Skip to main content
Course syllabus for

Design and Assessment of Learning, 7.5 credits

Design och bedömning av lärande, 7.5 hp

This course has been cancelled, for further information see Transitional provisions in the last version of the syllabus.

Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Spring2014 , Spring2016
Course code
Course name
Design and Assessment of Learning
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
Medical Education 
AV - Second cycle 
Grading scale
Fail (U), pass (G) or pass with distinction (VG)
Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics
Decided by
Programme Committee 9
Decision date
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2014

Specific entry requirements

Bachelor’s degree or vocational degree worth at least 180 higher education credits and at least two years professional experience within medicine, care or behavioural science and/or at least two years teaching experience (at a minimum of upper-secondary level). English-language skills equivalent to English B (with a minimum grade of Pass) are also required.

Have completed the courses Scholarship in Medical Education (4ME000) and Learning processes (4ME001).


The course aim is that the course participants should develop an understanding of how to design activities that facilitate meaningful learning. The course takes the teacher/educators perspective as a point of departure. Design for learning is a central theme and the course will touch upon design of courses as well as other activities in different contexts. The course participants should also develop the ability to analyze learning from a design perspective and continue to develop a scholarly approach to their own practice. The course builds on the knowledge and skills that course participants have acquired during previous courses in the programme.

At the end of the course, course participants will be able to:
  • Critically examine the design of courses/activities with the help of different theories of learning and discuss the strength and weaknesses of the design as a way to facilitate meaningful learning.
  • Reflect upon your role as teacher/educator in the design process and discuss consequences of different approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Design courses/activities that facilitate meaningful learning and be able to support the design using relevant educational theories and relate to the expressed learning outcomes of the course/activity.
  • Reflect upon and discuss the form and content of assessment in relation to learning processes and expressed learning outcomes of the course/activity, as well as develop assessment situations and assessment criteria that are aligned with learning outcomes.
  • Analyze official documents that regulate the execution of a learning activity from the perspective of epistemology and theories of learning.


The content of the course concerns design and assessment of learning in medical university as well as health and medical care contexts, and addresses both declarative, procedural and functional knowledge. The course takes the teacher/educators perspective as a point of departure. The course begins with a module on learning environments and what characterizes environments that support meaningful learning, what activities help learners to engage in learning and develop understanding.

The course addresses central models and principles for the design of learning. Concepts such as constructive alignment and outcome-based curriculum are central in today’s medical education. The implication of these concepts will be studied and analysed with a view on their impact on different forms of design for learning.

The course pulls into focus ideas of assessment and examination and will consider questions such as; what does it mean to learn? How do we design transparent learning situations? Both summative and formative aspects of assessment will be explored. The effect of examination and assessment on learning will be discussed in terms of a design perspective. Different forms of examination and assessment will be in exemplified. The participants will design an assessment situation and learn how to formulate assessment criteria.

Teaching methods

Teaching is based on a problem-oriented and collaborative approach to learning in which forms of work provide opportunities for the student to take active responsibility for their learning.

Interaction between course participants, course director and tutors is carried out via the learning platform PingPong. During the course each course participant will take part in a smaller group lead by a tutor. Studies of literature, lectures and group discussions and group assignments will create the basis for the completion of individual assignments to be handed in during the course.

The course participants will examine the set up of a number of courses and scrutinize their strengths and weaknesses from different angles. The course participants will analyze a course/module/activity of their own and will acquire a user’s perspective of the courses pedagogical aim.

Participation in the course requires internet availability, microphone and web camera.

The literature will consist of excerpts from books and articles that are chosen in discussion between course directors and course participants.


The examination comprises of an individual written assignment wherein the course participant will design a course/module which involves formulating intended learning outcomes, a plan for teaching and learning activities and a plan for how this course/module will be assessed and examined. The design will be motivated using principles for design and will have recourse to relevant educational theories. The assignment also includes self- and peer assessment.

All assignments during the course are mandatory. To pass the course each participant should show activity on the learning platform PingPong and follow the agreements made between the course participants and the course leaders. Individual assignments will replace not fulfilled tasks/assignments.

Students who have not passed the regular examination are entitled to participate in five examinations. Students without approved results after three examinations can be offered to retake the course or parts of it once more; subject to availability.

If the student has failed six examinations, no additional examination will be offered.

Submission of a blank examination is regarded as an examination. Examination for which the student registered but not participated in does not count as an examination. Home examination that has been opened via the learning management system counts as an examination session even if the examination is not submitted.

Late submission of examinations are not accepted. Students who have not submitted on time are referred to re-examination.

Other directives

Course evaluation will be carried out according to the directions decided by the Board of Education at Karolinska Institutet. Education language: english

Literature and other teaching aids

Compulsory literature

Bell, J. Doing your research project, a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science
Biggs, J. What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning (1999) s. 57-75

Corte, E. de, et al. (Eds) Powerful learning environments : unravelling basic components and dimensions
D'Andrea, V-M.; Gosling, D. Improving teaching and learning in higher education : a whole institution approach
Hawe, E. 'It´s pretty difficult to fail': the reluctance of lecturers to award a failing grade. (2003) s. 371-382

Levett-Jones, T.; Lathlean, J. Belongingness: A prerequisite for nursing students' clinical learning (2008) s. 103-111

McCune, V. Final year biosciences students' willingness to engage : teaching-learning environments, authentic learning experiences and identities. (2009) s. 347-361

Nicol, D.J.; MacFarlane-Dick, D. Formative assessment and self-regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice. (2006) s. 199-218

Ramsden, P. Learning to teach in higher education

Recommended literature

Boud, D. Sustainable assessment: rethinking assessment for the learning society. (2000) s. 151-167

CME Guide nr 1 : Designing a course for meaningful learning
CME Guide nr 2 : Formulating learning outcomes
CME Guide nr 4 : Making thinking visible; Assessment and assessment criteria
Friedman, B-D, M. AMEE Guide No 14: Outcome-based education : Part 3- Assessment in outcome-based education (1999) s. 23-25

Friedman, B-D, M. AMEE Guide No 18: Standard setting in student assessment (2000) s. 120-130

Harden, R.; Crosby, J.; Davis, M. AMEE Guide No 14: Outcome-based education : Part 1 - an introduction to outcome-based education. (1999) s. 7-14

Kahn, P.; O'Rourke, K. Guide to curriculum design : Enquiry-based learning.
Meaningful learning : Students' perceptions of a new form of case seminar in pathology. Weurlander, M.; Masiello, I.; Söderberg, M.; Wernerson, A. (2009) s. e248-e253