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Estelle and Melvin Gelman LibraryEckles Library at the Mount Vernon CampusVirginia Science and Technology Campus Library

Course Design Institute (CDI)

UTLC Course Design Institute 2016 (CDI), May 16-20, 2016

In a “bootcamp” style program, modeled after a very successful program at the University of Virginia, faculty participants will be guided through a course (re)design process in a supported, facilitated environment to imagine, or re-imagine a course. All GW faculty members are invited to apply. The time commitment is an intensive 4.5 days as outlined on the block schedule.

There is no fee for CDI for those accepted. In addition, $500 professional development stipends will be available for full-time and part-time faculty who qualify. Food and many opportunities to collaborate with fellow faculty are an integral part of the experience. The CDI has proven relevant to any teaching mode, from in-person to blended to fully online learning.

During CDI, you will explore learner-centered design principles, research, and activities in a large group setting and then work on your individual course in a small, discipline-focused learning team. There will be many opportunities for brainstorming, individualized feedback, and on-going support to (re)imagine your course and make it a truly significant learning experience for your students. 

Benefits: Faculty members walk away with:

  • A final (or near final) syllabus
  • Experiences with active learning and understanding of learning-centered design
  • Access to a resource-packed website
  • A community of faculty and UTLC staff for ongoing support during the academic year

Testimonials: Experiences from 2015 cohort:

  • I had heard of or tried course changes in a very ad hoc manner. I now see the big picture.
  • The CDI experience was beyond my expectations. It was a life changing experience.
  • My expectations were exceeded! This was incredibly inspirational and eye-opening. Come to think of it, I might have (subconsciously) expected a content-centered learning experience but, alas, it was very learning-centered!
  • It demystified the language of academic assessment.
  • Having other faculty to discuss challenges with, related and not-associated with my discipline, was a tremendous help. It was all about going out of my comfort zone.
  • CDI was an amazing experience. I believe every aspect was useful.

The Institute Process:

An multi-disciplinary group of instructors spend 4.5 days designing or substantially (re)designing courses in order to promote significant, long-term learning. Participants explore learning-centered design principles in a large group setting and then work on their individual course designs in a small, discipline- or pedagogy-focused learning team. Teams provide brainstorming, individualized feedback, and on-going support opportunities. Institute Faculty will be available throughout the week for one-on-one consultations.

CDI Faculty: Michael Palmer, University of Virginia Associate Professor (Chemistry) & Managing Director of UVA’s Center for Teaching Excellence, who has led UVA’s highly successful CDI for nine years, and Patricia Dinneen, Director of the University Teaching & Learning Center, will co-teach general sessions. GW faculty members will facilitate the discipline-focused learning teams. All of the faculty will be available to provide one-on-one feedback and consultations throughout CDI.

Attendees: Any faculty member who has a syllabus to design or redesign, graduate or undergraduate. CDI is ideal for faculty members developing gateway courses and for groups working on a curricular design or interdisciplinary program. Updated information: $500 stipends are available for all GW faculty members (full- and part-time who qualify).

Applications: Participation is by application, and all GW faculty members are eligible to apply. Applications are open through March 25, 2016. CDI is offered free to GW faculty accepted; additionally, participants will receive a $500 professional development stipend for their commitment to completing CDI and a revised syllabus. Consideration for a stipend, via the application, include:

  • evidence of faculty interest in improving course design
  • the expected enrollment for the course being designed
  • whether the course is a required or gateway course
  • specific support from a department chair or dean

Schedule: The draft schedule for the week.