Course Diagram and Sequence of Topics

The order of the course provides a narrative or an organizing framework for your students. The materials and instructional strategies support the course narrative you lay out. Laying out the sequence of topics for a course provides structure for the course materials during course conceptualization.

How to Create a Course Diagram and Sequence

Course Diagram

Creating a visual representation of the course content (i.e., a diagram or concept map) may be helpful for some instructors in the early stages of design. To do this, consider the following: 

  • Does the course move from macro to micro or the reverse? Draw a hierarchy.

  • Does the course follow a distinct path? Try stepping stones or a flowchart.

  • Is there a central idea with related topics radiating outward? Create a circle with connected topics. 

Sequence of Topics

The sequence of topics suggests the structure and order of course materials. Lay out topics that you’ve identified and their order. This may be done as a part of creating a course diagram or separately as a list or written description of your plans. Questions to consider in this phase of course design may include:

  • What topics need to come first? 

  • How will the course end? 

  • Does sequence mirror: 

    • Historical progression? 

    • Easy-to-difficult?

    • Foundational concepts followed by application of those concepts? 

    • Bottom-up or top-down? 

  • Does the course schedule from a previously taught course list the topic sequence? 


Related Information


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