Professional Development for Faculty: Teaching a Workshop on Effective and Innovative Course Design

Barbara J. Tewksbury (Hamilton College) and R. Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary)

Small group discussion at course design workshop

Helping college and university faculty design effective and innovative courses is a challenge for those involved in professional development both in terms of conducting a workshop that is appealing to and effective for faculty with little training in pedagogy and in terms of addressing faculty perceptions about what constitutes an effective and challenging course.

Over the past twelve years, we have developed a workshop that is highly successful in helping faculty to design effective and innovative courses, and this section of our web site outlines our approach and provides materials to enable you to adapt our workshop to your own situation. We ask only that you credit us as the source of the ideas and materials if you adapt or adopt our workshop. If, on the other hand, you are interested in having us do a course design workshop at your institution, please contact Barbara Tewksbury (

Offering your own course design workshop using our approach

Our online tutorial offers a complete version of our course design workshop and contains all of the examples and assignments that we use in our face-to-face workshops. If you are interested in diving right in to learn about our course design approach, you can read a synopsis of our approach to course design, work your way through the online tutorial, and download the workshop documents below, and you'll be ready to adopt or adapt our workshop for your faculty audience.

If you would like more information on the nuts and bolts of what we do and why, plus ways of adapting both the workshop and the online tutorial to alternative formats and schedules, follow the links below:

Go to the tutorial :: About the developers

This workshop 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 .


©2005 On-line Course Design Workshop and Tutorial developed by Dr. Barbara J. Tewksbury (Hamilton College) and Dr. R. Heather Macdonald (College of William and Mary) as part of the program On the Cutting Edge, funded by NSF grant DUE-0127310.