Design: Using a Course Design Plan

Last revised: 02/03/2020 by jap


This article introduces using a course design plan for the Design phase of the ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate) instructional design model. It also emphasis how using a course design plan can help meet Quality Matters’ design standards.


After completing the Analysis phase of the ADDIE model, it’s time to design the instructional experience. The information gathered during analysis informs course design decisions. According to Gardner, The ADDIE Design Phase entails: (1) designing assessments, (2) selecting a course format and (3) planning instructional strategies. However, many instructional designers “prepare instructional objectives” in the Design phase (Hodell, p3) if they were not prescribed during analysis.

Source: Gardner, J. Clark. (2011). The ADDIE Design Phase. (YouTube Video). Retrieved October 1, 2015 from


Quality Matters (QM) Design Standards

To meet Quality Matters’ Design Standards for Online and Blended Courses, a course design plan should map the alignment of a course’s: (1) learning objectives, (2) assessment and measurement,(3) instructional materials, (4) course activities and learner interaction, and (5) course technology.  See an example of aligning a learning objective in figure 1.1.  

Figure 1.1 Example of Course Components Alignment

(1) Learning Objective(s) (2) Assessment & Measurement (3) Instructional Materials (4) Activities and Interaction
Discuss best practices in online teaching. Discussion Forum in HuskyCT* about best practices. Article –  Applying the Seven Principles for Good Practice to the Online Classroom

Video – Designing Interactions for Online Learning

Self-Check Quiz in HuskyCT* on “Applying the Seven Principles for Good Practice in the Online Classroom”

article Interactive Tour linked in HuskyCT* of “Designing Interactions for Online Learning” video

* (5) aligning course technology

Sample Completed Course Design Plan

To view a completed course design example, see COMM 4222: People of Color and Interpersonal Communication’s course design plan.  You may also request access to this entire online course within HuskyCT by following the instructions on Requesting Access to a Sample Course.

Blank Course Design Plan Templates by Delivery Mode

There’s more than one way to create a course design plan and meet Quality Matters’ alignment standards. If you are looking for a starting place, consider using one of the following templates that best matches your course’s delivery mode:


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