Starting with the End in Mind

An Integrated Approach to (Re)Designing Courses and Significant Learning Experiences

What is the TCU Course Design Institute?

The TCU Course Design Institute: Starting With the End in Mind is an extensive, intensive, five-part workshop in which you will focus on designing or redesigning a specific course. You will use the process of Backwards Design, and work through a model of Integrated Course Design to build or rebuild a course that is student-centered, and produces significant learning.

During the institute, you will:

  • Use and discuss basic terms and concepts related to course design
  • Apply of the process of Backwards Design to build a course in which goals, assignments, and instruction are integrated and aligned
  • Develop authentic assignments that engage students in meaningful work
  • Expand your repertoire of student-centered active learning strategies
  • Articulate your understanding of how good course design impacts student learning
  • Connect with fellow instructors with similar teaching interests

*You are encouraged to bring a laptop that is connected to the TCU network.

What are the benefits?

The institute will consist of large- and small-group sessions, and 1:1 consultations with Koehler Center faculty developers as requested. Throughout the institute, you will be provided with the tools, time, guidance, and support needed to design an aligned, integrated, student-centered course. You will leave the institute with a sound course structure, the beginnings of relevant activities, assessments and materials, and a peer-reviewed draft of a syllabus.


Who can register

Any faculty member, graduate student, or post-doc at TCU can register for the TCU Course Design Institute. This is a free professional development opportunity the Koehler Center provides to the TCU community.

How to register

Participants can register for the TCU Course Design Institute on our Events page. You can also call the Koehler Center at 817-257-7434.

Institute Overview

During the Institute

The institute will consist of five, four-hour, morning meetings to provide hands-on practice with writing measurable course learning outcomes/objectives; designing authentic, aligned assessments and activities; crafting an integrated course plan; embedding active learning strategies; and developing a course syllabus. Participants are strongly encouraged to work independently in the afternoons, and consult 1:1 with Koehler Center faculty developers as needed. Participants will be required to upload, post, and share components of their work for peer review and feedback.

Brief overview of the meeting topics:

  • Day #1: Writing aligned course goals and measurable learning outcomes/objectives
  • Day #2: Developing authentic, aligned assessments and activities
  • Day #3: Selecting and sequencing discipline-specific, accessible content to create an integrated course plan
  • Day #4: Evaluating and selecting teaching strategies and in-class learning activities that support the desired learning
  • Day #5: Revising course logistics and policies while crafting an accessible course syllabus

After the Institute

By the end of each institute, in addition to designing a sound course, you will have had a chance to exchange feedback with a diverse group of colleagues from across our university, allowing for sharing ideas about teaching and gathering new ideas from your peers.

The course (re)design process will continue to occur in subsequent iterations of your course as you will likely continue to revise and fine-tune materials developed during the institute based upon feedback provided. As always, the Koehler Center will be available for ongoing support and consultations after the institute.