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Applying Backward Design Principles to Online Continuing Education Course Design and Development for Working Professionals

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pedagogy and Its Impact on Faculty and Students

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Hiro Iino Iowa State University

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Hiro Iino is the Director of the Professional Development (PD) Program in Engineering-LAS Online Learning at Iowa State University. The program offers non-credit short courses to working engineers who are seeking just-in-time courses, continuing education units (CEU), and professional development hours (PDH). He has over eighteen years of experience working with faculty and industry experts to develop online education programs. Hiro received a B.S. in Journalism & Mass Communications, a B.S. in Psychology, and an M.S. in Human Computer Interaction from Iowa State University.

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Pinar Melek Celik Iowa State University

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Pinar M. Celik is a PhD candidate at School of Education at Iowa State University with a concentration in Curriculum and Instructional Technology. Pinar also serves as Learning Experience (LX) Designer to ISU faculty. Pinar’s research interests include integrating instructional technologies into traditional-, asynchronous online-, and blended-learning environments.

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Bryan Alan Lutz Iowa State University

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Bryan Lutz is a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Professional Communication and a course designer for Engineering Learning Online at Iowa State University. His published research appears in Computers and Composition Online, the Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy, and SIGDOC.

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Communication and information technologies continue to evolve and provide new opportunities for continuing education for working professionals in the field of engineering. As the number of online continuing education courses continues to increase, the need for evaluation of the efficacy of them also increases. Applying backward design principles (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011) into the course design and development ensures the efficacy of continuing education courses and programs.

This paper aims to provide in-depth descriptions of the employment of backward design principles in design and development of courses. Detailed steps of the framework can be applied to any online continuing education course to achieve course outcomes, to ensure efficacy through design and development, and to maximize the impact of the online courses in engineering education.

Paper describes the framework to design and develop of an online continuing education course on Cost Engineering. First, it outlines the analysis of the learners’ needs in the field of Cost Engineering. Second, the paper provides details on the steps taken to design the course. It specifically describes (1) how the course outcomes and objectives were written based on the analysis of learners’ needs; (2) how course learning activities and assessments were determined to achieve the intended learning outcomes and objectives; and (3) how the course content was constructed to successfully complete the learning activities and assessments in the course. Third, the paper describes the development and implementation of the course in the learning management system. Particularly, it explains (1) how the course activities and assessments were created and implemented; (2) how the course materials were prepared with stakeholders; and (3) how the visual identity of the course was designed with Universal Design Principles.

The paper concludes by providing lessons learned from user feedback and directions for future development of the online continuing education courses using backward design principles.

Iino, H., & Celik, P. M., & Lutz, B. A. (2017, June), Applying Backward Design Principles to Online Continuing Education Course Design and Development for Working Professionals Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27601

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