5. Integration/Alignment —All the major components of the course should be integrated and should all reflect and support each other.

Learning Activity 3 – Draft Online Design Plan

Online Course Audit Assignment (30%) Instructions

Using the Integrated Course Design Model and the activities from this module and the previous module, please develop a draft online design plan for one module/unit/week for the online teaching and learning experience that you would like to design for your Online Design Plan Assignment. Please share your draft plan on your blog and tag your post with “EDDL5141.”

Once you have shared your draft online design plan, please review one of your peers’ draft plans and provide feedback using Fink’s (2003) criteria for assessing the quality of course design as a guide. After receiving feedback from one of your peers, please use this to make any revisions for your Online Design Plan Assignment prior to submission.


When transitioning from the traditional classroom to the online environment, the Integrated Course Design model can be a helpful tool to help ensure that the design of online learning experiences are significant and meaningful. In this module, you had the opportunity to complete the remaining steps of the initial design phase of the Integrated Course Design model which involves selecting the assessments, planning the teaching and learning activities, and ensuring integration and alignment of all of the course components. In the next module, we will shift our focus to online facilitation and you will be introduced to key frameworks, examples, and strategies that can be used to guide facilitation in the online environment.


Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques: A handbook for college teacher s. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Biggs, J. (1996). Enhancing teaching through constructive alignment. Higher education , 32 (3), 347-364.

Carleton University. (2017). The place of assessment in course design [Video file]. Retrieved from “https://mediaspace.carleton.ca/media/The+Place+of+Assessment+in+Course+Design/0_badfokwf”

Cauley, K. M., & McMillan, J. H. (2010). Formative assessment techniques to support student motivation and achievement. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas , 83 (1), 1-6.

Cuthrell, K., & Lyon, A. (2007). Instructional strategies: What do online students prefer? Journal of Online Learning and Teaching , 3 (4), 357-362. Retrieved from “http://jolt.merlot.org/vol3no4/cuthrell.htm”

Educational Origami. (n.d.). Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy . Retrieved from https://teachonline.asu.edu/2016/05/integrating-technology-blooms-taxonomy/

Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006, March). Assessing technology integration: the RAT–replacement, amplification, and transformation-framework. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1616-1620). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved from “https://www.slideshare.net/joanhughes/hughes-scharber-site2006”

Kelly, R. (2014). Alternative assessment methods for the online classroom . Retrieved from “https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/educational-assessment/alternative-assessment-methods-online-classroom/”

Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary Issues In Technology And Teacher Education , 9 (1), 60-70. Retrieved from “http://www.citejournal.org/volume-9/issue-1-09/general/what-is-technological-pedagogicalcontent-knowledge”

Puentedura, R. R. (2013). SAMR: Moving from enhancement to transformation . Retrieved from “http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/archives/000095.html”

Riggs, S. A., & Linder, K. E. (2016). Actively engaging students in asynchronous online classes. IDEA Paper# 64. IDEA Center, Inc. Retrieved from “https://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/PaperIDEA_64.pdf”

Sewell, J., Frith, K. H., & Colvin, M. M. (2010). Online assessment strategies: A primer. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 6 (1), 297. Retrieved from “http://jolt.merlot.org/vol6no1/sewell_0310.pdf”

UBC. (2012). Assessing technology using the SECTIONS Framework . Retrieved from “http://wiki.ubc.ca/images/1/19/SECTIONS_Framework.pdf”

University of Central Florida (n.d.). Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved from “http://www.fctl.ucf.edu/teachingandlearningresources/coursedesign/bloomstaxonomy”

UNSW. (n.d.). Selecting technologies . Retrieved from “https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/selecting-technologies”

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