An emergent exploration of critical instructional design.

The AI Challenge

A new, flexible, self-paced module on artificial intelligence. Learn about the fundamentals of generative AI as well as how to teach with, against, and about GENAI. 

About Design Forward

Design Forward (DF) is a holistic faculty development program that supports a community-based exploration of the intentional design of teaching and learning. DF incorporates the values and approaches of critical pedagogy, which sees teaching as inherently intertwined with social justice. At its core, Design Forward emphasizes faculty ownership and autonomy to develop flexible and custom learning experiences; meaningful partnership and collaboration with instructional designers and other academic-adjacent staff; and a thoughtful consideration of learning across different modalities, technologies, and institutional structures. And DF is centrally concerned with the human care of students, faculty, and staff in teaching and learning.

black and white drawing of two hands cupped together, offering a bunch of beans

Design Forward is centrally concerned with the human care of students, faculty, and staff in teaching and learning.

black and white drawing of a swooping bird

Design Forward focuses on equipping faculty to develop into confident, agile, and adaptive designers of teaching and learning.

The Modules

Design Forward is organized into eleven modules. The entry points  are the One-on-One and Orientation modules, which introduce faculty to the DF approach and inventory faculty prior experience and personal goals.

From there, we encourage participants to explore the standard DF modules that more deeply explore teaching and design; these modules focus on issues of care and equity, moving between and among modalities, and approaches to incorporating digital tools and technology.

Finally, DF includes a flexible module component that allows us to use the architecture and approach of Design Forward to tackle strategic, institutional goals or special topics. Rather than certifying single courses, Design Forward focuses on equipping faculty to develop into confident, agile, and adaptive designers of teaching and learning.

The Workbook

The Design Forward Workbook is an exploratory notebook and journal, designed to accompany the DF curriculum. Some workbook activities are formally introduced in specific modules; others are simply available for further exploration by participants. 

Cover Page of DF Workbook

Design Forward in Context

The original Design Forward program and curriculum was developed by the Open Learning and Teaching Collaborative at Plymouth State University, and when offered there is inflected by PSU’s unique cluster learning model. However, DF is imagined as a program that can be offered in many different institutional contexts.  Other institutions are free to use and modify DF to match their own unique institutional needs, opportunities, and challenges.