What is the Course Design Institute?

The Course Design Institute (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. The 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.

“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.”

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.

Who is eligible to participate in the CDI, and is there a stipend?

Priority will be given to full-time faculty members who are teaching face-to-face courses. Faculty members who complete the Course Design Institute, including key deliverables such as a course alignment table outlining key course components, will receive a $1,000 stipend.


From DU faculty members who have completed the CDI:

“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 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.”

“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.”

When is the next CDI, and who do I contact for more information?

The next CDI will take place in summer 2020, though the exact dates have not yet been determined.  If you would like to learn more about the CDI, or if you would like to be notified once the dates (and an application!) are available, please email Virginia Pitts who is the facilitator of this program.

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