Centre for Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Centre for Teaching and Learning

Course Design Express

Inspired by our signature Course Design@Queen’s Institute, Course Design Express is an abridged program designed to fast track your course planning efforts. Participants will apply principles of backward design, constructive alignment, and universal design for learning to develop or re-design of one of their courses. Principles of course design will be used to inform all instructional and assessment decision-making.

The Course Design Express workshop is…

Flexible…Express takes 5-6 hours of your time to complete. You choose the timing and pace that works best for you.


Action-Oriented…Make progress on designing your course. The time you commit to Express will be spent developing your course plan. Primary principles of course design, assessment, and instructional methods will be presented; their applications briefly illustrated so that you can work to apply those principles to your course.

Condensed… Given this unprecedented time, we’ve condensed our course design program and focused it on a process for rapid planning and preparation so you can be ready for whatever the Fall term brings.

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.

Express Outcomes and Format

Upon completion of Course Design Express you will have:

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

Soon after registration, participants will receive access to an onQ site. The program officially kicks off on the Monday. Participants will independently work through a series of five flexible blocks in onQ. Each block takes about one hour to complete. Participants are encouraged to work through all five blocks across the week, ending their work by the Friday. Blocks briefly present pertinent principles of course design followed by clear activities for putting those principles to work in designing your course. However, blocks are flexible in that participants can move through materials at their own pace. Various opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous connection and consultation are available as you work – connect with other instructor participants and Educational Developer facilitators to share ideas, give/receive feedback, and refine your plans.

Need more time? If you find you cannot or do not want to dedicate 5-6 hours to completing Express all in one week – no worries! All participants will maintain access to onQ to continue working on their course design at their own pace. Participants will have the opportunity to join in on new cohorts as they commence. Finally, Educational Developers at the Centre for Teaching and Learning remain available for consultation and support beyond the scheduled program.

Synchronous Elements

The synchronous elements of Course Design Express will be at the same time each week. Attendance is not mandatory, these are here to provide opportunities for support and collaboration.

Morning Check-ins:

Monday - Friday, 9:30 - 9:45am

Afternoon Check-ins:

Monday - Friday, 3:30 - 3:45pm

Breakout Group Discussions:

Tuesday, 1:00 - 2:00pm

Thursday, 1:00 - 2:00pm

Show and Share Celebration:

Friday, 1:00 - 2:00pm

*All links to Teams Meetings will be provided through onQ.

Upcoming Offerings

Week of October 19 (Monday October 19 – Friday October 23)
*This offering is intended for Early Career Instructors (Teaching Fellows, first-time Adjuncts, etc.)
Register Now
Week of November 2 (Monday November 2 - Friday November 6)
*This is a general offering, open to all
Register Now



Participants must….

  • complete a short focus-assignment prior to starting Course Design Express
  • have a course that you would like to design/redesign, regardless of the mode (remote, online, face-to-face, or blended)
  • be able to schedule 5-6 hours for completing Express. For the best experience, we recommend scheduling all hours into the week you’ve registered for, however this is flexible
  • 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

Icon References

Flexibility by ultimatearm, Sketchbook by wanicon, Clock by Freepik, and Network by prettycons are all available on Flaticon under a CC-BY licence.