Student-teacher-content The Didactic Triangle

3-Point Perspective in Course Design: A New Lens for Educational Innovation


A 3-point perspective can change the way we view many things, including course design. This unique viewpoint provides a fascinating link between perspective drawing and educational planning. It’s not just about lines and shapes, but about understanding content, students, and instructors’ interconnected roles in learning.

Personal Connection to Drawing

Imagine a six-year-old in Canada, creating a stunning portrait. Once, the belief was that drawing was an unattainable skill, something out of reach. But through encouragement and practice, this child’s drawing represents something more profound: an understanding of perspective.

One, Two, Three-Point Perspective

Perspective isn’t just a singular viewpoint. There’s a one-point perspective, where everything converges on a single horizon line. A two-point perspective offers two different views, with horizontal parallel lines converging at vanishing points. Finally, the three-point perspective allows a bird’s eye view, capturing everything in a broader way.

Three Perspectives in Course Design

When it comes to course design, the three perspectives represent students, content, and instructors. The complex interaction between these elements creates a more holistic view of the education process.

Student Perspective

Students are at the heart of education. Considerations must include their academic level, personal characteristics, learning modalities, and even generational differences. The emerging learning gaps noticed at higher-education-level since the pandemic highlights this importance.

Content Perspective

Content must be adaptable, engaging, and relevant. It must be aligned with departmental visions and missions and be accessible and challenging enough to maintain interest.

Instructor Perspective

An instructor’s education, personality, and teaching philosophy influence their ability to create a rich learning environment. Open-mindedness, adaptability, and a focus on improvement are key.

Educational Tools, Assessments, and Course Delivery

How these three perspectives are interwoven affects educational tools, assessments, measurements, evaluations, feedback, and course delivery methods. Post-pandemic, fully online, hybrid, and high-flex modalities add another layer to the design process.

However, the ways in which we can achieve the alignment of the three aforementioned perspectives are not so clear-cut. The three perspectives might at some points pose contradictory solutions, while this is only complicated further by the added modalities and hybrid approaches of teaching outlined above.

Overarching Principles

Three principles of note that arise in pedagogical literature, that highlight a harminoy between the three perspectives, are:

  1. Creating learning experiences: Design experiences that challenge but also support students.
  2. Problem’s taxonomy: Emphasize understanding, analyzing, evaluating, and creating.
  3. Continuity, sequence, and integration: Ensure that skills and knowledge are built upon and integrated into everyday life.


A view into the world of drawing and the three-line perspective may showcase an interesting approach to drawing, but the real beauty lies in applying this art to course design. The 3-point perspective is a rich and innovative approach, a roadmap to designing courses that engage, challenge, and inspire.

This post summarises a lecture by Selma Yildirim on three-point perspective and designing a course, hosted by Digitally Enhanced Education Webinars at the University of Kent. The lecture is available on YouTube.

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Amir-Homayoun Javadi

Amir-Homayoun Javadi, PhD

CEO and founder at 0&1 LTD