Course Design Essentials Program

The Course Design Essentials (CDE) Program is a series of five sessions that support graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, staff, and faculty in designing courses using evidence-based practices. In this certificate program, participants will practice backward, integrated course design by establishing goals for student learning and aligning assignments and assessments with these goals. Participants who complete all program requirements and attend at least 4 out 5 sessions will earn a Certificate in Course Design. Note that attendance at the first session is mandatory. The next CDE offering will be during Summer 2024.

Note that this is the same Certificate in Course Design that is offered in University Studies 390X and the Active Learning Institute.


  • Faculty from any discipline, including research faculty, teaching faculty, unit-18 faculty
  • Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars
  • Staff interested in course design and development

 We want to welcome folks as much as possible – contact us if you don’t fall into one of these categories.

CERTIFICATION Requirements Include Satisfactory Completion of:

All Readings & Associated Reflection Papers

Attend at least 4 sessions, complete weekly required readings, and explore tools and resources related to the week’s topics.


A Course Syllabus

Throughout the program you will work on drafting your syllabus using evidence-based practices. 

Either a Showcase Presentation or a Reflective Teaching Statement

During the last week of the program you will share what you have learned or developed either through a showcase or reflective teaching statement.

Program Schedule

We will meet during the following five consecutive Wednesdays in Winter 2024 from 11am-12:30pm:

Week 1

January 31, 2024 – Backward design, Universal Design for Learning (UDL), & student-centered learning objectives

Week 2

February 7, 2024 – Formative and summative assessments, Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT)

Week 3

February 14, 2024 – Active learning techniques, classroom engagement

Week 4

February 21, 2024 – Peer review and feedback

Week 5

February 28, 2024 – Showcase and further enhancements in course design


Registration for the Winter 2024 Course Design Essentials Program will open Dec 4th, 2023 and will close on Jan 17th, 2024.

Space is limited to 25 participants.

If you have any questions, contact Dr. Alex Bower at

If you would like to keep in touch and receive email opportunities and additional resources, please fill out this form.