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The Learning MarketSpace, October 2010

A quarterly electronic newsletter of the National Center for Academic Transformation highlighting ongoing examples of redesigned learning environments using technology and examining issues related to their development and implementation.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

THE CAT VIEWPOINT

WHAT'S NEW

CHANGING THE EQUATION

CENTER CHRONICLES

COLLEAGUES COMMITTED TO REDESIGN (C2R)

THE REDESIGN ALLIANCE

REDESIGN SCHOLARS PROGRAM

CORPORATE CONNECTIONS

COMMON GROUND

SUBSCRIPTIONS, SUBMISSIONS, ARCHIVES, REPOSTING

THE CAT VIEWPOINT

Offering perspectives on issues and developments at the nexus of higher education and information
technology.

The State of Course Redesign: An NCHEMS Assessment

The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) has conducted an external evaluation of a three-and-a-half-year (2007 – 2010) FIPSE-funded project undertaken by the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT). What follows is an excerpt from that evaluation.

The basic objective of the FIPSE-funded project was to promote widespread adoption of redesigned high-enrollment introductory college courses using tools and methods based on two earlier NCAT redesign projects—the Program in Course Redesign (PCR) funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Roadmap to Redesign (R2R) funded by FIPSE.  Both prior projects were successful in a) demonstrating the feasibility of redesigning such courses to yield improved student learning at reduced cost and, b) creating a wide array of standard planning and implementation tools that could be effectively used by campus teams to undertake such redesigns.  

The most recent FIPSE-funded project had two major features.

  • The Colleagues Committed to Redesign (C2R) program involved three rounds of course redesigns undertaken by campus teams in a particular course in a particular discipline. A total of 40 institutions participated in this component, 13 of which withdrew or were dropped from the project. Two institutions redesigned two separate courses, yielding a total of 29 redesign projects.  The most frequent subjects for redesign were in mathematics, statistics, and computer science with a total of 14 courses, followed by humanities with eight courses, natural sciences with five courses and social sciences with two courses. Experienced advisors were made available to the C2R participants in the form of Redesign Scholars in multiple disciplines (psychology, mathematics, statistics, biology, physical science, and foreign languages), who were faculty and administrators experienced in course redesign in those disciplines through PCR and R2R.
  • The Redesign Alliance was created as a permanent, self-supporting entity intended to serve as an umbrella organization for redesign projects at the state and institutional level.  The Redesign Alliance has institutional, organizational and corporate members and holds conferences, seminars and workshops to disseminate practice. 

The FIPSE project provided a number of important lessons to further inform large-course redesign—lessons that continue to be used by NCAT in its subsequent project, Changing the Equation, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in developmental mathematics.  Among these lessons were the following:

NCAT’s redesign methodology is mature and reliable in achieving results.

More than ten years of experience with NCAT’s basic methodology, proven in scores of courses in different disciplines in different institutional settings, has resulted in an approach to redesign that can reliably produce positive academic outcomes at reduced costs. NCAT’s leadership reported, “at this point, we can say with certainty what works in redesigning mathematics and, to a certain extent, in foreign languages.” Steadily increasing numbers of success stories in psychology, humanities and the sciences are adding confidence to the conclusion that the redesign methods will work for any faculty team that “follows the rules” faithfully and that is located in a campus setting where the basic readiness criteria are met. 

This does not mean that they will pull off a successful redesign without difficulties. C2R campuses experienced some of the same mixed pilot results as their colleagues in the two preceding projects. And, like those who went before, most of them had to learn lessons for themselves rather than simply trusting the approach to work as directed. But the results of C2R emphasize the soundness of the basic NCAT approach and suggest that any willing campus can apply it to an appropriate course with confidence.

It is possible to streamline application of the basic redesign methodology even further.

NCAT’s R2R project demonstrated the feasibility of codifying the application of redesign through the use of common tools and templates like the six redesign models, the institutional readiness criteria, and the Course Planning Tool. These tools also proved effective in C2R. But experience in the later project also demonstrated that it was possible to simplify things even further. For example, changes have been made in the way costs and savings are estimated from the detailed activity-based cost analyses contained in the Course Planning Tool to a more aggregated approach to documenting course costs in NCAT’s Changing the Equation program. This has considerably alleviated the work involved in planning for redesign. 

