Teachers' Guide | Graduate School of Life Sciences

Designing courses

Are you looking for information on how to design, register, and implement a (new) GSLS course? Then you can use the step-by-step guide to course design. A useful tool specifically developed to guide you to the process of course design and improvement. Follow the descriptions below for more information on each of the four steps from initial request to implementation of the course.

(1) Initial request

As a programme coordinator or teacher you can initiate a request for the development of a new GSLS course. In case of a general elective course, approval of the initial request by the degree director is sufficient. If the new course fits into one of the Master’s programmes, first discuss your idea with the respective programme coordinator. If the course is intended to be part of a profile, the profile coordinator must give their consent as well. Thereafter, request initial approval to either the degree director prof. dr. Harold van Rijen (Biomedical Sciences) or prof. dr. Rob de Boer (Biosciences).

(2) Step-by-step guide to course design

After initial approval of the new course, you can start the course design phase. You will formulate the learning outcomes of the course and determine which work formats and assessment methods will be used.

The GSLS has developed an interactive step-by-step guide to help you in the course design process. The guide provides information on design principles and leads you to your course design. You also fill in information about the course for OSIRIS and the GSLS Students’ Site. In the end, the step-by-step guide brings this together in the assessment matrix that is required for the official approval of your course. An explanation of the assessment matrix can be found below.

Her you can download The step-by-step guide to course design document. Please note: open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader to get started with your course design. After you have gone through all steps in the guide, please return to this web page for further steps.

Assessment matrix

On the page OSIRIS & Assessment – Assessment matrix of the step-by-step guide you will be asked to fill in the assessment matrix, which is a result of going through the entire step-by-step guide. The assessment matrix forms the basis for the design and development of the assessment methods that match the learning outcomes and learning activities of the course. Moreover, these matrixes are instrumental in case of a programme accreditation.

If you need help with filling in the assessment matrix you can contact the Assessment Support Panel (ASP).

(3) Final approval

To receive final approval for your course, please send the pages OSIRIS & Assessment of the step-by-step guide (PDF) accompanied by a motivation to the Master Assembly Life Sciences (reachable via the secretary Marjan Batist-de Vos).

(4) Registering a course in OSIRIS

The GSLS is responsible for the quality of all educational components offered within the School. To safeguard the quality of the courses and the assessments, we have set regulations on course registration.

In order for the course to be registered in OSIRIS after you have received final approval, please send the pages OSIRIS & Assessment of the step-by-step guide to the policy team of BMS (for UMCU and veterinary sciences courses) or Hans Luijendijk and Nicoline Maljaars (for Faculty of Science courses). Please also send the final approval for your course alongside the filled-out documentation. The course will then receive a course code in OSIRIS.

The course information is updated yearly, and information of new and already existing courses need to be provided and updated. The information is used for the course description on the GSLS Students’ Site and in OSIRIS.

After final approval of your course, the course will be part of the GSLS quality control system. This includes annual course evaluations, general quality control by the Educational Committee, and regular checks on quality of the assessment matrix by the Board of Examiners and their Assessment Support Panel. 

After your course has been registered, have a look at practical matters that need to be arranged to ensure smooth implementation of your course.

(5) Course implementation

Teaching and examination

In the teaching phase, the course will be taught by the course coordinator or a colleague teacher. The course coordinator has to be available during the course as a contact person for the students.

A course is assessed by the examiner (a staff member of UU/UMCU). Often the course coordinators themselves are the examiners. The Board of Examiners will officially approve the examiner(s) and send a letter of appointment. More information about assessment can be found in the Education and Examination Regulations.

After the completion of the course, students receive credits in OSIRIS. For more information visit the page on registering course results .

Evaluation and updates

At the end of the course, students fill in the GSLS evaluation form. The evaluation report will be sent to the course coordinator and the Educational Committee. The results will be discussed and – when necessary – adjustments will be made for the next edition of the course. For more information visit the site about the course evaluation procedures.