jmUDESIGN encompasses an array of initiatives designed to guide participants through the instructional design and redesign process. jmUDESIGN begins with an intensive, five-day summer institute followed by optional, on-demand consultations. The summer institute will provide participants with the skills, knowledge, and support necessary to foster a learner-centered environment. 

During jmUDESIGN, a diverse team of experienced facilitators will assist participants in the principles, methods, and strategies of backward design and course alignment. Each phase of the facilitation process is designed to model diverse pedagogical principles, ranging from learner-centered teaching to feedback and assessment. Participants are placed in a small-group learning community for the duration of the institute, allowing for rich exchange and collaboration among peers.

Consultation Opportunities for jmUDESIGN 2019

The application period for the 2019 cohort has closed.

In addition to the core jmUDESIGN curriculum, our team of facilitators offer opportunities for one-on-one consultations to brainstorm and share their expertise. Facilitators are prepared to offer guidance in the following areas, as well as others that may emerge during the consultation: 

  • Civic Engagement. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) recently named civic engagement a core competency, given the importance of preparing students for active and effective citizenship. We will support instructors interested in embedding civic learning and democratic engagement into new or existing courses.
  • Community College Teaching. These discussions will focus on teaching at the community college level. Come together with instructors from around the state to design courses that are mindful of the unique situational factors associated with community college teaching.
  • Access and Inclusion. Learn key principles about designing learning environments that reflect best practices from the literature on inclusive teaching. These practices include questions of access, for example, with respect to ability, transparency of course requirements and standards, and inclusion of frequently marginalized but relevant perspectives in the course materials.
  • STEM. Instructors in STEM disciplines often express concerns about how learner-centered teaching will impact the coverage of content. These discussions may focus on the evidence supporting learner-centered teaching in these fields and how to balance the factors involved.
  • General Education. General Education courses provide opportunities to bring together students from a diverse range of backgrounds and interests. Instructors who teach these courses, including JMU’s 300-level Integrative Courses, will have the opportunity to discuss strategies and situational factors relating to these classroom environments.
Outcomes for jmUDESIGN participants
  • Designing instruction that aligns learning objectives, assessments, and activities;
  • Articulating and justifying design and pedagogical choices; 
  • Fostering relationships among colleagues across disciplines, colleges, and ranks;
  • Appreciating pedagogy—the art and science of teaching and learning—as a significant higher education endeavor;
  • Identifying factors that influence pedagogical choices;
  • Creating assignments and/or courses that support higher-level learning (deep learning);
  • Designing and offering courses or curricula that align learning objectives, assessment, and learning activities;
  • Articulating how current pedagogical choices reflect disciplinary norms; and
  • Integrating knowledge of student development models in teaching philosophies and practice.
2019 Lead Facilitators
2019 Group Learning Facilitators
  • Indigo Eriksen, M.F.A., English, Northern Virginia Community College
  • Joi Merritt, Ph.D., Early Elementary & Reading Education
  • Joshua Streeter, M.F.A., Theatre Education
  • Emma Thacker, Ph.D., Early Elementary & Reading Education
  • Matthew Trybus, M.Ed., Learning Centers
Partners/Sponsors 2019

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