Similarly, there has been a steady evolution of knowledge about which redesign models work best for which disciplines. For example, the Emporium Model is the most common approach in mathematics, as illustrated in the current project, Changing the Equation. Similarly, the Replacement Model appears to work best in foreign language instruction. These further refinements to the basic planning methodology, plus more practice in using them, meant further gains in the efficiency with which redesigns can be accomplished.

The supporting infrastructure for redesign put in place through the FIPSE project has been extremely effective.

In R2R and PCR, the center of gravity of project activity was at the institutional level.  Each redesign was designed and implemented more or less one at a time, albeit with considerable and growing help from project personnel and a steadily expanding array of redesign tools.  Indeed, one lesson of R2R, noted in the external evaluation report, was the need for concrete mechanisms to support inter-project collaboration.  Through the annual redesign conferences, the disciplinary institutes, and an expanded network of Redesign Scholars, the project considerably increased the infrastructure available to support redesign at the participating campuses and expanded access to all institutions.

Testimony of participants in the Redesign Alliance conferences and C2R disciplinary institutes showed these events to be an unqualified success, at least in terms of perceived outcomes. The fact that so many attendees reported that they have redesigns planned or under way (though we have no information about the quality of these efforts) also suggests that they have been effective in stimulating action.

The other infrastructure component of C2R, the Redesign Scholars, has also proven a major success.  This project expanded the network of experienced faculty prepared to assist campuses beyond R2R, and the Scholars gained considerably more experience in functioning in partnership with NCAT staff. As a result, they were able to operate more independently in providing assistance than in R2R. The fact that access to the Scholars was built into the redesign process undertaken by C2R campuses from the outset meant that such contact was far more likely to occur.  Reported satisfaction with the advice provided by Redesign Scholars by participating campuses, as well as the successful outcomes of their projects, provides solid evidence that these individuals can meaningfully supplement the activities of NCAT staff.  The latter report themselves “pretty happy with these results,” and plan to more than double the size of the pool of Redesign Scholars in the coming years.

These infrastructure developments signal the transition of NCAT from a demonstration mode—with the objective to show how redesign can be accomplished successfully and the gains in learning and cost savings that can be realized—to a broader developmental role—with the objective to provide resources to a wider range of institutions that are undertaking redesigns outside the confines of a formal project.

Institutions are embracing redesign more readily as they face budget shortfalls.

Pilot results for C2R participants were no better than those achieved by participants in R2R and, in some cases, they were worse. Yet virtually all the 29 projects plan to go immediately to full implementation and some are reporting that they have no intention of going back. As noted, this is largely because of the cost savings achieved by the redesigns. Both PCR and R2R were to some extent dogged by faculty complaints that “this is just about saving money.”  In C2R, participants appeared to welcome the fact that the redesign saved money. This is probably attributable to the fact that saving money in current budgetary conditions is more important than ever. 

When NCAT began its work more than a decade ago, getting more for less in higher education did not appear to be necessary, so redesign efforts were frequently viewed with suspicion.  Now, they are a necessary condition for serving more students with fewer resources—a situation recognized by the several state systems of higher education that have sought NCAT’s assistance.  In short, redesign is now broadly recognized in the policy community as a major tool for confronting the future.

NCAT is now engaged in a project entitled Changing the Equation, centered on redesign in developmental mathematics courses at the nation’s community colleges. As it does so, it is making good use of all the lessons learned in C2R, as well as those amassed through the preceding demonstrations, R2R and PCR.  The infrastructure of meetings, tools, and consultants put in place in all three of these projects, but for the most part launched and tested in C2R, also marks the transition of the NCAT’s role to broader institutional and policy support for course redesign. This new role is important and will be badly needed in higher education’s anticipated operating environment for the next decade.

--The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)

WHAT'S NEW

Featuring updates and announcements from the Center.

President Obama Cites Course Redesign as Key to College Completion

President Obama made a major speech on higher education on August 9, 2010, in Austin, TX. In that speech, he said:

“The third part of our strategy is making sure every student completes their course of studies. I want everybody to think about this. Over a third of America's college students and over half of our minority students don't earn a degree, even after six years. So we don't just need to open the doors of college to more Americans; we need to make sure they stick with it through graduation. That is critical.

And that means looking for some of the best models out there. There are community colleges like Tennessee's Cleveland State that are redesigning remedial math courses and boosting not only student achievement but also graduation rates. And we ought to make a significant investment to help other states pick up on some of these models.
 
