Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Course Design Terminology

This page outlines the terms that you will encounter as you work through course review, design and development, using the course design process and CourseSpace.

Assessment: The evaluation of student achievement in relation to an assessment task.

Authentic Assessment Tasks: Tasks that combine aspects of discipline knowledge with real professional performance, addressing a range of applicable industry, sector and university standards.

Baseline: The first step in Design Phase 1 of the course design process, in which course teams create a framework for the course.

Capstone Learning and Teaching Strategies/ Assessments: Authentic rich tasks, activities or artefacts that enable students to demonstrate how they meet all course standards by the end of their course.

Commitments: Values, beliefs and/or dispositions emerging from the Baseline analysis that course teams agree on as guiding motivators for the course design process.

Components: Parts of the course review, design and approval process enabled by CourseSpace.

Constructive alignment: An outcomes-based approach to teaching in which student learning outcomes are defined before teaching takes place. Teaching and assessment methods are then designed to achieve and assess those outcomes.

Course: A coherent collection of subjects that make up a recognised final award, such as a Bachelor Degree.

Course Design: Process of creating a new course for which the university has identified a need.

Course Design Process: Iterative, collaborative design and constructive alignment of learning experiences to meet the needs of student learning. The process applies to both new courses and courses undergoing review.

Course Development: Subject level development of learning and teaching strategies, modules, learning activities and resources. Development is undertaken using the course design process.

Course Enrolment Patterns: The pathway through a designed sequence of subjects that the majority of students will follow.

Course Learning Outcomes: Descriptions of what graduates will know and be able to do when they have completed a course.

Course Lifecycle Handbook: The manual that explains the Course Design Process in detail, including step-by-step instructions for course design.

Course Modification: Changes to a course at subject level such as subject outcomes, learning experiences and module specifications, including the addition of new subjects.

Course Review: A scheduled process which includes evaluation of the quality and performance of an existing course. Review is undertaken using the course design process.

CourseSpace: Bespoke software that supports course teams to engage in communication, design, feedback and approval processes for course design.

Evidence of Learning: Tangible evidence of achievement of the Course Learning Outcomes which inform the design of assessment tasks at the subject level.

Feedback: The process of seeking perspectives to inform evaluation during course design.  This may include feedback from course team members, peers, students, external advisors and university leaders.

Integrated Standards: A single set of standards created from multiple requirements relevant to a course. Relevant requirements may include CSU Graduate Learning Outcomes and Australian Qualifications Framework and professional accreditation bodies requirements.

Iterative Design: Using and responding to feedback for continuous improvement of course design.

Learning Design: A process in which pedagogies and their related strategies and activities are applied to meet specific learning outcomes for a subject.

Modification: A course or subject change which occurs without a contribution from an external stakeholder, but which requires approval.

Module: A planned set of learning activities which enable the scaffolding and scheduling of learning and teaching in a subject.

Module Design: Creating activities and resources that utilise learning and teaching strategies to achieve the Course Learning Outcomes.

Online Learning Model: A set of elements designed to increase student engagement, retention and overall satisfaction in an online mode of delivery.

Smart Learning: Smart Learning was the first iteration of a university-wide course design, implementation and course performance initiative. Smart Learning has been refreshed and is now called CourseSpace.

Stage Documentation: Documents used to record decisions in relation to the course design process, when conducted outside CourseSpace.

Standards: Statements established by professional bodies that describe the expectations for graduates. These statements define the required knowledge, behaviours and attitudes that graduates must demonstrate.

Subject: A unit of learning that consists of a subject description and constructively aligned learning outcomes, learning and teaching strategies and assessment tasks, which contribute to student achievement of the Course Learning Outcomes.

Subject Learning Outcomes: Specific statements about what students are expected to know or be able to do as a result of completing a specified learning experience and assessment tasks in a subject.

Threshold Levels: Quality assurance of course design. Feedback from course team members and other stakeholders provide evidence that indicates agreement with the quality of course content and information.

Waypoints for Approval: Approval points during the CourseSpace design process.

Workplace Learning: Active participation and purposeful engagement by students with professional roles and responsibilities in real world or virtual professional environments, including simulated environments.