CELT Course Design Institute

The CELT Course Design Institute (May 18-21, 2020) is a four-day event full of interactive, hands-on and collaborative activities to give ISU’s instructors skills, time and space for designing or substantially revising their courses.

Take a look at a typical day:

8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. – Learn about practical guidelines for designing a learner-centered course and various strategies for developing transparent and aligned pathways to student learning.

1-3:30 p.m. – Discover advanced Canvas functionalities and ways to apply them in your planned course design.

3:30-5 p.m. – Receive individual attention and guidance on your course design and development (optional).

By the end of CELT Course Design Institute participants will be able to:

  1. Develop a course design which aligns the course’s learning objectives, outcomes, summative and formative assessments and learning experiences.
  2. Choose and apply appropriate functionalities for creating course design elements in Canvas.
  3. Evaluate the completed course design using the principles of alignment.

A course design demonstrating a thoughtful alignment and at least one course element created in Canvas is expected from each participant. Course designs will be showcased on the last day of the Institute with potential opportunities during future CELT programming.

What are the benefits?

  • Valuable networking opportunities and feedback from peers from different academic disciplines
  • Sufficient time to reflect and work on course design
  • Effective guidance and assistance with course development
  • Camaraderie and fun social time during the lunch breaks

Institute Outline

The Course Design Institutes will consist of a mix of small-group and large-group sessions, as well as individual work time and teaching consultations with CELT staff. Lunches, coffee and tea will be provided each day. For small-group sessions, participants will work in teams based on discipline and/or the kinds of student engagement their courses might involve.

Day 1: Walking in your students' shoes

Course design concepts: Thinking of learning as a pathway, principles of student-centered course design, student learning factors

Canvas concepts: Course organization, templates, course menu, modules, Syllabus, accessibility, Arc and Commons

Day 2: Defining your destination

Course design concepts: Learning objectives, outcomes and their characteristics, the concept of alignment, common pitfalls for learning objectives, alignment with summative assessments

Canvas concepts: Types of Canvas assignments, quizzes, question groups, question banks, Respondus, Library Guides and Open Education Resources (OER) in Canvas

Day 3: Traveling the pathway

Course design concepts: Characteristics and constrains of learning activities,  formative assessments, data visualizations for alignment and assessment


Canvas concepts: Canvas course data, grading, rubrics and outcomes

Day 4: Staying on track

Course design concepts: Constructive and helpful feedback catering to all learners, pulling the course elements together

Course design showcase

Optional Day 5: Improving Your Online Course

Course design concepts: On Friday, May 22 the CDI participants are invited to join the all-day Quality Matters (QM) workshop “Improving Your Online Course”. Participation in the workshop is optional. You will receive a QM credit and be offered additional guidance for certifying your online/blended courses if you choose to do so. Learn more from the CELT's Improving Your Online Course page


Institute Follow-up and Support

All course designs will be given constructive feedback from the facilitators of CELT Course Design Institute as a way to follow up with participants on their plans to implement and continue to improve their courses in Canvas. All participants will be given an opportunity to schedule individual consultations with CELT designers throughout Summer 2020.


All faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, or term), and staff with a teaching role who have a genuine interest in learning about course design and development in Canvas are encouraged to apply for CELT Course Design Institute (May 18-21, 2020).

Participants will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Must attend all four days of the Institute
  • Must have a course to re(design)
  • Must use Canvas for teaching and learning
  • Preference will be given to faculty or staff intending to (re)design courses approved to be taught in 2020-2021
  • Department representation – an effort will be made to include as many colleges, departments and academic disciplines as possible, with two participants coming from the same college/department/academic discipline for fruitful peer-to-peer communication/collaboration

The Institute can accommodate 20 participants.

Application Requirements

Applicants will be asked to apply via the CELT Course Design Institute web form by providing:

  • Contact and Course information
  • What are 3 specific course design goals you hope to accomplish during the Institute?
  • What course design challenges do you anticipate having or have had in the past?

Deadline: The application will be available in February 2020. Applicants will be notified if they have been selected to participate in the CELT Course Design Institute.