Foundations of Course Design


Designing a transformative course that has lasting impact on students is amazing! Creating a course like that involves intentional planning. In Foundations of Course Design (FoCD), you will develop the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to successfully design a high-quality course. By the end of this Intensive, you will be able to write a compelling course description, develop specific and measurable course learning outcomes, and plan aligned summative assessments. You will be challenged to visualize diverse potential students and envision intentional, inclusive learning experiences. Discussions, texts, samples, and rubrics will guide your learning experience as you connect, acquire, and practice using acquired knowledge. Discussions and feedback from both peers and Trefny colleagues will help you monitor and adjust your personal learning experience. This unique course is based on the Mines Engineering Learning framework which is grounded in educational research, best practices in STEM education, and authentic higher education experiences. 


Upon completion of the Foundations of Course Design Intensive, you will: 

    • Synthesize your course vision, purpose, relevance, and key impacts in a written course description. 
    • Develop 6–8 course learning outcomes that are specific and measurable. 
    • Plan summative assessments that align with CLOs. 
    • Outline Pathways to Mastery that support students in mastering the learning outcomes. 


Pre-work: Asynchronous pre-work is due Sunday, July 16 at 5 pm MT.

During the summer FoCD, we will meet during the following times:

  • Monday, July 17 – Thursday, July 20 from 9 am – 3 pm MT and
  • Monday, July 24 – Thursday, July 27 from 9 am – 3 pm MT

Final Deliverables Due: August 4 at 5pm MT.

Please note that we provide a lot of breaks and opportunities for individual and group work time throughout the sessions.


$2,000 of funds (paid to your PD or RD funds account) are available for qualifying participants* who complete the following: 

    • Attend and actively participate in all sessions 
    • Read and annotate all course readings 
    • Complete and submit all assignments 
    • Complete and submit your final workbook by the due date. This workbook is the summative assessment for FoCD. The workbook will be scored and must contain:
      • Revised course description 
      • 6-8 Course Learning Outcomes (at least half of your CLOs must score exemplary according to the rubrics used in the intensive)
      • Assessment descriptions for all 6-8 Course Learning Outcomes (at least half of your assessment descriptions must score exemplary for alignment with CLOs)

*full-time academic faculty at Mines


By the end of FoCD, you will have a course guide containing:

  • A course description 
  • 6-8 course learning outcomes
  • Aligned summative assessments


The main audience for Foundations of Course Design is Faculty, but we welcome post docs and graduate students who are interested in designing a course. All participants will be required to work on a specific course throughout FoCD. Ideally, participants will work on a course that they will be teaching in the upcoming year. 

Full time academic faculty are eligible for compensation for successfully completing the Intensive. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide compensation to adjunct faculty, post docs, or graduate students. 


To apply for the Foundations of Course Design Intensive, click on the application link below. Space is limited so complete your application soon!