Rethinking Course Design: Teaching Learning Strategies for Student Success in Health Sciences


Students entering post-secondary often find learning strategies that helped them succeed at the secondary level are now insufficient for post-secondary learning.  Many content-heavy post-secondary courses focus on what to learn rather than how to learn.  One of six Foundations for Success courses, Elements of Anatomy and Physiology: Techniques to be Successful in Health Sciences was developed to meet the learning needs of students in science-based programs.  The course design and development of components employed both ADDIE and Backwards Design frameworks, and was deliberately structured around learning strategies that would support student self-regulation.  Feedback from beta-testing and focus group participants suggested that a course designed specifically to teach learning strategies would benefit all students.  Feedback also provided helpful improvements to the overall course design, such as the resequencing of some learning strategies and providing additional opportunities for students to explore “why” they were learning.  The course was implemented in January, 2016.  Recommendations include monitoring the success of the course by tracking graduates and gathering data on how they applied learning strategies to other courses.

Keywords: learning strategies, self-regulation, health sciences, course design


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