This June, twenty faculty members spent a week of their summer participating in the Office of Teaching and Learning’s second-ever Course Design Institute (CDI). The CDI is a week-long, immersive experience focused on designing courses for significant learning –learning that has the potential to change students’ lives in lasting and important ways. We had an impressive group of participants from departments across the university, and a wonderful week working and learning together!
Participants started out by articulating their “Big Dream” for their course, reflecting on questions such as “What is the primary impact you want your course to have on students’ lives?” and “Five years after this course is over, what do I hope my students will still carry with them?” Then, throughout the week, they engaged in a series of interactive workshops, discussions, and collaborative and individual work time as they designed or redesigned their course to achieve that Big Dream, using research-based perspectives on how learning works a “tools to think with” in designing their courses for significant learning.
The CDI introduced faculty members to a set of tools, frameworks and approaches to support them in designing courses for significant learning. In addition, participants were able to experience a wide range of teaching approaches as students, and then reflect upon what they learned from that experience and how they might apply that to their own teaching. But just as importantly, the CDI provided faculty members with the opportunity to learn from and with their teaching colleagues from across the university.
Here are just some of the comments participants shared about the overall experience:
“The CDI has truly opened my eyes to the possibilities for course design. I learned lots and cannot wait to apply all the techniques into my other courses too.”
“This institute has been an invaluable and rare opportunity to learn with and from colleagues across disciplines. Each learning opportunity was intentional and facilitated greater depth of experience. I am very grateful for this experience and look forward to implementing what I have learned.”
“This was a great institute, both because of the content/instructors and because of the interaction with other faculty across campus. We are too siloed, even in our own schools! I appreciate the fact that DU is supporting teaching us how to be better teachers and how to respond to the new landscape of learning coming from the next generation of students.”
“This was such a rich learning experience, from experts sharing, exercises, discussion with colleagues, self-reflection, and practice. I really enjoyed it and find it very helpful. I think that the CDI workshop itself is a great teaching model.”
It is exciting to see the great work that came out of this institute, and even more exciting to think about all of the students who will be impacted by this great work. We look forward to seeing the next group of wonderful faculty members who will be joining us for the next CDI in August!
“I expected to learn a lot but I’m blown away by just how much I’ve learned.”
The Office of Teaching and Learning is excited to announce that we will be offering the Course Design Institute (CDI) twice in summer 2018. The dates for the two summer sessions are June 18-22 and August 20-24, 2018.
What is the Course Design Institute (CDI)?
The weeklong Course Design Institute brings faculty members together to engage in meaningful guided discussions, hands-on workshops and working sessions to design or redesign a course. The CDI focuses on creating meaningful learning outcomes while outlining a course in which all activities, assessments and resources support student achievement and foster an inclusive learning environment.
Visit the Course Design Institute page for a list of topics covered during the institute, eligibility requirements, and to complete the application. For more information, please email Virginia.Pitts@du.edu or reach out to a member of the 2017 CDI cohort.
26 Apr 2017
Course Design Institute
The inaugural Course Design Institute took place in August 2017, and it was a great success! The Office of Teaching and Learning now plans to offer the Course Design Institute several times throughout the year, with two sessions happening in Summer 2018.
“The CDI experience is absolutely rewarding to me. It provides many actionable concepts in a way that encouraged instant application. I am thankful for having the opportunity to attend.”
“Many thanks again for everything! The CDI staff were friendly, competent and inspiring. The Institute differentiated to the various levels of course design expertise in the group and helped myself and a colleague develop an excellent course sequence. Further, I intend to visit OTL frequently in the future– your office is an incredible gem on this campus.”
– Testimonials from participants in the August 2017 CDI
What is the Course Design Institute (CDI)?
The week-long Course Design Institute brings faculty members together to engage in meaningful guided discussions, hands-on workshops and working sessions to design or redesign a course. The CDI focuses on creating meaningful learning outcomes while outlining a course in which all activities, assessments and resources support student achievement and foster an inclusive learning environment.
What topics are covered during the institute?
The Course Design Institute features guided discussions, hands-on workshops and working sessions led by the Office of Teaching and Learning staff. The institute will culminate in a share-and-celebrate event on the final afternoon. Topics include:
- Research-based perspectives on how learning works.
- Key course design principles.
- Clarifying expectations for significant learning outcomes.
- Developing activities, assessments and resources that align with learning outcomes.
- Creating assessments that provide feedback on learner progress and support student self-regulation.
- Ensuring that all activities are created according to Universal Design for Learning principles, Inclusive Excellence teaching practices, and other evidence-based instructional strategies.
- Constructing a learning-centered syllabus.
Who is eligible to participate in the CDI, and is there a stipend?
University of Denver faculty interested in designing or redesigning a course that will be taught during the upcoming school year are encouraged to apply. Priority is given to full-time faculty members. Faculty members who complete the Course Design Institute, including key deliverables such as an alignment map and draft syllabus, will receive a $1,000 stipend.
When is the next CDI, and who do I contact for more information?
The application deadline for the summer Course Design Institute, which will take place June 18-22 and August 20-24, has passed. However, we plan to offer the CDI multiple times throughout the year. If you are interested in being notified of the next CDI so that you might apply, or if you simply would like to learn more, please email Virginia.Pitts@du.edu