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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 week-long course design intensive for graduate students and postdocs, in which you'll produce a course plan and syllabus draft using evidence-based frameworks.

GradCDI will take place over spring break 2023. Required in-person meetings will be held on March 28, 29, and 31, 10am–5pm. A full day of work at a location of your choice is expected on March 30. 

Apply for GradCDI 2023 (Stanford login required for registration)

Applications are due February 23, 2023 by 5pm

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GradCDI description

In this program you will build or revise a course plan and syllabus draft 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 program, 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

Session 1: Inclusive course design principles

  • Orientation
  • Student experiences
  • Inclusive course design principles

Session 2: Learning outcomes

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

Session 3: Assessments

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

Session 4: Learning Experiences

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

Session 5: A Learner-Centered Syllabus

  • Learner-centered syllabus
  • Peer review of syllabi

Session 6: Reflecting and Planning Next Steps

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