Course Design Institute

Dates: May 18 – 20, 2020
Applications are now open. Apply by March 6, 2020.

Are you preparing to teach a class you have never taught before and want to feel confident about your course plan? Are you redesigning a course and want to be sure your updates promote significant, long-term learning? Do you want to use new types of student activities and assignments in your course, but aren’t sure which ones would be most appropriate or effective for student learning?

If so, Duke Learning Innovation’s Course Design Institute can help! Modeled on successful programs at other institutions (UVA, Vanderbilt, Cornell, UNC, and others), the Course Design Institute (CDI) provides faculty the opportunity to learn and apply a foundational, best-practice approach to designing dynamic, learning-focused courses in any discipline, in a compact 3-day program.

A CDI participant will…

  • Learn and apply a process to design courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments are aligned;
  • Design assignments that foster deep learning by engaging students in meaningful, authentic work;
  • Understand the Duke teaching environment and the tools and resources available to faculty;
  • Network and connect with fellow Duke faculty across disciplines who share similar teaching interests; and
  • Leave the Institute with a draft course plan and syllabus for a course they plan to teach in the upcoming academic year.

Participant Support and Funding

Each faculty participant will receive $500 in funds deposited to a research account. All participants will receive a copy of the book Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses by L. Dee Fink and a set of resources that can be used to redesign their course during and after the Institute.

How to Apply

Deadline for Applications: Friday, March 6, 2020
Applicants notified: Monday, March 16, 2020

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Learning Innovation.


The CDI is most useful to faculty who are designing their courses for face-to-face instruction. This program is open to Duke University faculty of any rank, or to academic staff, teaching courses in any school. The Institute will be particularly valuable for early career faculty or those who haven’t taught much before.


Attendance at all sessions is required, due to the nature of the sessions, where participants will work interactively in small groups. A short take-home assignment will be given each evening, which must be completed in order to be prepared to participate the next day. All participants must have or be able to get a university research account.

Program Details


The program is intensive but compact, to be respectful of other faculty commitments. The CDI consists of three days of interactive seminars, discussions and presentations. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided each day. The spring  program will run Monday, May 18 – Wednesday, May  20, 2020; 9:30AM-3:30PM (each day). In addition, 3:30-4:30PM will be available for optional, but highly recommended, work time with instructional consultants on all three days of the institute.

View a CDI sample schedule – 2020


Bostock Library, Duke University West Campus

Parking can be provided with advance notice, if a participant doesn’t have access to parking on West Campus.


If you have any questions about the program, please contact Learning Innovation.

View highlights from the 2019 Course Design Institute!