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Course Design Institute

Course Design institute Banner: Think Big with, Align and Asses, Actively Engage, and Plan and Evaluate

The Course Design Institute (CDI) is intended to support the University of California, Merced, faculty wishing to create a new or redesign an existing course of their choosing. These designs will combine research-based pedagogy and instructional modalities to create effective and supportive learning environments for the diverse students at UC Merced. Each faculty member accepted into the program will receive an honorarium of $2000 (inclusive of benefits) for successfully meeting all expectations outlined for the Course Design Institute.

The Institute will run in-person for four days (Thursday - Tuesday, 9 AM – 3 PM, May 16, 17, 20, 21 - 2024) and include opportunities for faculty to work in large groups, collaborate with faculty having similar course design topics and interests, and converse with staff from UC Merced's Teaching Commons. Resources critical to participant success will be made available throughout the duration of the design/redesign program and may also be accessed asynchronously at one's own pace.

The CDI will focus on learning theories and research from the science of teaching and learning, with an emphasis on helping participants apply these theories and findings to improve the design of their own courses and instruction. Highlighting methods that have been successfully implemented at UC Merced and elsewhere, the CDI will emphasize practical ways to engage students and improve learning. Finally, we will explore how we can treat teaching and learning as an object of scholarly inquiry.

2024 applications are closed. We hope you consider applying next year! 

For questions, please contact

Guiding Principles of the Institute

  1. Model evidence-based pedagogical strategies and academic technology tools.
  2. Create multiple opportunities to provide and receive feedback.
  3. Ground teaching practice in student-centered, anti-racist, and inclusive strategies.
  4. Establish a shared understanding of current campus priorities and common language.
  5. Share experiences with cohort faculty to establish a network.
  6. Provide relevant, local, and diverse examples of course design and implementations principles.
  7. Emphasize transformative, directly applicable, and attainable course design models.

Institute Outcomes

  1. Transform and build course materials using evidence-based strategies that support student success
  2. Apply best practices to the basic structure for your course, including mode of instruction, syllabus, introductory modules, and course artifacts.
  3. Utilize technology to support student learning and increase accessibility.
  4. Connect with institute instructors to discuss transformations and build a community of practice.

Prerequisites to Participate

  1. Must be prepared to significantly transform a course using evidence-based practices.
  2. Must be available all four days of the institute. May be required to do work outside the CDI sessions.
  3. Must be available to meet after CDI for two follow-up consultations and a final debrief after course delivery.

Priority for Funding

Applications may be submitted by senate and non-senate faculty. Priority will be given to courses that address one of the following course designs:

  • AI as an Ally, Not an Enemy - For instructors who want to learn how they can collaborate with artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize student engagement and improve access.
  • First-Year Flourishing - For instructors who want to build first-year courses that are gateways to student success.
  • Honors Course Development - For instructors who are building academic content for the new Honors Program.
  • Optimizing Instruction in Large Classes - For instructors who teach large classes and want to learn how they can activate learning without burning out.
  • Writing in the Disciplines - For instructors seeking strategies for improving student writing
  • Other - Any course that could benefit from incorporating active learning strategies

Format and Schedule

  1. Thursday - Tuesday, May 16, 17, 20, 21, 2024, from 9 am – 3 pm
  2. In-person on campus.
  3. The daily format will consist of short information sessions, individual work, group work, peer review, and sharing of materials for feedback.

How to Apply

Complete the 2024 CDI Call for Proposals Application.

Application Review Process:  

Applications will be reviewed by the CDI committee. The committee will make recommendations for awards to the Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education.

Important Dates and Deadlines: 

  • Application Opens: Wednesday, March 6
  • Application Closes: Wednesday, April 10 at 5:00 pm 
  • Notification of Awards: Friday, April 26
  • Course Design Institute: Thursday - Tuesday, May 16, 17, 20, 21, 2024, from 9 am – 3 pm