Skip to main content

Course Design Strategies

This page provides information about instructional design principles and practice. You should have a good understanding of these principles before you begin thinking about your course design.

Quality Matters

Quality Matters Rubric

The Quality Matters Rubric has become the most widely used set of standards for the design of online and blended courses at the college level.

Unique to the Quality Matters Rubric is the concept of alignment — when critical course components: Learning Objectives, Assessment and Measurement, Instructional Materials, Learner Interaction and Engagement, and Course Technology, work together to ensure students achieve desired learning outcomes.

Learn more about the Quality Matters Rubric.

Seven Principles

Seven Principles for Good Practice

The Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, published in the AAHE Bulletin (Chickering & Gamson, 1987) was originally published for face-to-face classes, but several authors have adapted this to online teaching. The original publication was based on fifty years of research.

Learn more about the Seven Principles



The acronym “ADDIE” stands for AnalyzeDesignDevelopImplement, and Evaluate. It is an Instructional Design tool that helps us think through a course’s design, development, and delivery. ADDIE does not suggest or follow specific learning theories; it is a project management tool. Think of it as a “blueprint” for the course.

Learn more about ADDIE.

Nine Events

Gagné’s Nine Events of Instruction

Dr. Gagné received a PhD in Psychology in 1940. His area of interest was educational psychology. He created an instructional design approach called the Nine Events of Instruction. Gagné defined instruction as “the set of planned external events which influence the process of learning and thus promote learning.“ These nine events can serve as a general guideline when designing online instructional events.

Learn more about the Nine Events of Instruction.

 Bloom's Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is one of the cornerstones of instructional design. It ensures that the assessment strategies used in the course actually align with and measure the program learning outcome expectations.

Learn more about Bloom’s Taxonomy.



Assessment is an important topic that needs to be well understood by course developers. It is important that course developers review program and accreditation standards with the Program Director/Coordinator in their department before they begin course development.

The Center for Online Learning can work with you to achieve desired learning outcomes for your courses. In addition, you can contact Georgia Southern’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness for guidance.


Last updated: 10/16/2018