Outcomes & Structure

In this module, you will learn how to redesign or design a course to have a pedagogically strong online basis that gives you the flexibility to adapt to full online instruction if needed, and gives your students the flexibility to succeed. Beginning with your learning outcomes, you will weigh various course structures and online features that will support your intended learning; see how the framing of material and assignments will help diverse learners; and begin to develop a sense of predictable rhythm for your course structure.

This module is organized by the framework:

  1. WATCH a short video that provides an overview of best practices on high-level course design choices.
  2. EXPLORE additional resources on learning outcomes and course structure.
  3. DO something with what you’ve learned by completing the Flexible Course Planner and evaluating and refining your course outcomes so you can make informed decisions about your course structure, activities, and assessments.
  4. TOOLS that support course design in Moodle or Blackboard supported by the UMass IDEAS Team.



In this 5-minute video, CTL staff member Brian Baldi explains what you should think about first when designing an online class, including: writing strong learning outcomes [:46]; aligning those learning outcomes to activities [1:50]; creating a course structure [3:04]; and chunking your course content [4:00]. You can learn more about course design by navigating to our EXPLORE section below this video.

Click here to view the Outcomes & Structure Video Transcript.



We developed the Flexible Course Planner (formatted in Microsoft Word) to guide and scaffold your course (re)design and allow you to apply directly what you are learning. By using this planning document, you will end up with many parts of your (re)designed course in place. 

We offer the planner in two ways:

  1. You can download the section for this Outcomes & Structure Module; or
  2. You can download the entire Flexible Course Planner with all of the modules represented.

If you have any questions about your course design, CTL consultants are happy discuss your aspirations and specific course choices. Feel free to contact us at ctl@umass.edu.


For questions about how to build and structure your course within Moodle or Blackboard, please contact the IDEAS Team at instruct@umass.edu.

Please contact the CTL with any questions you have about Flexible Course (Re)Design at ctl@umass.edu