Good course and instructional design are intentional, responsive, and aligned – they involve designing and facilitating a learning experience for and with learners in which they know where they’re headed, what they are going to do along the way, and how they’re going to get there. Using an integrated design approach (Fink, 2013), we start with our intended learning outcomes and we ask: 1) what do learners need to learn or to walk away with from the course? 2) what do they need to do to show that they have learned? 3) what mindsets, skills, attitudes, and behaviours do learners need to be equipped with to be successful? and 4) what do I need to do to model out and support these in the learning environment?

By unpacking learning outcomes and by embedding opportunities to check in with leaners throughout the learning journey provides opportunities for us to be adaptive and responsive to the diversity of their experiences from day one. By connecting with learners meaningfully, by providing opportunities for them to reflect on their learning, and by responding with changes that enhance their learning, we co-create an environment of stability and trust where our learners feel supported to ask questions, to challenge assumptions, to take risks, and to thrive.

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