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Course Design Institute for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars

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The Course Design Institute for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars (GradCDI) is a six-week course design series for graduate students and postdocs, in which you'll produce a syllabus draft using evidence-based frameworks.

Grad CDI will take place during Summer Quarter 2022. More details and application information will be available in Spring Quarter 2022.

TAs in row smiling

Series description

In this six-week series, you will build or revise a course syllabus using evidence-based frameworks. This is also an opportunity to interrogate your own implicit understandings of learning and teaching and, potentially, develop new or additional ones.

On one level, course design is a process of identifying how you want your course to impact your students, then laying out learning goals and objectives, deciding how your students’ understanding will be assessed, and how they will prepare for those assessments. You will do these things in this series. On a more implicit level, course design is a chance to reflect on our values and assumptions about teaching, learning, the function of education in society, our students, and ourselves.

Course goals and learning outcomes

Through active engagement and successful completion of this series, participants will be able to:

  • Apply the Backward Course Design model to focus on what students will be able to do, know, and/or feel by the end of your course.
  • Articulate learning goals and learning objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Align learning experiences with learning outcomes to optimize student learning.
  • Implement course design and teaching strategies to create an inclusive environment and support learning for all students.

Sample schedule for GradCDI

Week 1: Inclusive course design principles

  • Orientation
  • Student experiences
  • Inclusive course design principles

Week 2: Learning outcomes

  • Bloom’s taxonomies and SMART learning outcomes
  • Course learning goals, learning objectives, and alignment

Week 3: Assessments

  • Creating formative and summative assessments 
  • Grading, rubrics, and reward structures

Week 4: Learning Experiences

  • Organizing topics on a syllabus
  • Session 2: Structuring active learning lessons 

Week 5: A Learner-Centered Syllabus

  • Learner-centered syllabus
  • Peer review of syllabi

Week 6: Reflecting and Planning Next Steps

  • Center for Teaching and Learning opportunities fair
  • Reflection, feedback, and learning plans