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Course Design Institute

The Course Design Institute is a one-week immersive experience that will spark new ways of thinking about your course, empower you to prioritize what matters most to you, and help you to create clear learning paths for students. Most CDI participants leave with 80-90% of their courses designed.

Grounded in research and based on a national model developed at the University of Virginia, the CDI has helped hundreds of faculty around the country design innovative, transformative learning experiences for students. Faculty routinely praise the CDI as a transformational development experience.

Who should register?

Instructors willing to explore new possibilities for their course and engage in cross-disciplinary conversations about course design. Note: This is a particularly good opportunity for faculty who don’t have a course release but need time and space to design a new course or re-imagine an existing one.

When is it?

The  Course Design Institute typically takes place in person in early June. The sessions are full day, Monday-Thursday. Participants must commit to attending all sessions during the CDI, and to completing "homework" each evening.

How to register

Registrations for the 2024 Course Design Institute are at this LINK:


Who may register for the Institute?

Faculty interested in designing a new course or substantially redesigning an existing course may apply. Instructors who are open to learning-centered approaches to course design and those willing to fully and actively participate in small, structured learning communities are especially well-suited to this experience.

Is there a registration fee to attend the Institute?

There is no fee to register or attend the Course Design Institute; the Reinert Center will cover the cost of the CDI.

How many participants are accepted?

In order to provide individualized support, the Institute will be limited to no more than 40 participants.

How much time will it take?

You’ll spend a minimum of 40 hours over the course of one week working on your course design.  Most of this time occurs during the Institute sessions and built-in work time. The remaining time is spent in individual consultations with your team facilitator, as well as completing various components of your course design and preparing for the next day’s discussions. The good news? When faculty invest this time in the CDI experience, they often leave with 80-90% of their course design completed. N.B.: Many participants underestimate the amount of work and energy engaging in this intensive course design week will take. Consider clearing your calendar completely and dedicating the entire week to designing your course.

Do I have to attend all the meetings?

You are expected to attend each day for the full amount of time scheduled. Throughout the Institute, you’ll work in a small, interdisciplinary group of fellow instructors. This learning community will provide you thoughtful, constructive feedback, alternative perspectives, and general support and encouragement. As such, we ask that you plan to attend each day and come with your “homework” completed.

What do I need to do to prepare for the Institute?

When either designing a new course or redesigning an existing one, the two most important questions you can ask are, “What do I hope my students will know and/or be able to do three - five years after taking my course?” and “Why is this important to me?” Spending time before the Institute reflecting on these questions will greatly facilitate the design process. If you are designing a completely new course, you will at least need a course description and a clear idea of what learning should happen in the course. We will send you a few key resources one to two weeks prior to the Institute, including a short article to read and some specific exercises to complete. This preparation will help you more fully address the questions above.

Other questions?
Contact Mary Cook at