While teaching staff often rely on course materials as the starting point for their instructional strategy, students, by contrast, typically base their self-study techniques on examinations. If you fail to design and develop your examinations with care, students may thus approach their studies differently from the way you intended: "What you test is what they learn."
Defining learning goals as clearly and concisely as possible is an essential step in setting down the outcome of a teaching session. To encourage students to apply "deep learning" techniques for competency acquisition, examinations in particular, not just course content, must be designed in accordance with constructive alignment standards; this is the only way to ensure that students will acquire the requisite target competencies. Thus, courses and course units should be designed as follows: (1) define learning outcomes, (2) decide on examination formats, and (3) bring the structure and sequence of course content into alignment with the examination tasks. This process is not strictly linear, however: If experience shows that certain competencies cannot be tested or evaluated, for example, your learning goals may have to be readjusted accordingly.