Designing Effective and Innovative Courses

Dave Matty at CD 04

Have you ever said to yourself, "I really should do something about this course, but..."?? This web site is designed to provide practical and effective help for faculty members interested in designing or redesigning a course.

Are you interested in having us offer a course design workshop at your institution? If so, please contact Barbara Tewksbury at

Try Our Online Course Design Tutorial

This tutorial was developed as a web-only version of the popular On the Cutting Edge workshop on effective and innovative course design. While the workshop was originally designed for geoscience faculty, the tutorial provides examples from many disciplines, including those outside the sciences, and offers an easy-to-apply strategy for designing courses in any discipline. A synopsis of the tutorial is available.

For Faculty Developers

We now have a complete description of how we run our course design workshops, including links to all of the materials we use to run our workshops, a detailed schedule, tips for adapting or adopting our workshop format, and suggestions for how to use our course design tutorial with faculty.

Course Goals and Syllabus Database

This database houses a growing collection of course descriptions and syllabi in the geosciences contributed by faculty who have attended the Cutting Edge workshop. The data base also provides access to several complete courses, including activities and assignments.

You may contribute your course description, goals, and syllabus to the database by going to our submission form in Teach the Earth.

Course Design Workshop Websites

Course design workshop for 2012: A virtual workshop held March-October, 2012, Designing Effective and Innovative Courses in Mineralogy, Petrology, and Geochemistry.

The following web sites provide information on Cutting Edge Course Design workshops held in previous years.

2011 Workshop | 2010 Workshop | 2007 Workshop | 2006 Workshop | 2005 workshop | 2004 workshop | 2003 workshop | 2002 workshop

Join the Discussion

Share insight, ask questions or network with other faculty with the email list. The email list link will also provide access to the email list archives or allow you to unsubscribe.

If you have questions about On the Cutting Edge Course Design resources, please contact Barbara Tewksbury (

This material is part of On the Cutting Edge, a professional development program for current and future geoscience faculty. On the Cutting Edge is sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers with funding provided by a grant from the National Science Foundation-Division of Undergraduate Education . On the Cutting Edge is part of the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE).