The most important feature of Integrated Course Design is that it’s integrated: teaching and learning activities, feedback, and assessment are aligned with desired learning outcomes (what students will know and know how to do after taking the course) and designed to account for situational factors (the teaching and learning context). No part of the course is isolated from any other. Rather, each part informs every other part.
Situational factors are key in Integrated Course Design. They may be basics like the number of students (or expected capacity), the course level (lower or upper-division), whether the course is integrated into a sequence of courses. Or they may be more complex, such as the life situations of your students (e.g., the percentage who are working, caring for family, or taking the course with other challenging labs or courses). In the midst of our current health crisis, it is also important to consider that your students may become ill and need to miss class sessions. One type of situational factor that is always present but not always acknowledged is values: your values, your students' values, and the values, conventions, worldview of your field. These factors will guide your decisions as you design your course.