Redesigning 101 Workshop

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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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