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The CFE Course Design Institute (CDI) is a structured sequence of workshops and working sessions held over a 3-day period (12 hours overall) where a small cohort of instructors–generally limited to no more than 10 participants–are immersed in backward design approaches for developing their courses.

You can expect to leave a CDI…

  • understanding how and why to design a course based on goals and objectives;
  • having received feedback on your course design from Institute facilitators as well as from your peers; and
  • with a basic structure for your course and beginnings of relevant course materials.

The next CFE Course Design Institute will be held on:

The application period has closed for the June 2017 Institute, but applications are being solicited for the August 2017 Institute until 5:00pm (EST) on Monday, July 10th; acceptance and wait-list notifications will be sent to all applicants via email by Friday, July 14th. Priority will be given to faculty members who are teaching in the immediately upcoming semesters; remaining space will be allocated across all other applicants.

Upcoming CFE CDIs are scheduled for:

  • December 18, 19, & 20, 2017 (M/T/W, 8:30am-12:30pm) [apply at any time]
  • March 12, 14, & 16, 2018 (M/W/F, 8:30am-12:30pm)
  • June 4, 6, & 8, 2018 (M/W/F, 12:30pm-4:30pm)

You may also apply for any future CDI via the online application, and, in general, you should expect to hear more about your application status about three weeks before that Institute is scheduled to begin.

Previous CFE CDIs:


How would I benefit from a CDI?

The reasons that instructors choose are as varied as the disciplines in which we teach. Some are early-career faculty members developing new courses in their area of specialization. Some are seasoned faculty members who are looking for ways to refresh courses they have taught successfully for years. Others are attempting to frame their courses in such a way as to appeal to larger numbers of students, to better align with standards and competencies associated with accreditation, or to respond to feedback received from students about the course from previous semesters.

What happens after I submit my application for a CDI?

After you submit an application to participate in a particular CDI for a particular course, applications are reviewed by CDI facilitators through a competitive process and registration is generally limited to 12 faculty members per CDI. (Additional applicants will be added to a waitlist and/or be granted priority acceptance for a future CDI.) You will receive either an acceptance or a waitlist email several weeks in advance of the CDI, and you will receive a reminder email one week before the CDI begins. If you are waitlisted for a CDI, your application for a future CDI receives additional priority consideration. During the CDI itself, you are expected to attend each of the three sessions and to use the unscheduled time during the session to make progress on your course. There will be “homework” to complete throughout the Institute, which generally consists of expanding upon work done during the sessions.

What should I bring to the CDI sessions?

Because we will be working individually and together on course-related materials each day of the Institite, please bring a laptop or tablet along with digital versions of your existing course materials (e.g., syllabus, assignment descriptions). There are few quick options for obtaining substantive food near Wilson Library, so you may also want to bring snacks for yourself (if desired).

What do I do if none of the dates/times schedules for the CDIs work for me?

If none of the dates/times for scheduled CDIs work for your schedule, please let us know, and we can try to better account for your availability in an upcoming offering. The CFE, as part of our pan-university mission, also offers individual consultations on course design to any UNC faculty member; please email if you would be interested in working one-on-one with a CFE staff member to design your course.

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