Course Design Express

Inspired by our signature Course Design@Queen’s Institute, Course Design Express (CDE) is an abridged program designed to fast track your course planning efforts. You will apply principles of backward design, constructive alignment, and universal design for learning to develop or re-design of one of your courses for the upcoming term.  

As an online alternative to the Institute, Course Design Express is an agile program that has been continually adjusted since its inception in 2020 in response to changing needs of instructors, students, and classroom contexts.  

Upcoming Offerings

Course Design Express Fall Edition
Tuesday October 12 – Friday October 15

Planning your Winter course? Take some time over the Fall break to work on your course plans through Course Design Express. Work at your own pace to engage in short, quick dip activities or take a deeper dive on elements of your course planning – learning outcomes, assessments, and teaching & learning activities, fostering community, and designing your syllabus. The Fall Break Edition includes guided access to onQ modules, as well as opportunity for online synchronous community conversations and one-on-one consultations. Fall Edition Schedule (PDF).

Protect time in your calendar today!

Express Outcomes

Depending on the differentiated route you take through Course Design Express activities, you will be able to:

  • identify situational factors that affect decisions you make in the design process
  • apply principles of backward design to devise a ready-to-implement course plan
  • integrate a learner/ing-focused approach to course design and teaching
  • identify technologies and digital strategies for effectively supporting a remote course delivery plan

Work through guided content that works for you:

Course Design Express is hosted through onQ. The onQ site is divided into themed modules that include synchronous and asynchronous components:

"pool donut in a pool"Quick Dip activities take no more than 20 minutes of your time to complete. They introduce you to key concepts and leaves you with the one or two essential tasks for advancing to your course design.


"view of the surface of the water from underwater"Deep Dive activities take you further into facilitated action on your course design. Jumping off from the Quick Dip, these activities will take you between 30 – 50 minutes to complete. Additional opportunities exist for feedback and one-on-one consultation.


"large pool with a number of people in it photographed from above"Community Pool events are 50-minute, facilitated workshops for participants of Course Design Express hosted live on Zoom at 11:00 am EST each day. Workshops rotate through module themes so that participants can spend dedicated time discussing key aspects of their course design process.


Course Design Express is…

Ultra-Flexible…Prioritize the course design topics and exercises you need to get ready for instruction. Choose from 10-minute overview videos, 50-minute self-directed activities with opportunity for feedback, and synchronous workshops for connection and discussion.

Action-Oriented…make progress on your course. The time you commit to Express will be spent developing your course plan.

Condensed… we’ve condensed our course design program, drawing on lessons learned from 2020, to focus in on the most pressing elements of course design for remote, blended, and altered face-to-face teaching contexts.

Collegial… One of the valuable qualities of Course Design@Queen’s Institute has always been the multi-disciplinary perspectives offered by connecting with others from across campus. Tap into a supportive and collegial environment for receiving inspiration and getting feedback from like-minded instructors.


Participants must….

  • Have access to onQ through their Queen’s Net ID and password
  • Have a course that you would like to design/redesign, regardless of the mode (remote, online, face-to-face, or blended)
  • Have access to the following tools for effective remote participation: computer, speakers, webcam*, and high-speed internet*
    • *both optional but strongly recommended

Why Participate?

  • Engage in a flexible, rapid, and supportive process for effectively preparing for the term ahead
  • Work through a hands-on intensive learning experience to engage a design process that is transferable to all courses
  • Develop a course framework with identified learning outcomes, assessments, learning activities, instructional strategies, and technologies
  • Network and share ideas, challenges, strategies, and questions about teaching, learning and design with others
  • Receive follow-up consultation and support (e.g., onQ, rubric design, etc.)
  • access Express materials and other resources on teaching and learning

"two curvy blocks in different shades of blue"