Course Design Seminar

Program Description

In the Sheridan Course Design Seminar, members of the Brown teaching community explore integrated course design principles and develop syllabi, sample assignments, and sample lesson plans for two college-level courses they are likely to have the opportunity to teach. Throughout the seminar, participants give and receive peer feedback and collaborate with colleagues from a variety of disciplines.

As the seminar is small, workshop-based, interdisciplinary, and incorporates hands-on active learning principles, in-person attendance is required at all five sessions. We are unable to accommodate participation via Skype or other video or phone conferencing technology. If you are unable to commit to attending all five sessions, please see the Sheridan Center website for our flexible workshop options, or to request an individual teaching observation or course consultation.

Seminar topics include:

  • The Backward Course Design Process
  • Articulating and Assessing Learning Outcomes
  • Course Design Across the Higher Education Landscape
  • Principles to Enhance Student Motivation and Learning
  • Writing Assignment Design and Scaffolding
  • Universal Design for Learning
  • Signature Pedagogies and Interdisciplinary Approaches

Seminar Goals

Over the course of the Course Design Seminar, participants will:

  • Use integrated course design principles to craft measurable, learner-oriented course learning goals
  • Select active learning techniques that achieve course learning goals/outcomes
  • Evaluate modes of assessing student learning
  • Design and integrate a writing assignment into a course
  • Demonstrate knowledge of universal design principles and inclusive pedagogy
  • Create syllabi that serve diverse student learners
  • Explicitly communicate a personal, reflective teaching practice
  • Discuss teaching practices and course design choices with a multidisciplinary group of instructors


  • In-person attendance and participation in all of the seminar's five sessions
  • Timely completion of all required assignments

Time Commitment

Participants can expect to spend an average of 2-3 hours a week on the seminar over the course of the semester, with workshop weeks taking a bit more time and non-workshop weeks taking a bit less. This includes attending in-person workshops (10 hours, total) and completing out of class readings and assignments.


The Sheridan Teaching Seminar (Certificate I)

To Apply:

Applications for the Spring 2020 Course Design Seminar will be accepted through Monday, December 9th.