Significant Learning by Design – I

This course is invaluable for anyone who wants to design, or redesign, a course that goes beyond surface-level learning and focuses on long-lasting, significant student learning. We help you tap into your hopes and dreams for your students, and provide practical methods for achieving these goals.

“I’m constantly begging for more time to get things done. However, as I progressed through these activities, I realized that working on a big dream was making me more productive. I instantly had ideas to add to my lesson plans and began to look forward to teaching the course again so that I could make my first day even more impactful.”

– Molly Collins, English Instructor, Tri-County Technical College
  • Two weeks in length
  • Facilitated with personalized feedback at every step
  • Asynchronous format
  • Approximately 20-25 hours to complete
  • Small cohort size
  • Cost: $495/participant
  • Although SDL-II is available, SLD-I may be taken as a single, standalone workshop

Significant Learning by Design-I focuses on a model of course design developed by L. Dee Fink called “Integrated Course Design,” a design process shown to lead to greater student engagement and improved student learning.* The conceptual framework for this online course is based on the first part of Fink’s book, Creating Significant Learning Experiences (Jossey-Bass, Updated Edition, 2013), including how to begin the design process and integrate design elements at the course level. This design process can be applied to face-to-face, blended/hybrid and completely online courses.


In just two weeks, you will create a set of course design documents in which you:

  • Identify situational factors that impact the design of your course
  • Consider the main pedagogical challenge of your course and how you can address it on the first day of class
  • Articulate your overall vision and goals for the significant learning you want students to achieve
  • Identify course-level learning outcomes based on the Taxonomy of Significant Learning
  • Develop learning assessments and learning activities that enable students to achieve your course goals
  • Reflect on your own learning and develop a personal plan for continued learning
  • Receive ongoing feedback from a facilitator and colleagues at every step


In this two-week course you will not only read and view lessons from the author, but apply the principles and materials to a course of your own. This is a facilitated course, with multiple opportunities for interaction and individual feedback on your work from an experienced facilitator and colleagues. The course is offered in an online asynchronous format, there are no required live, real-time web meetings. However, it is NOT self-paced. Active participation is required and specific due dates must be met.


Instructors who have used the principles of Integrated Course Design provided in this workshop in the design of their own courses report greater student engagement, more long-term significant learning, and increased instructor satisfaction in teaching.

“I shared my Big Dream with my class last Thursday and they applauded. Yes, applauded. I really wasn’t expecting that. It was a moment of solidarity and I realized that this is not just my dream, but also their dream. And when the instructor and the students share the same dream, the stage is set for real significant learning.”

– Ted Stokes, Department Head – Engineering Technology

Dr. L. Dee Fink was previously teaching faculty and the founding director of the Instructional Development Program at the University of Oklahoma, Dee currently leads numerous workshops at conferences and on  campuses and serves as a consultant to faculty and institutions in higher education in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. To learn more about Dee and his work, visit:

*For a comprehensive overview of the benefits of Integrated Course Design across multiple disciplines, see New Directions in Teaching and Learning, Vol 2009, Issue 119. Designing courses for significant learning: Voices of experience. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.