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Course (Re)Design

Redesigning Teaching to Enhance Learning

Let's begin with the premise that as faculty members, we want our students to have genuinely "significant learning experiences". We don't teach to teach, we teach to learn. This often requires us to shift our thinking; to migrate from a teaching-centered model of instruction to a learning-centered model that emphasizes student engagement and success along a number of axes. A well (re)designed class provides evidence that learning is occurring and enhancing a student's awareness of his or her own learning.

Significant Learning: Caring, Learning How to Learn, Foundational Knowledge, Application, Integration, Human DimensionFormally, course redesign is the process of rethinking the way we deliver instruction in order to maximize learning. This process is increasingly mindful of the possibilities that new technology offers in order to achieve better learning outcomes and the relationship between cognitive, noncognitive, and metacognitive growth and development. The purpose of course redesign is to improve student learning. It is not to cram in more content or to repackage what's already been done; it is to backwards design a class around student learning outcomes—-how they are articulated, accomplished, and assessed in the class, the syllabus, and all documents and behaviors associated with the learning experience.

Successful redesigns adhere to sound pedagogical principles associated with high impact practices. The primary goal is to shift students from a passive, note‐taking role to an active learning orientation in order to enhance learning outcomes. But successful redesigns don't just happen; they require a high degree of intentionality. Quality needs to be designed into a class.

One of the best resources to help us imagine and then realize the process of (re)designing a class in order to create significant learning experiences comes from Dee Fink, in his book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences, copies of which are available from CETL.

If you would like assistance in redesigning one of your classes, or perhaps your entire curriculum, please contact Brian Smentkowski.


  • Fink, Dee. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An integrated approach to designing college courses. Jossey Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013.

CETL Course (Re)Design Institutes

2019 Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology Course (Re)Design Institute

2019 Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology Course (Re)Design Institute
Creating Significant Online Learning Experiences

The purpose of the 2019 Sociology, Anthropology, Criminology (Re)Design Institute was to assist the department in imagining and realizing a cohesive online curriculum comprised of superior courses. Our goal was to design significant online learning experiences that inspire, educate, challenge, and prepare all students throughout the entire curriculum. The materials listed below were specifically designed for this event.