Redesigning 101: How and Why to Redesign Foundational Courses Michelle Miller Associate Professor and Director of the Cour...
Consider your  large, lower-level  courses.  What problems do you typically face?
What strategies have you used (successfully or not) to address these challenges?
You’re not alone:  Large foundational courses are challenging! <ul><li>A 2007 Associate Press article characterized these ...
Course Redesign <ul><li>National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT;  www.thencat.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>What it is...
Examples <ul><li>ASU,  Women in Society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems:  High demand; lack of personalized feedback; lack ...
The “how-to” of successful redesign <ul><li>Principles of redesign: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redesign the whole course </li><...
How do you hold costs down? <ul><li>Increase class size </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But: Offsetting the impact on the student ex...
What successful projects have in common <ul><li>Incremental phase-in with avenues for assessment and fine-tuning  </li></u...
How this played out in NAU’s Intro to Psychology <ul><li>Problems:  High demand; poor grades; low engagement and time on t...
Consider the following… <ul><li>Each scenario describes a course that’s plagued with the typical problems you see in lower...
Consider  online and hybrid  courses.  What problems would you face in developing or teaching these?
Ideas for how to solve the problems?
Further ideas to consider… <ul><li>Announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Graded, mandatory orientation module </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Logistics of redesign <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining and “marketing...
Consider: What is the payoff of a successful redesign?
Where to find help: <ul><li>  Online Instructional Resources Center </li></ul><ul><li>Ask an elearning Developer </li></ul...
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Redesigning 101 Workshop

  1. 1. Redesigning 101: How and Why to Redesign Foundational Courses Michelle Miller Associate Professor and Director of the Course Redesign Team NAU
  2. 2. Consider your large, lower-level courses. What problems do you typically face?
  3. 3. What strategies have you used (successfully or not) to address these challenges?
  4. 4. You’re not alone: Large foundational courses are challenging! <ul><li>A 2007 Associate Press article characterized these courses as “broken” </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread criticism of lecture-heavy, passive-learning design </li></ul><ul><li>Similar problems found across disciplines, types of institution, geographical region… </li></ul><ul><li>May contribute to attrition </li></ul><ul><li>These consume a large share of faculty and institutional resources </li></ul>
  5. 5. Course Redesign <ul><li>National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT; www.thencat.org ) </li></ul><ul><li>What it is: Improve learning outcomes while reducing cost, using techniques such as instructional technology and reorganization </li></ul><ul><li>What it isn’t: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Moving courses to the web (necessarily) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phasing out full-time faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More work, same compensation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A new teaching technique </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Examples <ul><li>ASU, Women in Society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems: High demand; lack of personalized feedback; lack of critical thinking component; poor grades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solutions: ULA/GTA led sections; peer mentoring; online auto-graded quizzing; small-group online discussions; experiential assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U of A, General Chemistry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problems: Lecture-lab coordination; “discussion” sections >100 students; passive learning; low student skills and lack of support; excess demands on faculty time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solutions: Common exams and course materials; coordinated planning; GTA-led discussion sections integrated with lab; online simulations; improved lab exercises emphasizing active learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>NAU, Introduction to Psychology </li></ul>
  7. 7. The “how-to” of successful redesign <ul><li>Principles of redesign: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Redesign the whole course </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Note need for collaboration and consensus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individualized assistance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ongoing assessment & prompt feedback </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technology </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasize time on task; monitor progress </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Freshmen don’t do optional” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Evidence-based, goal-driven </li></ul><ul><li>Models for redesign </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supplemental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replacement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emporium </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buffet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linked workshop </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How do you hold costs down? <ul><li>Increase class size </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But: Offsetting the impact on the student experience? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Decrease time demands </li></ul><ul><li>Reorganize staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Note: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For large/complex cost analyses, NCAT’s Course Planning Tool spreadsheets are useful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens to cost savings? </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What successful projects have in common <ul><li>Incremental phase-in with avenues for assessment and fine-tuning </li></ul><ul><li>Support and buy-in at the department and college level </li></ul><ul><li>Avoidance of too much time spent on materials creation </li></ul><ul><li>Redesigning all sections of the course </li></ul>
  10. 10. How this played out in NAU’s Intro to Psychology <ul><li>Problems: High demand; poor grades; low engagement and time on task; poor attendance; faculty time used excessively and inefficiently </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions: Supplemental redesign; increase section size and bring in coordinator; team-teaching; student response system; experiential web assignments; repeatable online quizzes on textbook chapters prior to coverage in class </li></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure rate is comparable to lowest pre-redesign rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased effort to achieve grade </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changed pattern of D and F grades </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-post learning measure unchanged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exam grades significantly and substantially improved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>90% taught by full time faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost reduction supports undergraduate research experience </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Consider the following… <ul><li>Each scenario describes a course that’s plagued with the typical problems you see in lower-level courses. What would you do to address these problems? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Consider online and hybrid courses. What problems would you face in developing or teaching these?
  13. 13. Ideas for how to solve the problems?
  14. 14. Further ideas to consider… <ul><li>Announcements </li></ul><ul><li>Graded, mandatory orientation module </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expectations regarding hardware, synchronous/asynchronous, time commitment, excuses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use tracking function </li></ul><ul><li>Link, don’t build </li></ul><ul><li>Consider a content template </li></ul><ul><li>Be sure students know: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where to start </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What your role is in the class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Whether they are ahead or behind </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other ideas: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer novelty and change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider borrowing from games (M. Dickey) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay focused on the big picture </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Logistics of redesign <ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explaining and “marketing” the project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making class time participatory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting reading, critical skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upfront costs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Blind alleys </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Optional resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Studios, conferences, and online office hours </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Breakout sessions? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gadget-driven design </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Consider: What is the payoff of a successful redesign?
  17. 17. Where to find help: <ul><li>  Online Instructional Resources Center </li></ul><ul><li>Ask an elearning Developer </li></ul><ul><li>thencat.org </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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