Designing and teaching a course requires in-depth planning and an ongoing revision. Most probably, you will require recommendations from your colleagues. It is possible to obtain inspiration from other similar courses.

To prepare a good foundation for your course design, you need at least 6 months. This time period is necessary to define course goals, set teaching standards, cultivate course content, develop teaching methods and set several course policies.

This article is a guide through which you can design and teach a course from the ground up.

Define The Goals Of Your Course

First and foremost, take a few steps by defining the goals of your course. You need to become clear about what you wish to teach your students and what they can accomplish with it.

This basic clarity will allow you to seek the right direction when creating the content of your course. Also, you can use these goals to define your teaching methods, including the use of exams and assignments.

Curriculum planning is key to introducing a course successfully to students. The best goal formulation focuses on learnings and its result. The subcategories of your goals can concentrate on the content type, cognitive development as well as personal development of students.

According to expert teachers, specific goals work better than broader ones.

You can ask these questions to reach the right course goals:

  • What is the gist of course, students can retain even after 5-10 years?
  • What are the career and life-altering features of your course for the students?
  • What sort of skills you want to offer to your students?
  • What is the level of course (introductory course, fundamental course, or an advanced course)?

Outline The Content Of Your Course

No need to go too deep here, but a foundational structure of content is important to move ahead with the course design.

Make an initial outline, in which, you can list all the major topics of your course. For this, you will need an evaluation of textbooks, which are being used currently in the same sector of education. Discuss the value of every potential topic with experts in your education sector.

Also, go through the traits of the majority of students to restructure the topics. Don’t forget about the basic goals you have defined earlier. The topics have to align with the foundational goals of a course.

Use the initial outline to define pairs of concepts. This way, you can ensure a time-efficient teaching approach in your course.

After all that, you need to create a logical sequence of topics to define the flow of your course structure. This step is extremely important and critical in order to ensure that students understand every material clearly before moving to the next.

After finishing the sequence, ask the “why and how” for the structure of content you have designed.

You can introduce a topic, build on it, illustrate and provide a variety of perspectives in a sequence. This articulation has to have a rationale to ensure the success of the content.

There are different ways of organizing content topics:

  • Topical
  • Chronological
  • Survey-oriented
  • Conceptual
  • Process-oriented

Here are a few questions to help you define the topics and their sequence:

  • Is it possible to create a storyline or a theme with the topical organization?
  • What skills are required before beginning the application discussions?
  • Does the course require a theory introduction before problem illustrations?

Create Your Teaching Techniques And Tools

You have designed your goals along with the content structure. Now, you can think about the presentation process. This involves teaching techniques and various tools.

  • Your techniques and tools should align with the number of students in a class.
  • Your techniques and tools should align with the goals of your course.

Keeping the above mentioned points in mind, you should consider the following points:

  • What sort of teaching style you utilize generally? How flexible can you be to adapt and apply your current style of teaching with the potential requirements of the course?
  • How will you blend your teaching method for every student enrolling in the course?
  • What would be the perfect balance of discussions, lectures, assignments, exams and other forms of teaching?
  • What kind of technologies can improve your teaching technique? Choose a technology after specifically identifying its purpose for your course. Integrate traditional tools with modern-age technologies to enhance the quality of your course.
  • Think about diversity in your teaching approach to align with multiple learning preferences of students.
  • Plan an ongoing student learning measurement to modify your approach whenever required.

Structure Assignments and Topical Exams

Measuring the impact of your teaching is very important to ensure the success of the designed course. So, you need to structure your assignments and topical exams before starting the teaching approach.

If your course is supposed to enhance the skills of problem-solving, the exams can’t contain fact-based questions only.

Also Read: 27 Tips To Reduce Teacher Burnout

The questions should present situational scenarios for students to come up with a logical solution. Similar concepts of goals should be applied when designing class activities, homework, and other assignments.

Here is how you can identify the effectiveness of your assignments and topical exams:

  • Are assignments reflecting one or more course goals and helping in their achievement? This involves deciding the genre and comprehensiveness of an assignment along with the time duration you provide for its completion.
  • Are your quizzes and exams reflecting one or more course goals? Is an exam helping in the process of learning success measurement? If yes, then, to what extent can you judge the success rate of your course?
  • Will you provide enough exposure to students and prepare them for these assignments and topical exams?

