Inter-Disciplinary Project Using the Taxonomy of Significant Learning

Professors from the University of Oklahoma in Engineering, Geosciences, and Meteorology recently created a set of inter-disciplinary courses that (a) taught computer engineers about the applications of their computer programs and (b) taught students in the geosciences and meteorology about the data collection and computer processing behind the data they use in their professions.  When creating these courses, they used the Taxonomy of Significant Learning to formulate their learning goals.  They also emphasized active learning with numerous hands-on exercises for the five main themes of the program: data collection, data processing, data display, data interpretation, and radar system design.

Source:  The August 2010 issue (Vol. 53, No. 3) of IEEE Transactions on Education, pp. 504-515.

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“Change Magazine” Article Describes Successful Large Course Redesigns

A number of universities are discovering that the best strategy for widespread improvements in student learning is to re-design their courses.  One of those is the University of North Texas.  During the past six years, their Next Generation Course Redesign Project (NGen) has focused on the redesign of several large general education courses.  Using both intensive faculty development and incorporating important organizational development features, faculty (often adjuncts) have created new learning goals, assessment that is better integrated with the learning goals, and used more experiential learning and instructional technology.  Results?  Far more successful students in the large classes, along with better student attitudes toward the subject – all at lower per-student instructional costs.

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Source:  “Next Generation Course Redesign”, by P.M. Turner in Change Magazine, Nov-Dec 2009, pp. 10-16.

“Journal of Faculty Development” Article Credits Taxonomy of Significant Learning

Journal of Faculty DevelopmentTwo accounting professors at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus redesigned a major course in the Accounting department there: Introduction to Financial Accounting.  In the article, they describe how they used the Taxonomy of Significant Learning to formulate a much greater range of learning goals, and used the model of Integrated Course Design to identify new assessment and learning activities.  The results?  “…more active, student-centered learning, and help[ed] students achieve higher-level competencies.”

Be sure to check out the complete article in the Journal of Faculty Development!

Source:  “Using Significant Learning Taxonomy and Active Learning to Improve Accounting Education,” by L.J. Killian & C.D. Brandon in Journal of Faculty Development, Vol. 23, No. 3 (Sept. 2009), pp. 30-36.



This website is for people interested in learning more about how to design courses for greater student engagement and better student learning.

We have designed the website to meet multiple purposes:

  1. Basic Learning: Provide links and resources for learning the basics of good course design.
  2. Advanced Learning: Provide additional handouts and suggestions – from multiple sources, for refining our ability to design powerful courses.
  3. Archive Examples: Collect examples of well-designed courses, so that people can see what good designs look like – and borrow good ideas.
  4. Multiple Communication Options: Enable you to communicate with large groups and sub-groups with your questions, discoveries, and suggestions related to course design.
  5. General Information and News: Post information and news from time to time, to inform visitors about events, new publications, etc.