By Randi Kirkland, Ph.D.

Quality Matters Standard 2.4 is an essential (3 point) standard requiring that the relationship between the objectives and the learning activities are clearly stated. The annotation indicates that the course should show which course and module objectives are supported by which assessments, practice activities, and instructional materials. This shows students the purpose of each component of the course. Outlining the relationship of the course elements is also beneficial for the instructor during course development as it allows the instructor to make sure that the components needed for the course are included.

There are multiple ways to show the relationship between objectives and other course components. The two main ways are a course crosswalk or a numbering system.

Course Crosswalk

A Course Crosswalk, or Course Planning Guide, is a table with columns for Course Objectives, Module Objectives, Instructional Materials, Activities, and Assessments. Fill in the table so that each row contains the items corresponding to that module objective. This entire table for the course can be added to the course syllabus, or the table for each specific module can be added to that module’s About Module page.

You and your students can look at one row and see the activities, materials, and assessments associated with that objective. When completing the table during the course design process, instructors and instructional designers can see where something needs to be added.

Course Objective

Module Objective

Instructional Materials

Learning/Practice Activities


Compose speeches for specific purposes

Write a persuasive speech

Chapter 1 Sample speeches

Write draft of speech for peer and instructor review

Module 1 Speech

Apply skills of effective public speaking

Deliver a persuasive speech

Chapter 1 Sample speech videos

Submit 1 minute recording of a speech for peer and instructor feedback

Deliver Module 1 Speech (5 minutes via Zoom or recorded)

Numbering System

Alternatively, a numbering system can be used to indicate which course and module objectives are supported by which assessment, practice activity, and instructional material.

For this option, number the course objectives and the module objectives. For example, course objectives may be numbered as CO 1 which stands for Course Objective 1. Module Objectives could be numbered as MO 1.1. The number represents the module and the objective. Module one objectives would be labeled as MO 1.1, MO 1.2, MO 1.3, etc. Module two objectives would be labeled as MO 2.1, MO 2.2, MO 2.3, etc.

Using the example above, the course objectives would be CO 1: Compose Speeches for specific purposes and CO 2: Apply skills of effective public speaking. The module objectives would be MO 1.1: Write a persuasive speech and MO 1.2: Deliver a persuasive speech.

In the assignment instructions, activity instructions, and where you list the instructional materials, you would add the number for the associated objectives. Using the example above, in the Module 1 Speech instructions, you would state “This assignment assesses CO 1, CO 2, MO 1.1, and MO 1.2.”

For assistance in creating a Course Crosswalk for your course, please submit an Instructional Design Request.