Choose Text Material and Other Resources

You need to plan the text material and its cost in advance. Choose a published material or compile multiple resources together to create a customized text material for students.

The process can take some time, depending on the size of your course and research requirements.

It would be wise to collect and store the whole material at your institutional library. This way, students will have a consistent availability of course material.

You can also provide a soft copy via the digital platform, so students can download the available course material.

You need to coordinate with your partner bookstores and ensure the delivery of materials at least 1 month before you begin your course.

When compiling a material, you need to go through the copyright issues and acquire permission from respective authorities to reuse the material. This process can take some time, which is why you should get it done about 3 months earlier than the beginning of the course.

Along with the text material, you need to obtain and arrange all valuable instructional technologies and equipment. Every software, training tool, space, and other requirements should be fulfilled 3 months earlier.

Develop Your Course Policies

The policies of your course should revolve around the grading process, exams, papers, class participation, and assignments.

Think of the potential issues that can arise and align your policies accordingly.

Potential issues can include low attendance, tardiness, late work submission, extension requests, and requests for exam rescheduling. Your policies should be well-thought and strategized enough to prevent and respond to common problems.

Select a Suitable Schedule For Your Course

Instead of accomplishing as much as possible in every class, focus on a smooth and convenient schedule. This way, you can teach successfully and students can understand every topic and indulge in discussions.

In your schedule, also add proper time durations for assignments, exam preparations, and classroom activities.

Also, keep all the holidays and campus events in your schedule to design an accurate estimation of course completion.

Turn Your Course into a Well-Written Syllabus

Foundational aspects of a course are:

  • The title of the course
  • The time duration of the course
  • The location of the course
  • Required text materials and other resources
  • The topics of your course
  • Major assignments along with the associated exams
  • Course policies associated academic integrity, grading, late work and attendance
  • Contact information and other instructions.

Evaluate and Refine the Design

The process of designing and teaching has to be an ongoing process. Which means that you need to continually work on improving the process.

Each and every step mentioned above has its importance and can arise again and again during your teaching process.

Hence, you need to give room for improvement by revising the different sections of a course accordingly.

When evaluating and revising your course, think about the core concepts of teaching.

Include your common understanding with critical-thinking and you will find the loopholes and potential areas of improvement in your course.

At the same time, keep your revision knowledge-based as well as thinking-based to find a perfect balance in your teaching approach.


Now, you have every step to design and teach a course with ongoing measurement and improvement. This plan includes everything from teaching, assigning work, testing and reviewing. You can follow each and every step and begin a course from the ground up

In today’s student-centered classroom, approaching them with a well-prepared lesson plan is important. A teacher will have to cover a vast syllabus in a semester or a year and she needs a proper plan to complete it efficiently in the time frame allotted for her subject.

The overall effectiveness of the plan depends on a number of factors which demands a lot of thinking from the teacher. Here let us have a look at some of the indispensable elements to consider while making a lesson plan for any class level.

1. Understand Your Objective

A teacher should be clear about their objective before creating the Best Lesson Plan. She may write down the lesson goal at the top followed by a flowchart of the portions to be covered and the expected result in the time frame. The ultimate goal of every lesson plan should be to help students to not only score well in exams but also to prepare them to apply it in real life. The understanding would be complete if a student would be able to teach the same lesson to a fresh set of students.

2. Prepare An Overview

 Have an overview of the portions to be covered or the activities planned in the particular class hour. You may present it in the form of a simple flowchart to the class to make it interesting and students will also feel a better involvement. This also helps students to get an idea about what all will be covered in the class and thus be an indirect participator in the lesson plan.

3. Strategize Your Timeline

Planning a timeline for the lesson plan can be a good idea that helps teachers to execute the plan with a watch for the time too. If it is a 1-hour class, break your plan into 4 sections of 15 minutes or 6 sections of 10 minutes or so. This helps you to execute the plan in a more timely fashion and cover up portions on time. However, it is better to plan a few minutes for each portion to relax or accommodate some changes if needed.

