Zachary Tatlock / Course Recipe


Course design is a contract with your students and your fellow instructors.

Order of Operations

  1. Determine three course learning objectives.
  2. Make a theme for each week.
  3. Design a deliverable for each week.
  4. Design the lectures.
  5. Design the exams.

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives are what a student should be able to do after completing the course. Learning objectives should be concrete and measurable.

Weekly Themes

Each week’s theme should contribute to the course learning objectives

Weekly Deliverables

The homework should help students master a week’s theme.

Deliverables should be due on Friday at 5pm.

Each deliverable should have two free late days.

You should not promise to answer message board questions during late days.

Homework vs. reflections.


Lectures should cover the weekly theme and prepare students for the homework.

Each week should have a single slide deck with slides for all the content for that week.