Course Design Institute

CIT Course Design Institute

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, CIT’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 offered periodically during the year.

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

Applications are not currently being accepted but check back later (applications are usually collected about 3 months prior to each program date).

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


This program is open to Duke University faculty of any rank, or to academic staff, who teach undergraduates in Trinity, Pratt, Nicholas, Sanford, or Duke Kunshan University. The Institute will be particularly valuable for early career faculty or those who haven’t taught much before. Faculty may also apply who have a primary appointment in a different school if they have a dual appointment and teach undergraduate classes in one of the above schools.


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.

Program Details


The program is intensive but compact, to be respectful of other faculty commitments. CDI consists of three days of interactive seminars, discussions and presentations. Breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided each day. The most recent program was Monday August 14 – Wednesday August 16, 2017, 9:00AM-3:00PM each day.

In addition, 3:00-4:00PM each day was available for optional, but highly recommended, work time with instructional consultants.

View a sample program schedule


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 CIT.