Problem-Solving Course Design Institute

2023 Problem-Solving Course Design Institute

Problem solving is a skill you develop over time, but how do you teach it in a semester? The Problem-Solving Course Design Institute (PSCDI) is an opportunity for faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate student teams* to (re)design assignments that engage students in the problem-solving process. Instructors will be able to apply evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning, reflect on their own problem-solving process, and how to effectively communicate those skills to students. PSCDI is a cohort-based model, so instructors will have an opportunity to share their insights with colleagues in a supportive environment and synthesize new ways to approach teaching the problem-solving process. 

*We strongly encourage faculty to invite members of their instructional team (i.e., a postdoc, graduate student, and/or undergraduate student) to participate. 

Faculty participants may choose to co-design their course with a graduate or undergraduate student, or an undergraduate problem-solving fellow.


  • Dec 7, 2022: Applications due
  • Jan 18-20, 2023: Intensive 2.5-day Institute
  • Spring 2023-Fall 2023: Participant course offered; formative feedback collected
  • May 2023: Cohort recognized at University Award Ceremony


  • Participation in the Problem-Solving Course Design Institute: Jan 18-20, 2023 
  • Participation in individual consultations with Sheridan Center staff
  • Instruction of a course that features at least two (2) redesigned assignments during the Spring 2023 or Fall 2023 term
  • Collection of formative feedback from students
  • Participation in the assessment components of the program


  • Upon successful completion of the program requirements, faculty participants will receive $1,000, payable as a research award,  to use for course development costs

Application Deadline
Please submit a complete application by Wednesday, December 7, 2022 (5pm ET). Participants will be selected from a range of disciplines.

PSCDI is the instructor complement of UNIV 1110: Theory and Practice of Problem Solving. STEM undergraduate teaching assistants who take this course will become Problem-Solving Fellows who will have the skills necessary for effective problem-solving, engaging in diverse learning spaces, and reflective learning and teaching practices.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Problem-Solving Course Design Institute Faculty Participants


  • Jordan Kostiuk, Mathematics
  • Susanna Haziot, Mathematics
  • Naemi McPherson, East Asian Studies
  • Alice Paul, Public Health-Biostatistics
  • Joanna Walsh, Public Health-Biostatistics
  • Omar Galarraga, Public Health-Health Services, Policy and Practice


  • Amit Basu, Chemistry, CHEM 0360: Introductory Organic Chemistry
  • Erica Durante, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, LACA 0500/HISP 0750T: Around Latin America in 80 Days, An Historical and Cultural Journey
  • Scott Frickel, Environment and Society and Sociology, SOC 0250: An Environmental Sociology for a Rapidly Warming World
  • Jordan Kostiuk, Mathematics, MATH 1010: Analysis, Functions of One Variable
  • Emily Rauscher, Sociology, SOC 1100: Introductory Statistics for Social Research
  • Lulei Su, East Asian Studies, CHIN 0350: Elementary to Intermediate Chinese for Advanced Beginners

Honorary Participants

  • Omar Galarraga, Health Services, Policy, and Practice, PHP 1100: Comparative Heath Care Systems
  • Alexander Hayne, Theatre Arts and Performance Studies, Problem Solving for Constructing Theatrical Scenery


  • Jose Conde Alonso, Mathematics, MATH 1610: Probability
  • David Lindstrom, Sociology, SOC 1281: Migration in the Americas
  • Maria Nastasescu, Mathematics, MATH 1560: Number Theory
  • Sharon Swartz, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, BIOL 0400: Biological Design: Structural Architecture and Organisms
  • James Valles, Jr., Physics, PHYS 0070: Analytical Mechanics