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Faculty Course Design Institute

The Faculty Course Design Institute has been postponed until August.
Please check back here for event updates.

The CFT invites Vanderbilt faculty to apply to its 2020 Course Design Institute on the theme of “Teaching Inclusively.” During the three-day institute in May, participants will redesign courses with careful attention to ways they can help all students thrive through greater belonging and engagement.

The faculty institute is open to all Vanderbilt faculty members, and participants will receive $500 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching.


Teaching Inclusively

Teaching that supports trust and productive dialogue about difficult subjects. Discussions that involve a diverse range of voices and viewpoints. Course content that motivates and challenges all students. Strategies for helping students work across differences in group projects. Assignments that are meaningful and encourage deep learning for all students.  Accessibility for students of all abilities.


These are just some of the outcomes of an inclusive approach to course design and facilitation. Students in inclusive courses find greater belonging and equity, and with it a trust in faculty and their peers that leads to greater collaborative engagement, critical thought, and voice.

“Teaching Inclusively” is shorthand for an approach to teaching that helps all students become more meaningfully involved in their own learning and, through it, greater intellectual, social, and emotional growth. Through this year’s Course Design Institute, the CFT continues its efforts to support instructors in building inclusive and high-impact teaching practices into their courses.


Benefits to Participants?

Course Design Institute participants will…

  • Learn and apply a process for designing courses in which learning objectives, activities, and assessments are inclusive and integrated
  • Enhance their understanding of how a diversity of students learn and apply that understanding to inclusive teaching in their disciplines
  • Design assignments that foster deep learning by engaging all students in meaningful, generative work
  • Expand their network of fellow Vanderbilt educators, connecting with peers with similar teaching interests

Participants will leave the institute with course plans and a redesigned syllabus for course to be taught in the following academic year. Additionally, each faculty participant will receive $500 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching.

For information on past Course Design Institutes focused on a Students as Producers experience, read stories from past CDI participants.



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 CFT staff. Lunches will be provided each day. For small-group sessions, participants will work in cohorts based on discipline, topics, and/or challenges their courses might entail.

Elements of the Course Design Institutes are based on similar institutes hosted by the University of Virginia Center for Teaching Excellence and the Ohio State University Center for the Advancement of Teaching.


How do I apply?

The faculty Course Design Institute is open to all Vanderbilt faculty members (tenured, tenure-track, or non-tenure-track), and faculty participants receive $500 in research funds to be used to enhance their teaching. Preference will be given to faculty intending to redesign courses approved to be taught in the upcoming academic year. Faculty who are team-teaching courses should submit a joint application.

Application Deadline: March 22nd

Past CDI Participants


Susan Beaird, Nursing

Jesse Blocher, Owen

Daniela D’eugenio, French & Italian

David Diehl, Human & Organizational Development

Elisabeth Dykens, Psychology & Human Development

Lauren Gaydosh, Medicine, Health, and Society

Dana Kan, Hearing & Speech Sciences

Bohyeong Kim, Communication Studies

Jeremy Payne, Human & Organizational Development

Christina Rennhoff, Economics

Gayle Shay, Blair

Claire Sisco King, Communication Studies

Gabriel Torres, American Studies

Matthew Worsnick, History of Art




Jo-Anne Bachorowski, Psychology

Carwil Bjork-James, Anthropology

Anna Castillo, Spanish & Portuguese

Rameela Chandrasekhar, Biostatistics

Susan Douglas, Leadership, Policy, & Organizations

Doug Fisher, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Leigh Gilchrist, Human & Organizational Development

Jessie Hock, English

Julie Johnson, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science

Christina Marasco, Biomedical Engineering

Kris Neal, Teaching & Learning

Tasha Rijke-Epstein, History

Haerin Shin, English

Robbie Spivey, Women & Gender Studies

Susan Verberne-Sutton, Chemistry



Rima Abou-Khalil, Hearing & Speech Sciences

Celina Callahan-Kapoor, Medicine, Health & Society

Alexandra Da Fonte, Special Education

Kevin Galloway, Mechanical Engineering

Joanne Golann, Leadership, Policy, & Organizations

Chalene Helmuth, Spanish & Portuguese

Robin Jones, Hearing & Speech Sciences

Leslie Kirby, Human & Organizational Development

Heather Lefkowitz, Human & Organizational Development

Brenda McKenzie, Leadership, Policy, & Organizations

Kristen Tompkins, Human & Organizational Development

Antje Mefferd, Hearing & Speech Sciences

Elizabeth Meadows, English


Nancy Abbott, Owen Graduate School of Management

Sophie Bjork-James, Anthropology

Stacy Clifford Simplican, Women’s and Gender Studies

Gilbert Gonzales, Health Policy

Chalene Helmuth, Spanish

Natasha McClure, Nursing

Tara McKay, Medicine, Health, and Society

Ole Molvig, History

Carrie Plummer, Nursing

Alex Sargent Capps, Theatre

Mark Schoenfield, English

Melanie Schuele, Hearing & Speech Sciences

Rebecca VanDiver, History of Art