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Course Design Institute | September 12-14, 2018

Course Design Institute

The Course Design Institute (CDI) is an annual program that provides early-career faculty and lecturers with a collaborative and immersive environment in which to design a new course or modify an existing course optimized for student engagement and learning.

CDI is open to Stanford faculty and lecturers from all academic disciplines. The program is popular, so attendance preference is given to those in their first three years at Stanford.

CDI will be held:

  • Dates: September 12-14 (no Stanford classes meet this week)
  • Times: 9am-3pm

Applications Due July 31, 2018

Applicants should identify the specific course that will be designed or redesigned during the Institute and complete the brief application form. The deadline for submitting applications is July 31, 2018.

Apply Now

For more information, please contact Gloriana Trujillo at

About the Course Design Institute

Participating faculty and lecturers will apply current research on teaching and learning to the development of a syllabus or selected class material for their own Stanford course. Topics are designed to support both teaching efficiency and learning effectiveness, and will be tailored to the needs of the faculty participants.

Who Should Apply

Stanford faculty and lecturers, with preference given to those in their first three years of teaching at Stanford. More experienced faculty looking to redesign a course or prepare a new course may apply too. Modest discretionary funds are available in certain schools in recognition of the significant time investment of this program.

Time commitment

Much of the actual course and teaching development work will take place during the Institute. In addition, each participant can expect to invest:

  • 10-15 additional hours of reading and other preparation prior to and during the week of the institute
  • One lunch meeting per quarter, during which participants will share ideas about their teaching and course progress
  • One peer teaching observation
  • One teaching consultation (with VPTL staff or a faculty colleague) during the term in which teaching is taking place

Faculty Feedback

“I was hoping to get a jump start on my syllabus, but I gained much more than that in the bigger picture of understanding teaching and learning, and establishing a community and understanding of this as an ongoing process I can continue to work on and improve.”

“I really learned a lot at that boot camp and at the follow up lunches. I have also found it useful to have met the other students in the boot camp whom I still talk to from time to time about teaching and other matters.”

“Drafting learning goals really helped to crystallize the priorities for the course, which was essential for deciding how to pace the course, which assignments to emphasize, which topics to cover, readings to use; and also to think about how students should be able to reflect on their own learning in the course.”

“CDI made me think about the knowledge the students bring to the course. I spent a portion of the first class trying to get a sense of where each student was at and what they wanted to get out of the course. I tried to be clear in my objectives for the course so the students had a good understanding of what we would be focusing on in the course.”

Modest discretionary funds available in certain schools in recognition of the significant time investment of this program.

Program Goals

By the end of the Course Design Institute, faculty will:

  • Articulate overarching course learning goals
  • Generate course components such as syllabi, assignments/assessments, rubrics, learning activities/agenda for in-class implementation
  • Integrate research-based practices from learning science into course components
  • Connect to VPTL resources and other campus resources that enhance student learning
  • Reflect on teaching practices, receive and give feedback on teaching

Sample Topics & Individual Work Time

The program will cover and allow for substantial peer feedback individual work time for the following topics:

  • Community building
  • Student-centered design
  • Choreography of goals, ancillary goals, assignments, assessment
  • Student motivation and inclusion
  • Syllabus and course organization
  • Student engagement

Program Facilitators

This fall's program will include Professor Sherri Sheppard, VPTL staff facilitators and program alumni.

Gloriana Trujillo

Sheri Sheppard

Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Mariatte Denman

Mariatte Denman

Director of Educational Programs

Mariatte Denman

Gloriana Trujillo

Director, Faculty and Lecturer Programs