Blueprint for Learning

Constructing College Courses to Facilitate, Assess, and Document Learning

June 2006
More details
  • Publisher
    Stylus Publishing
  • Published
    23rd June 2006
  • ISBN 9781579221430
  • Language English
  • Pages 160 pp.
  • Size 8.5" x 11"
  • Images over 80 tables and figures

** An acclaimed educator presents hands-on advice on teaching that meets today’s emphasis on learning outcomes and assessment

** Informed by the most up-to-date research on how people learn

** For all instructors in higher education--as well as high school teachers

Laurie Richlin has been running a workshop on course design for higher education for over fifteen years, modifying and improving it progressively from the feedback of participants, and from what they in turn have taught her.

Her goals are to enable participants to appropriately select teaching strategies, to design and create the conditions and experiences that will enable their students to learn; and in the process to develop the scholarly scaffold to document their ongoing course design and achievements.

This book familiarizes readers with course design elements; enables them to understand themselves as individuals and teachers; know their students; adapt to the learning environment; design courses that promote deep learning; and assess the impact of the teaching practices and design choices they have made. She provides tools to create a full syllabus, offers guidance on such issues as framing questions that encourage discussion, developing assignments with rubrics, and creating tests.

The book is packed with resources that will help readers structure their courses and constitute a rich reference of proven ideas.

What Laurie Richlin offers is a intellectual framework, set of tools and best practices to enable readers to design and continually reassess their courses to better meet their teaching goals and the learning needs of their students.

"I am preparing for a course this spring and am using Blueprint for Learning as a guide – this is absolutely wonderful! I appreciate the clarity and systematic manner in which the material is presentedl. It makes it very easy to use and to gain great benefit from. Thanks!"

Scott Gaier, Coordinator of Academic Enrichment and Assistant Professor, Taylor University, IN.

"[This book] is an outstanding faculty development tool. It neither overcomplicates nor oversimplifies instructional design, and it provides numerous illustrations and references, making it a well-rounded tool. It would be best utilized as a study guide for faculty interested in engaging, learner-centered, accountable instruction. excellent instrument in faculty development, but best used in a structured 'study group' with a seasoned facilitator working with new and interested faculty. Like any good textbook, it is a vehicle for discussion and exploration. Thus, it bests serves the members of such a study group who can flesh out the points made. The visual elements are generally excellent; they are clean and open up the text in interesting ways.

International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

“Richlin’s text provides a concise survey of research and literature pertaining to instructional design, learning principles, assessment, and documentation of learning outcomes, making such a scope of knowledge manageable for the academic advisor. The author operationalizes research and literature and applies it to sample classroom settings, which can be translated (with minimal limitation) into the academic advising setting. The functionality of Richlin’s Blueprint for Learning makes it usable as just that – a detailed, yet user-friendly outline for maximizing learning not only within classroom settings, but into the advising conference and beyond, making it a ‘must have’ reference text."

NACADA Journal

"Models, matrices, and rubrics abound in this rich resource for course design and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Faculty will love it!"

Laura L. B. Border, Director, Graduate Teacher Program - , University of Colorado, Boulder

"Richlin has done a very thorough synthesis of the primary work in the will be of great value to me and our faculty."

James E. Zull, Professor of Biology and Director of the University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education - , Case Western Reserve University

"Great job of synthesizing and integrating so much content into a coherent, useful form."

Thomas A. Angelo, Professor of Higher Education and Director of the University Teaching Development Centre - , Victoria University of Wellington

“As always, I am intrigued and impressed by Richlin’s ability to summarize an expanse of ideas and experiences, create a compelling synthesis, and present this new understanding in readable and appealing form."

Brenda Manning, Director, Faculty Development Family Practice Residency & Faculty Development Fellowship - , University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

“It is the kind of book faculty will actually be able to understand and use because it is straightforward and connects theory, research, and practice in a seamless manner.”

Arthur L. Crawley, Center for Faculty Development, Louisiana State University

“I’m just stunned at its wonderful value. I really like the specific examples and all of the concrete worksheets and tables. Just amazingly thorough and useful, and so conveniently brief. It’s truly a service for us all, faculty and faculty development pro’s alike!”

Roben Torosyan, Associate Director, Center for Academic Excellence - , Fairfield University


1. Course (Re)design
2. Scholarly Teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
3. Scholarly Design Process
4. Professor
5. Students
6. Environment
7. Content

8. Facilitating Learning
9. Biology of Learning
10. Kolb Experiential Learning Cycle
11. Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences; Styles of Learning and Teaching
12. Cognitive Development of College Students
13. Bloom Taxonomies; Motivation
14. Metaphors for the Teaching; Learning Connection
15. Ethics of Teaching
16. Designing Learning Experiences

SECTION THREE: Assessing Learning
17. Grading Schemes and Policies
18. From Goals to Assessment
19. Building in Feedback: Classroom Assessment Techniques
20. Tests and Blueprints
21. Assignments and Rubrics

SECTION FOUR: Documenting Learning
22. Syllabus
23. Attachments
24. Explanation of Design Choices

SECTION FIVE: Learning Resources and Planning Instruments
Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education
Learner-Centered Psychological Principles
Course Portfolio Design: Syllabus, Attachments, and Explanation
Revised Teaching Goals Inventory
Sample Teaching Goals by Bloom Levels
Grasha-Reichmann Student Learning Style Scales
Grasha Teaching Styles Inventory: Version 3.0
Instructional Script
Ethical Principles in University Teaching
Rubrics for Portfolio

Glossary of Course Design Terms

Laurie Richlin

Laurie Richlin

course design; scholarship of teaching and learning; scholarly design process; Kolb experiential learning cycle; Gardner’s multiple intelligences; teaching style; learning connection; Bloom’s taxonomies; classroom assessment; rubrics; teaching goals; learner-centered principles; Grasha-Reichmann student learning style scales; Grasha teaching styles inventory, instructional design; faculty development; student engagement; documentation of learning outcomes; ongoing course design