Course (Re)Design Institute

The Center for Academic Excellence (CAE) invites current full-time teaching faculty to apply to participate in a Course (Re)Design Institute (CRDI). The CRDI is designed to:

  • Expand participants' pedagogical content knowledge
  • Foster community and personal growth
  • Increase teacher satisfaction
  • Eventually improve student learning and satisfaction

Format and Delivery of Institute

The Course (Re)Design Institute will be offered as a blended learning experience, with online learning taking place in the AsULearn environment and face-to-face meetings, as well as additional consults as needed.

Institute Faculty

The Course (Re)Design Institute combines independent preparation and an intensive, multi-day, hands-on seminar to provide participants the opportunity to experience the iterative, dynamic, and scholarly process of learning-focused course design. Participants will have resources and readings available to plan for about a month before attending the face-to-face institute.

Our Process

During the Course (Re)Design Institute, participants will design or substantially redesign courses so that they promote significant, long-term learning. Participants will explore learner-centered design principles in a large group setting and then work on individual designs independently or in small, discipline- or pedagogy-focused learning teams. Participants are also invited to consult one-on-one with CAE faculty as needed throughout the week. In addition, other campus leaders will be invited to participate in the institute based on course design goals specified by participants in their initial applications.

The design principles on which the Institute rest are grounded in the literature on course and syllabus design, educative assessment, active learning, Universal Design for Learning, and student motivation. Three constructs are given priority in the CRDI:

  • The taxonomy of significant learning
  • The process of backward course design
  • The concept of integrated course design

This course design model, which begins with the question, "What do I want my students to know 3-5 years after the course is over?" offers participants a framework for considering the whole learner, making her/him the focus of the learning environment. It provides teaching faculty guidance for thinking about the types of knowledge and skills they want students to learn and how students might apply and integrate that knowledge. Additionally, it prompts participants to consider other dimensions of learning: how students might be inspired to care about that knowledge and what students might learn about themselves, others, and their own learning. Finally, it asks participants to consider how they assess whether students have met the course goals.

Goals for Participants

The CRDI is designed to expand participants' pedagogical content knowledge, foster community and personal growth, and increase teacher satisfaction. During the Institute, you will

  • Design or redesign a course built on learner-centered design principles
  • Develop a final or near-final syllabus
  • Learn how to apply research-based teaching and learning principles to design other courses

Institute Schedule

  • F2F Institute
  • Course Development Completion


Incentives include

  • All workshop materials and break refreshments
  • A copy of the book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses, by L. Dee Fink

To qualify for the incentives, participants are expected to

  • Participate the entire four face-to-face days (for accountability, attendance will be taken each day of the institute)
  • Complete a successful syllabus (a successful syllabus is one that has been assessed by institute faculty and meets course design principles set forth in the institute)


All current full-time (tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure track) Appalachian faculty members are eligible to participate. EPA faculty may also participate. Part-time faculty, graduate teaching assistants and SPA staff are not eligible. A maximum of 20 participants from Appalachian will be accepted into the program.

Application/Acceptance Process

Faculty who are (re)designing a multi-section course or set of courses and would like to work as a team should apply individually, but should indicate other team members on the application form in the designated section.

No letter of chair support is required; however, as part of the process, the Center for Academic Excellence will notify your chair of your application and seek his/her feedback. Notification of acceptance will be sent to selected participants and their department chairs.

If you have questions, please contact us.