In-Person Course Design Institute

The In-Person Course Design Institute is an intensive five-part workshop in which instructors, with hands-on guidance from Drake Institute staff, focus on designing or redesigning a specific traditional or online course.

By the end of each institute, participants will have created the basic structure of a course. Perhaps even more importantly, they will have had a chance to exchange feedback with a diverse group of colleagues from across our university, allowing them to share their ideas about teaching and gather new ideas from their peers.



  • During this Course Design Institute, you will gain an understanding of how to design a course based on a foundation of goals and outcomes, and why this is important to both you and your students. 
  • You will have the chance to begin the actual work of planning, working with a community of your peers. 
  • You will leave with the basic structure for your course and the beginnings for materials such as syllabus, assignments, assessment tools and course outline. 


Learning Outcomes

  • Instructors will be able to articulate and align course goals and learning outcomes for a given course. 
  • Instructors will be able to design appropriate, effective and efficient evaluation and assessment tools for their chosen learning outcomes. 
  • Instructors will be able to make discipline specific decisions regarding which content to include in a course and will be able to organize that content so as to help students master the designated learning outcomes. 
  • Instructors will be able to evaluate which pedagogical tools and teaching styles will be most appropriate for the context, goals and outcomes of an individual course. 


Upcoming CDIs

In-person CDIs are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 campus closures.  When campus reopens, check back here for further updates. 


How to Apply

Since each CDI has limited enrollment in order to maintain a sense of community, we require that you submit a short application to be considered to participate. This application gathers information about the course you will be working on during the CDI (which is usually an actual course that you plan to teach, but in some cases, might be a course you hope to teach in the future), as well as your motivation and goals for attending.

Once the the applications for your chosen CDI have been reviewed, we will contact you to let you know whether you have been accepted or placed on the waitlist. You will generally know no later than three weeks in advance of the CDI what your enrollment status is.



Frequently Asked Questions

How much time outside of the CDI will I need to spend?

Each session, you will have time to get started on your work “in class,” and then we will ask that you continue your work at home and respond to others’ work through our interactive Wiki. Your level of participation will directly affect what you take away from the CDI, as well as the other participants’ community experience. Our most successful participants put in about 1-2 extra hour(s) of work between sessions, but ultimately, the amount of time you spend outside the CDI is at your own discretion.

Do I need to have a specific course I will be working on?

Yes. The course can be one that you have taught before or never taught before. It can be one that currently exists or that you’ve only imagined. But you will only be able to participate in the CDI if you have a course to work on designing using the skills you’ll be learning.

May I work on two courses at the same time?

We strongly recommend that you concentrate on only one course so that you do not feel overwhelmed. Furthermore, we will only provide you the Wiki space to work through one course design. However, the skills you learn from the CDI will be directly applicable to any course you will design or redesign from here on out. If you feel you need support and guidance as you work on another course design, Drake Institute consultants would be happy to meet with you one-on-one after you finish the CDI.

May I take the CDI again for another course I want to (re)design?

You may apply to take the CDI for another course you want to (re)design. However, your application will not receive priority consideration as we focus on accepting individuals who have yet to learn the skills and need to apply them most immediately.

Do I need to bring the texts for the course I want to work on?

No. In fact, we encourage you to leave all texts and course materials at home! The CDI provides a space to re-imagine your course from a fresh perspective.

What if I don’t know what the content will actually be yet?

That’s fine! We prefer when our participants are not thinking about content when they arrive. As long as you have an idea of the purpose of the course and what you hope students will be able to know and do by the end of it, you will be successful. Content should naturally flow from there.

May I take this for a course I may not ever teach here at Ohio State?

Yes, you may. We do not offer top priority to candidates who are proposing to work on non-Ohio State courses, but we do accept such candidates on a regular basis. We believe it’s important for educators to learn this method and these skills no matter what or where they will be teaching!

I am a staff member – may I take the CDI?

Yes, the CDI is open to anyone who teaches in any capacity at Ohio State. In addition to traditional courses, participants have used the CDI to design workshops, trainings, and seminars.

Will I leave with a completed syllabus?

No, but you will leave with plans for and components of a syllabus. Writing a syllabus should be much easier after having completed the CDI.

I’m designing a class with someone else. Can we work as a pair in the CDI or do we each have to work independently?

Yes, you can work as a pair. Please indicate in the “Additional Notes” section of your application your partner’s name and the nature of your work together.

What if I can’t attend all five sessions?

We require that every participant commit to attending all five sessions for two reasons. First, the material builds on itself over the five sessions, so missing one session will set you back for the others. Second, it is hard to develop community when we do not have the same people present at each meeting. However, we do understand that unforeseen circumstances may arise and prevent you from attending one of the five sessions. We do our best to meet individually with participants who unexpectedly have to miss a session to help them catch up on the material. If you have to miss more than that, you are probably better off applying for a later CDI. Do note that if you know in advance that you will not make all five meeting times for a particular institute, your application will receive a lower priority level.