2021 Faculty Summer Institute Banner

2021 Emphasis Areas: GE, Diversity and Gateway Courses

Are you concerned about effectively supporting students and exhausted by the need to design for an uncertain future and multiple modes of instruction? Is it hard to tell if your students are engaged and learning? You’re not alone! And CAT’s new summer program is for you. Join CAT and earn $1000 as you build a 2021-22 course plan that is academically rigorous but also flexible, equitable, and–above all–authentic to YOUR teaching context and learning goals. Special emphasis areas for 2021: GE, Diversity, and gateway courses.

CAT’s 2021 Faculty Summer Institute will be held remotely over Zoom. See below for details. 

Dates and TImes

August 2-6, 2021

Workshops held daily via Zoom
from 10am-12pm (PDT)

What is the Center for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2021 Faculty Summer Institute for Course (Re)Design?

The 2021 Faculty Summer Institute for Course (Re)Design is a professional development opportunity that provides resources and support for instructors who are preparing to deliver a course during the 2021-22 academic year. In this facilitated learning community, you will build on lessons learned from the past year+ of remote teaching and apply evidence-based teaching practices to create or revise your course plan with an eye toward 1) fostering equitable and effective learning for your students and 2) building your capacity (and that of your instructional team) to design flexible activities and assessments suitable for any teaching modality. The work you will complete in this institute is thus designed to support your teaching long-term. This program is suitable for faculty who are creating a new course as well as those revising an existing syllabus. Space and funding are limited. See below for additional information re: eligibility. Participation in the Faculty Summer Institute for Course (Re)Design can be highlighted in your dossier to be recognized for your next merit or promotion. Participants will receive $1,000 upon completion of program requirements.

DEADLINE: Due to high demand, we are no longer accepting applications for the 2021 summer institute.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The design of this program was inspired in part by the Out of the Box initiative launched by the Division of Life Sciences and Center for Education Innovation and Learning in the Sciences. All workshop curriculum has been developed by CAT, with the exception of Workshop 3, which was developed in collaboration with the UCLA Library’s Writing Instruction & Research Education team (WI+RE). We have aligned program objectives and outcomes with UCLA’s Peer-Assisted Reflection on Student Learning program (PAROSL) and with the values of CAT’s instructional Improvement Group in order to better support faculty who participate in multiple programs supported by CAT and our campus partners.

QUESTIONS: Email Project Director Dr. Beth Goodhue, CAT Associate Director for Faculty Engagement.

Learning Objectives

This program is organized around the following learning objectives, each of which is tied to a deliverable that you can use immediately in your teaching (and dossier):

  1. Increase transparency in course-level and assignment-level learning objectives [deliverable: revised syllabus / assignment]
  2. Adapt assessments to be more effective for student learning and equitable for all modalities of instruction [deliverable: revised assignment / rubric]
  3. Identify opportunities to scaffold learning and build community through thoughtful synchronous and asynchronous activities [deliverable: revised lesson plan / assignment]
  4. Create a plan to collaborate effectively with TAs and other members of your teaching team to implement equity-minded course revisions that help students from all backgrounds and skill levels succeed [deliverable: Teaching Innovation Plan + optional teaching team contract; teaching/diversity statement]


This program is open to all faculty (including Unit-18 lecturers, teaching postdocs, and academic administrators) assigned to teach during the 2021-22 academic year.  The program is suitable for faculty who are creating a new course as well as those revising an existing syllabus. Space and funding are limited. The following factors will guide selection of the 2021 cohort:

  • Priority will be given to instructors scheduled to teach courses during Fall 2021 with an enrollment of 100+ that satisfy core undergraduate requirements affecting time-to-degree–such as general education and diversity courses and/or gateway courses for impacted majors.
  • CAT is also especially eager to help instructors and departments (re)design courses that are offered annually (or multiple times per year) with an eye toward equity-minded flexibility and continuity for instructors and students.
  • Additional factors that may inform selection include whether instructors can commit to attending all workshops and whether they are receiving other summer support for course development (for example through programs hosted by OTL and CEILS).

Program Structure & Outcomes

Your work to meet the program’s learning objectives will be supported through five hands-on two-hour workshops held synchronously over Zoom (schedule and details below), as well as resources you can consult asynchronously during and after the program. Each workshop will require approximately one hour of pre-work so that our synchronous time can be devoted to interactivity and engagement.

Revised course materials must be submitted along with a short 1-2 page Teaching Innovation Plan by September 10, 2021 to receive your $1,000 award and certificate of completion. Participants will also be invited to showcase their work in a CAT event.

Workshop Details

Subject to change

Workshop 1: Foundations for Equitable and Effective Course Design

This kick-off workshop provides an opportunity for you to reflect on your experience transitioning courses for remote instruction–with an eye toward identifying strategies to sustain (or borrow from others) and opportunities for adjustment during the upcoming year. This workshop will also guide you through core principles of backwards design, as well as self-reflection and group activities to explore how our identities impact our roles as educators and examine ways that social identity threat and other forms of bias negatively impact students. This workshop will culminate in an action planning activity to help ensure that your individual work in subsequent workshops aligns with goals that are authentic and meaningful for your specific teaching context.

Workshop 2: Interrupting Bias in Course Design

This workshop explores how various forms of bias impact course design, and helps instructors develop skills to interrupt bias when selecting and delivering course content, designing assignments, and planning in-class activities. You will receive structured peer feedback on specific elements of your course design and will leave the workshop with a plan of action for revising your course plan to increase transparency and improve outcomes for all students.

Workshop 3: Scaffolding Instruction to Support Student Learning

In this hands-on workshop, CAT staff and members of the UCLA Library’s Writing Instruction & Research Education (Links to an external site.) team (WI+RE) will introduce you to strategies for supporting students as they develop skills in research, writing, and critical thinking. After reflecting on common and hidden challenges students face, you will work in small groups with peers and librarians to scaffold high stakes assignments and identify equitable and effective strategies for assessing student performance.

Workshop 4: Fostering Student Engagement

This practical session offers a deeper dive into equity-minded, evidence-based strategies for fostering student engagement in courses of any size and in any teaching modality. Our focus is on high-impact teaching practices that offer flexibility and accessibility for students, as well as high crossover utility for instructors–so that you can easily apply what you learn in this workshop when teaching in any modality. You will gain experience with live synchronous polling and scaffolded small group work, as well as strategies for collaboratively annotating documents and drawing more students into small and large group discussions inside and outside of class time.

Workshop 5: From Action Planning to Action

This culminating workshop will provide an opportunity for you to showcase your course design work, receive peer feedback, and strategize with other participants about next steps—including ways to engage your TAs and other members of UCLA’s teaching support community in further developing and implementing your re-envisioned course. CAT facilitators will introduce you to strategies for developing a teaching team contract centered around equity, as well as resources to support your teaching beyond the duration of this institute.