Problems: Lecture-lab coordination; “discussion” sections >100 students; passive learning; low student skills and lack of support; excess demands on faculty time
Solutions: Common exams and course materials; coordinated planning; GTA-led discussion sections integrated with lab; online simulations; improved lab exercises emphasizing active learning
NAU, Introduction to Psychology
The “how-to” of successful redesign
Principles of redesign:
Redesign the whole course
Note need for collaboration and consensus
Ongoing assessment & prompt feedback
Emphasize time on task; monitor progress
“ Freshmen don’t do optional”
Models for redesign
How do you hold costs down?
Increase class size
But: Offsetting the impact on the student experience?
Decrease time demands
For large/complex cost analyses, NCAT’s Course Planning Tool spreadsheets are useful
What happens to cost savings?
What successful projects have in common
Incremental phase-in with avenues for assessment and fine-tuning
Support and buy-in at the department and college level
Avoidance of too much time spent on materials creation
Redesigning all sections of the course
How this played out in NAU’s Intro to Psychology
Problems: High demand; poor grades; low engagement and time on task; poor attendance; faculty time used excessively and inefficiently
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
Failure rate is comparable to lowest pre-redesign rates
Increased effort to achieve grade
Changed pattern of D and F grades
Pre-post learning measure unchanged
Exam grades significantly and substantially improved
90% taught by full time faculty
Cost reduction supports undergraduate research experience
Consider the following…
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?
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…
Graded, mandatory orientation module
Expectations regarding hardware, synchronous/asynchronous, time commitment, excuses
Use tracking function
Link, don’t build
Consider a content template
Be sure students know:
Where to start
What your role is in the class
Whether they are ahead or behind
Offer novelty and change
Consider borrowing from games (M. Dickey)
Stay focused on the big picture
Logistics of redesign
Explaining and “marketing” the project
Making class time participatory
Promoting reading, critical skills
Studios, conferences, and online office hours
Consider: What is the payoff of a successful redesign?