Photo of previous CDA attendees working on project.

Course Design Academy

Note: We are not offering the Course Design Academy in 2016. However, if you are designing or redesigning a course and need our assistance, please contact us at

Do you have a new course to develop for an upcoming semester? Perhaps there’s one you’d love to redesign? Are you ready to explore classroom strategies to better engage your students? Do we have an opportunity for you! Join us for the 2015 edition of Course Design Academy (CDA). Bring your laptop, your course materials, and your best ideas—we’ll supply the rest!

As an Academy participant, you and your cohorts will spend 5 days with Institute Consultants in an immersive course design process. Consider this an opportunity to work on your course in an environment characterized by supportive, hospitable, and friendly peer-to-peer interaction.

You will receive a copy of the popular book How Learning Works (2010). We’ll leverage the 7 principles of learning outlined in the book to help you develop a course that is learning-centered and utilizes the most current research in higher education teaching. By the end of the week, you will have developed a coherent and well-aligned (i.e., clearly connected objectives, learning activities, assessment) course syllabus. Along with the syllabus, you'll be creating an overall course design document; and given the considerable progress you will make on these documents, much of your summertime course planning work will be done.

The Schreyer Institute Course Design Academy is an intense working week. There are other models across the nation for this sort of course design institute (and many charge high fees). Ours is not only free but is tailored to the needs of Penn State faculty. Whether yours is a familiar face at the Schreyer Institute, or if this will be a new connection, you can expect ongoing support even after you leave the Academy.

Photo of previous CDA attendees working on project.

Here's what some of our previous CDA participants had to say about their experience:

Academy class size is limited, so don’t delay! Applicants accepted into the class will be notified by e-mail.