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P2: Determine Essential Components of Course

Why determine essential components of a course?

  • Defines clearly the outcomes all students must demonstrate with or without using accommodations
    • skills
    • knowledge
    • attitudes
  • Differentiate what is “essential” knowledge for a course vs. what the professor would “prefer” a student to know
  • In determining essential components of a course, consider:
    • college standards and requirements
    • departmental standards and requirements
    • course description
    • learning objectives
    • external licensing requirements


  • Consider the following to determine essential components:
    • Purpose of the course
    • Is course prerequisite for subsequent courses
    • Outcomes required for all students
    • Instructional methods to effectively address outcomes
    • Assessments that allow all students to be evaluated fairly
  • Syllabus design to include any of the following elements
    • Concept map for course
    • Smart Art chart to visually demonstrate numerical value of assignments and quizzes
  • Offer Assessments on line or in hard copy
  • Provide weekly overview of course
  • Offer new textbook with digital option


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Northampton Community College