Course Mapping

Before building the learning content and selecting the learning materials for the course, instructors also need to identify the weekly learning outcomes or module learning outcomes (MLOs) and make the connection between the two. This helps create a learner-centered course that is logical and manageable for both faculty and students. This is best accomplished by preparing a course map based on backward design principles. We have selected some resources to help you with the course mapping process. 

Course Layout

In a typical online course, content is organized in weekly units (lessons or modules), 12-13 units per semester. In addition, in fully online courses, there will also be a Start Here module, which serves as a place to orient learners to the course and in addition to the course Syllabus, course policies, also contains instructor’s introduction as well as student introduction activities. This module is released alongside the materials for the first lesson topic. See Course Organization for more detailed information about the UMass Boston online course template. 

Course Mapping Template

Use the Course Mapping Guide and Worksheet to determine your learning goals for each week and start selecting the activities that help students meet those goals. (Please use your UMass Boston credentials to access the file and make an editable copy for your use.)

Tips & Tricks


Backward Design

A course planning framework that begins with the learning end results.

Learner-centered instruction

An approach through which learners are actively engaged in the learning process.

All Glossary Terms