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Course Design Institute (CDI)

APPLY HERE thru March 24, 2017

CDI is a “bootcamp” style program that guides faculty through the design of a new course or the re-design an existing one in a facilitated, supported environment. Participants experience the iterative, dynamic, and scholarly process of learning-focused course design and the benefits of active learning.

All GW faculty members are invited to apply. The time commitment is an intensive 4.5 days and $500 stipends are awarded upon successful completion. 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. This year, we are adding more examples and discussion about adapting the many ideas for in-person courses to online courses. 

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 feedback and support during the academic year

Testimonials. We firmly believe that participation in CDI can help you realize your dreams as a teacher to create truly transformative and memorable learning experiences for students. Here is some of what we’ve heard from our 2015 and 2016 alumni (listed separately):

  • 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.  A 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; experienced CDI alumni facilitate the team activities. CDI is led by GW faculty and staff from the University Teaching & Learning Center who are available throughout the week, and after, for individual consultations.

Here's what to expect by day 

Support: Due to the cohort nature of the program, participants are required to attend all sessions and complete 'homework' assignments. $500 professional development stipends (most as supplemental compensation) will be awarded to attendees upon successful completion of the institute. Terms of Completion are in the application. Also, we provide breakfast and lunch for sustenance and community. There is no fee for GW faculty. 

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. 

Applications: Participation is by application, and all GW faculty members are eligible. Applications are accepted through March 24, 2017. Considerations for acceptance, 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 CDI block schedule.pdf for the week.

Resources and Research: Throughout CDI you will be presented with research supporting the teaching and design approaches discussed. Participants receive a copy of L. Dee Fink's Creating Significant Learning Experiences in Higher Education along with many articles and links. Here is a 2016 study exploring one facet of CDI, 
Does the Document Matter? The Evolving Role of Syllabi in Higher Education