Instructional Design @ EFSC

The Academic Technology team is committed to supporting all faculty members in improving teaching excellence and student learning. If you want to teach someone to make tea, you can simply list the different steps to effectively communicate the process. However, that approach won't engage learners in a way that helps them internalize the information. Wouldn't it be more fun and effective to reframe those steps into an activity that encourages learners to explore tea-making and learn from their missteps? That's where Instructional Design (ID) comes in. ID focuses on the learner's experience: creating competency-based, well-organized, easy-to-navigate, accessible, stimulating, and true-to-life courses.

Resources for Instructional Design

Quality Matters (QM)

Quality Matters is a non-profit quality assurance organization helping institutions across the world deliver on their online promise. EFSC became a QM member in the fall of 2018 as part of the Florida state consortium agreement. Our goal is to infuse the highly regarded QM standards into all of our online courses via professional development and course reviews. See our Quality Matters page for more info!

Active Learning Strategies

The concept behind active learning is that it involves direct engagement by students in activities designed to make the think, develop meaningful skills and enhance their enjoyment of the classes they attend. Here are some ideas you can use in your classes to make them more interactive both online and face-to-face!

The JigSaw Strategy

This activity is ideal for developing team work and helping students understand how each individual plays an important part in the accomplishment of a common goal. The Jigsaw technique is one type of cooperative learning structure.

A Jigsaw activity involves breaking a class up into groups and giving each group a unique section of an assignment or project. Each group member has the responsibility of becoming a subject matter expert on the subject the group was assigned. These members are then assigned to other groups to act as experts and share the information they learned. At the end of the activity, all of the groups present their conclusions to the class as a whole.

JigSaw Example 1JigSaw Example 2 | JigSaw Example 3


A Think-Pair-Share activity consists of an activity that requires students to think individually, work together in pairs and then present their findings to the class. It usually only takes a short time to prepare and takes a small amount of class time. It's ideal for motivating students about your class and also encourages students who might not participate often.

Think-Pair-Share Activity

Fish Bowl

The Fish bowl activity provides a way for students to practice under peer review and also as part of an audience. A group of students are given a topic and the rest of the class watches, listens,or reads a transcript of the discussion. Another discussion occurs concerning the outcomes and process of the first.

Fishbowl Example 1Fishbowl Example 2

Muddiest Point-using Muddy Cards

This is a CAT (Classroom Assessment Technique) activity that helps students reflect on information that's been presented to them. It allows them to ask questions about a specific point or area of a lesson or presentation that they may not have understood. It gives the instructor valuable feedback on what the class comprehended or if there were areas of their presentation that could be improved upon. It's simple to do! It basically asks the students to identify what was the most confusing or unclear point about the lesson simply by jotting them down on an index card. The cards are then turned in, and the instructor clarifies the information.

Mud Cards

CATS (Classroom Assessment Techniques)

These are a series of techniques used to help determine what students are learning and how well they are learning it. Some interesting techniques include... Memory Matrix, Word Journal, Concept Maps. Check out some others by clicking on the resources below.

CATS Website | 50 CATS

Community Building Activities

Building a strong classroom community starts on the first day of class and continues throughout the whole semester as you build relationships with your students. Below are links to a community building infographic and the learning activities Find Someone Who, Can You Describe This?, and Visual Telephone.

Community Building Infographic | Find Someone Who... | Can You Describe This? | Visual Telephone

Course Design in Canvas

There are many ways to make your Canvas courses accessible, engaging, well-organized and easy for your students to navigate. See our Canvas Course Design page to explore your options.

Master Courses

A Master Course is a turnkey course that contains content created by a development team consisting of a faculty developer & content matter expert (CME), an instructional designer (ID), an accessibility expert (SAIL) and 2 Quality Matters (QM) certified peer course reviewers (PCRs).

Instructors using a Master Course can be assured that the content meets all QM standards and has been fully vetted for accessibility and compliance with Section 508 standards. Visit the accessibility page for more detailed information.

Visit the Master Courses page for a list of available master courses!


Curriculum plays an integral role in the course design process. The standard for curriculum design at EFSC is Performance-Based Learning (PBL). Measurable course competencies and learning objectives serve as the core foundation from which all of the content, learning activities, and assessments in the course are driven. Learn more about Performance-Based Learning

Curriculum is developed or revised by a faculty member and must obtain approval through the Curriculum Development Committee (CDC) and Academic Council (AAC). It is recommended that faculty working with curriculum take our Fundamentals of Performance-Based Learning workshop to help with the writing process. See the AcTec Training Calendar for workshop offerings. Faculty can also consult with an instructional designer as necessary. Visit the CDC web page for more information about the curriculum process.

Course Plans containing the competencies and objectives for every EFSC course can be found in the Electronic Course Plan Repository (eCPR).

Copyright Information

Fair use allows for the use of copyright-protected works for educational purposes, as well as for commentary, parody, news reporting, and research.

Eastern Florida State College's Fair Use Analysis Checklist is to be completed when you plan to use copyrighted content on campus, or in face-to-face and online classrooms. Directions and additional information are included on the Checklist form.

AcTec offers a number of workshops for faculty to actively explore curriculum and course design concepts. 

View our list of Course Design Workshops and Webinars and check out our AcTec Training Calendar for current offerings.