4. Know Your Students

Understand your students before you finalize the lesson plan. A teacher should have an understanding about what their students know till date, what portions need an additional push when teaching and what type of teaching strategy suits them better. Also, not all students of the class will have the same level of understanding. So the plan should accommodate the needs of all types of students in the class and a small portion of the time can be dedicated to weak students.

5. Include a variety of Learning Styles

The lesson plan should not just include one single learning style which invites boredom. So make sure that a range of learning styles are covered in the lesson plan which not only makes the session interesting but improves the overall result of the teaching sessions. The plan can include powerpoint presentations, flowcharts and diagrams, talk shows and more. The lesson plan has to be a mix up of aural, visual, kinesthetic and verbal learning styles.

 6. Apply Diverse Student Interaction Patterns

Interacting with students should be a part of an effective lesson plan. Teachers can bring in a variety of interaction patterns throughout the teaching phase. This can include group discussions, friendly debates, virtual field trips, or case studies. Try reading out the lessons and later ask students to read aloud. After completing a portion, you may ask students to present it via pictures. Or ask them to take the variation of the covered topics as seminars.

 7. Script Out The Lesson Plan

If you are making a lesson plan for the first time or if you have the problem of panic when seeing a group, it is always better to script out the lesson plan. This helps you to approach the classroom with confidence and no second thoughts. Keep the lesson plan accurately detailed so that even a second person can understand the plan content without explanation. This helps you to easily hand over the lesson plan to another teacher in case of your absence.

8. Proper Closure of the Lesson

Just like how you start the lesson, how you wind up the lesson is very important. A concrete closure to the lesson means that every student in the class is very clear about what portions were covered in the session. The last few minutes of the session should be left for a friendly interaction with the students when you test their understanding. The plan should always have space for students to ask out their doubts if any. A teacher should be dedicated to clarifying their doubts to make sure that the objective of the session is met.

9. Practice and Production

 Another important part of a lesson plan is the time for practice and production. Once you complete a topic, a few minutes should be left out for students to practice what they have learned. They can do it as individuals or in pairs. This practice could include worksheets, short assignments or even a small demonstration depending on the subject covered. In the production phase, students should be able to produce something on their own out of what they have learned. This can be done as group activities, board games or so.

10. Warm up and Review

The time when a teacher gives a one-sided lecture and students simply take notes is gone. In today’s student-centered classroom, the comfort and breathing space of the students have to be guaranteed. In addition to the teaching time, the lesson plans should have enough time allotment for warm up and review. A warm-up session can be made part of the plan to refresh them and bring them to the mood. A simple interactive game can help them to improve their participation and involvement in the learning. Similarly, a review of the previous lessons or the portion learned the day before can help them to connect to the present chapter easily.

11. Regular Assessment

Assess your students on a regular basis. Simply teaching the lesson one-sided and not testing if they are grasping the subject at the same pace doesn’t make any sense. So give some time in your plan for assessment to check their understanding of the lesson. This helps you to plan the same lessons again with a different strategy if the students needed additional guidance.

 12. Have a Backup Plan

It is always important to have a backup plan for your lesson plan. Things may not always go as smoothly as you plan and unexpected scenarios may pop up in the class.

So it is better to balance the loss without affecting your future plans. Also, it is a good idea to not plan it too tight and be flexible enough to manage some unexpected talks or discussions that may come in between.

Similarly, have one or two copies of your lesson plan and keep one at home in case you misplace the original.

Students will love to learn a subject only if the sessions are interesting and interacting. So teachers can make a deliberate effort to bring in variety to invoke their interest and avoid boredom.

Gamification and similar teaching strategies can help students to learn a subject with fun without getting an actual feel of learning.

Also, it is important to ask for the student feedbacks once in a while and make necessary changes in your teaching styles to make it more effective and engaging.

Keeping this tips or strategies in mind helps teachers to come up with a good lesson plan which can really impact the way students understand the subject. A good teacher’s role is not just helping them to score well in exams but enables them to apply what they have learned in real life too.