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Additional resources are available on the FCTL's Blackboard page. Log on to Blackboard and look for "FCTL Faculty Professional Development" under the "Courses" section to access materials.

Getting Started

Backward Design/Understanding by Design

Backward design is a strategic planning framework whereby faculty identify and establish desired results, build an assessment approach, and then determine how best to present course materials for student success. By first identifying learning outcomes for a course, faculty determine how best to assess student learning through exams, essays, presentations, and other activities. This thoughtful, proactive approach engages student learners while supporting faculty members with both the short-term planning and long-term goals of their course content and performance. Backward design should provide opportunities for students’ self-assessment and encourage critical and creative thinking.


Overview of Designing Backward

Resources from the co-authors of Understanding by Design

Understanding by Design Overview

Understanding by Design Whitepaper

Understanding by Design Templates

What is Understanding by Design? Interview with Jay McTighe 

Writing Learning Outcomes

Learning outcome statements play a vital role in student success. Learning outcomes describe academic expectations through a clear, student-centered presentation of course requirements, highlighting the skills and knowledge students should demonstrate by the end of the semester. Outcome statements offer students a fuller understanding of assignments and projects, influence course design, and provide faculty members a means to assess student success in the classroom.


Overview of Learning Outcomes 

The Effective Use of Performance Objectives for Learning and Assessment (covers both Fink’s and Bloom’s Taxonomies) 

Online Learning Outcome Generator

Additional resources on Bloom’s Taxonomy

Iowa State University — Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy 

Bloom's Taxonomy

Additional resources on Fink’s Taxonomy

L. Dee Fink, Ph.D.: A Self-Directed Guide to Designing Courses for Significant Learning 

Fink's Taxonomy

Video series on using visual thinking to plan out your curriculum 

Curriculum Design Part 1: The High-Level Planning

Curriculum Design Part 2: The Clothesline Method

Curriculum Design Part 3: Producing the Material

Curriculum Design Part 4: Iterate Over Time

Course Design

Teaching Writing

Solid writing skills are essential for students no matter what course of study they pursue. Equipping students to write clearly, concisely, and for an intended audience will serve them for the duration of their college experience and on into professional working environments. The Rhode Island College Writing Board offers a number of resources to support writing across the disciplines, from getting started with writing in the classroom to designing effective writing assignments to practical approaches to grammar and errors. Access the Writing Board’s complete resource list and guidelines for student success in college-level writing.

Student Research & Creative Activity

The Center for Research and Creative Activity (CRCA) strives to identify and provide resources in the form of funds, services, and materials to faculty, students, and the RIC Community to broaden participation in mentored research and creative activity. To learn more about CRCA’s events and resources for designing new courses or revising existing courses that will further integrate student research and creative activity into the curriculum, see the CRCA website.

Page last updated: September 02, 2020