OVERVIEW: “Begin with the end in mind”

Be specific! Your introduction should clearly define exactly what your audience can expect from this course; it should not be a guessing game. If the audience does not know what to focus on, they are more likely to disregard important information unintentionally as our minds can only take in a certain amount of content at any given time; referred to as cognitive overload* (Bozarth, 2010). Never assume your audience knows your intention. Make your intention known! To help you do this, always define the following for each course you create:

  1. Purpose
  2. Objectives
  3. Outcomes

By mapping out the course overview from the beginning, you provide:

  1. yourself with a roadmap to keep the content focused,
  2. the audience with a clear picture of what they will be learning and come away with, and most importantly,
  3. a clearly structured course that will ensure success.

Identifying the PURPOSE
This is the “overall” reasoning for providing the course.

Identifying the OBJECTIVES
These are the key points to be learned. First, identify the main TOPICS (in one to two words only), then construct your objective sentences, informing the audience of what they will be doing, using key sentence starters (see chart below).

Identifying the OUTCOMES
This clarifies what the audience will be able to do with the new knowledge and/or skills.

As funny as it may sound, it is TRUE…”You can’t do without the P.O.O.!” ~Shanna Falgoust

Course Overview Template


Bozarth, J. (2010, June 8). Nuts and bolts: find your 20%. Learning Solutions Magazine: Home. Retrieved December 16, 2010, from http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/articles/472/nuts-and-bolts-find-your-20

Ezine. (2009, July 17). Tracy Schiffmann – EzineArticles.com Expert Author. Ezine Articles. Retrieved January 21, 2011, from http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Tracy_Schiffmann

Schiffmann, T. (2009, December 22). Writing Curriculum For Adults – Begin With the End in Mind. Ezine Articles. Retrieved January 21, 2011, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Writing-Curriculum-For-Adults—Begin-With-the-End-in-Mind&id=3453916