Teaching Sprints


Teaching Sprints are a unique opportunity for faculty and instructors to (re)design a course or portions of a course for improved learning outcomes and student experience in an intensive and supported 4-day program, June 8-11, 2020. Participating instructors will have the opportunity to make significant progress on course design with the support they need to make their ideas a reality.

Course (re)designs are all different, and each project will be unique and tailored to the needs of the course. Among other things, instructors could use the Sprint to:

  • (re)design their syllabus
  • identify new or additional course content or readings
  • develop or revise assignments or lesson plans
  • create learning modules, videos or other digital assets
  • (re)design a course website

Participants will be chosen based on a proposal describing their course, the proposed project and rationale for redesign, and indicating specific areas of support. 

Eligibility Requirements

This program is available to people across the University of Minnesota system with primary responsibility for teaching a course (i.e. instructor of record). Participants must be available to attend the entirety of the Sprint on the Twin Cities campus and are responsible for their own travel costs. The revised or new course/course elements must be taught during the 2020-21 academic year.

Sprint Format

The Teaching Sprints will be hosted over 4 days (June 8-11, 2020), during which the majority of the work will be completed. In-person support will be provided by Teaching Support units, including the Libraries, Academic Technology Support Services, Center for Educational Innovation and Disability Resource Center. Depending on each projects’ needs, we will bring in consultants from other units with relevant expertise (e.g. Center for Writing, unit-level academic technologists, etc).

Selected instructors will meet with an assigned project coordinator prior to the Sprint to review any current versions of course materials, further define the project’s desired outcomes and determine what support will be needed during the Sprint. The project coordinator will assist the instructor by managing the Sprint, determining goals and logistics for the Sprint. 

Lunch and snacks will be provided during each day of the Sprint.

Proposal Requirements

Prepare a proposal using this proposal template, which contains specific instructions for each required element:

  • a description of the course related to this project
  • a project description including your rationale for the project, what the project is, the expected project outcome(s) from the Sprint and desired support during the Sprint
  • a description of how your project would positively impact student learning and/or experience

 The revised or new course/course elements must be taught during the 2019-20 academic year.

After completing your proposal, submit it using this submission form.

Deadline for Proposals

March 15, 2020

Selection Criteria

Projects will be selected based on:

  • Positive impact on student learning or learning experience
  • Feasibility of the project considering the scope of the project and format of the Sprint
  • Strength and clarity of proposal 
  • Preference given to allow for representation from across the U of M system
  • Preference given to projects that will impact a credit-bearing course

Reporting/Dissemination Requirements 

After the Sprints end, the participants will submit copies of the (re)designed materials (syllabus, assignments, lesson plans, etc) and after implementation, they will be asked to submit a brief summary with its outcomes and lessons learned. 

In addition, project participants are encouraged to disseminate their results by sharing information about their project in meaningful ways to colleagues (e.g. distribute write-up of results, share teaching resources, present at a faculty meeting) and/or contributing to TeachingSupport@UMN resources (e.g. web resource or narrative, video, workshop/panel presenter). 


Contact Teaching Support (teachingsupport@umn.edu) or Mariya Gyendina (mgyendin@umn.edu) for further information or questions.


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