Course Design Institute
Dartmouth's Course Design Institute (CDI) introduces an integrated course design process that promotes student-centered teaching and learning. CDI provides a foundation in current course design knowledge and – for those participating in the live institute – an applied workshop. Participants gain exposure to the theory and science of course design and evidence-based approaches in teaching and learning. This process can be used to develop a new course or redesign an existing course. While CDI may be most valuable for faculty who are new to Dartmouth, it is suitable for anyone interested in course design.
CDI content (short videos, readings, additional resources) is freely available on Canvas to all Dartmouth users for asynchronous self-study, and includes modules on:
- How Learning Works
- Course Design Foundations & Learning Outcomes
- Assignments & Activities
The estimated time for completing the asynchronous content is 3-4 hours. Instructors of non-academic courses and trainings are encouraged to pursue the self-study option.
Instructors teaching curricular academic courses at Dartmouth are invited to apply to participate in a live institute. The live institute follows a flipped format and is offered three times per year–in July, December, and March. Participants work through the self-study Canvas content independently before attending live sessions. With support from a cohort of peers and guidance from CDI facilitators, participants practice applying the concepts from the asynchronous content to their own course designs during the live sessions. Live sessions are comprised of interactive workshops, small group discussion with other faculty, and 1-on-1 feedback from facilitators.
During the live sessions, participants:
- Apply evidence-based principles of learning to the design of a course
- Write course learning outcomes and learning outcomes for at least one course unit
- Create an assessment plan to evaluate student progress toward the course learning outcomes
- Consider learning activities and assignments that address the course objectives.
Participants must apply to attend a particular offering of the live institute. Each live institute is limited to 15 participants. Priority consideration will be given to applicants whose courses will run soonest.
The next live institute will take place March 19 and 21, 2024 from 9:00 am-3:00 pm in DCAL (Baker Library 102). The deadline to apply is February 26. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions within one week of the application deadline."
Participants have described their CDI experiences this way:
"It's a great way to make substantive progress on your course, be introduced to best practices, and build relationships with other faculty on campus. DO IT!"
"Really enjoyed doing this. I learned a lot. I wish I had done this sooner!"
"It was fantastic – a great opportunity to think carefully about teaching with caring experts on teaching."
"Creating an integrated course streamlines the assignments, activities and evaluations -- that will make things clearer not only for me as I choose what materials and readings to include, but also for my students. Aligning things as best as possible can hedge problems in the class later on."
"The backwards course design was new to me and has transformed the way that I think about course development. It was very helpful for me to apply this to a particular course that I'm developing/teaching after not teaching it for a long time. It has also made me reconsider what and how I'm teaching and the overall course design for other courses I teach regularly."
"The pre-work was important for getting a sense of the theories and the context. The pair and group work were good to help formulate ideas and to get feedback on how they could be improved. It was also really great to have individual work time."
"Hearing about other courses at Dartmouth helped me situate my course (level of difficulty, schedule for the quarter system, etc.)."
"So many excellent resources! I liked how the videos were a nice overview of key concepts, which were supported by much more in-depth resources. I also found working through examples in the live sessions and sharing with others was very valuable to me."