So we've got to lift graduation rates. We've got to prepare our graduates to succeed in this economy. We've got to make college more affordable. That's how we'll put a higher education within reach for anybody who is willing to work for it. That's how we'll reach our goal of once again leading the world in college graduation rates by the end of this decade. That's how we'll lead the global economy in this century, just like we did in the last century.”

Congratulations, Cleveland State!

To learn more about Cleveland State’s redesign of its developmental and college-level math courses, see Carol Twigg’s article, “Increasing Success in Developmental Math: Following the NCAT Playbook” and http://theNCAT.org/States/TN/Abstracts/CSCC%20Algebra_Abstract.htm for a full project description.

Missouri Governor Holds Higher Education Summit and Considers Redesign

As institutions and state governments grapple with budget cuts and rising tuitions, NCAT redesigns continue to generate interest across the United States. On August 17, 2010, Governor Jay Nixon hosted a Higher Education Summit in Jefferson City, MO, to develop a new agenda for higher education. After greeting participants, he described his higher education agenda to education leaders. From the outset, the message was straightforward: Prepare for more budget cuts.

The governor's first higher education summit drew a who's who of academic leaders in Missouri, bringing together leaders of the state's four-year and two-year colleges—public and private—along with provosts, faculty members and governing board members from most of the state's 35 public and 23 private institutions. Linda Luebbering, Missouri State Budget Director, opened with a presentation of the state’s budget situation. "We know there's not going to be more money. So what can you do to improve efficiencies?" Governor Nixon agreed: “The bottom line is clear: We're going to need to roll up our sleeves and find new ways to become even more efficient in the delivery of higher quality education.”

To that end, the governor invited two national higher education innovators to share ideas about what he called an "agile, aggressive response to the changing demands of higher education." Carol Twigg, NCAT president, focused on ways to better incorporate technology into introductory, large-enrollment courses, while Dewayne Matthews, vice president for policy and strategy at Lumina Foundation, highlighted ways to boost the state's economy by increasing the number of college graduates. The four-year public institutions in Missouri have already held a follow-up meeting on October 25-26, 2010, entitled “Statewide Workshop on Academic Transformation and Collaboration: Reimagining Higher Education in Missouri” to consider next steps. To see the speaker slides and a video of the Governor’s Summit, see http://www.dhe.mo.gov/SummitSpeakers.htm

Tennessee Board of Regents Study Concludes Redesign Students Twice as Likely to Succeed

During spring 2009, the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Office of Academic Affairs conducted a research study to evaluate the effect of pre-college math course redesign at Cleveland State Community College (CSCC). The researchers asked the following questions: 1) After controlling for race, gender, ACT math score, and the pre-college course, what is the impact of Cleveland State’s redesign of elementary and intermediate algebra on recent high school graduates? 2) Within the model, what are the effects of the controlling variables of race, gender, and ACT math score, and pre-college course?

Using a sample of 864 recent high school graduates who placed into a pre-college math course at CSCC, the study followed two sets of Elementary Algebra and Intermediate Algebra students. One set of students enrolled in fall 2006 and spring 2007 prior to the redesign in spring 2008.The other set of students enrolled in redesigned courses in fall 2008 and spring 2009. Using data from the Banner system, the study looked at a subset of each group who successfully completed elementary and intermediate algebra with grades of A, B, C or Satisfactory or Pass and followed students who then moved to a college-level math course.

The five predictor variables were redesign course indicator, pre-college course type, gender, under-represented minority indicator, and ACT math score. These are important because they evaluate the impact of the redesign courses while controlling for gender and race, pre-college course type (elementary or intermediate algebra) and ACT math score.

The study concluded, “The redesign format has a positive and strong impact on the success in the pre-college course. The odds ratio, or Exp(B), equals two. This means that a student in a redesign course is twice as likely to receive a grade that would allow them to move on to the next course than a student in a course before the redesign (Grade = A, B, C, P, or S). The redesign format has a positive and strong impact on the success in the next course. As in the pre-college course, a student entering the next course is twice as likely to receive a grade of A, B, C, P, or S as a student from a course before the redesign.”

No wonder President Obama cited Cleveland State!

International Symposium on the Quality Agenda for Online Learning

On September 10-11, 2010, Carolyn Jarmon, NCAT Vice President, participated in an invitational symposium co-sponsored by the International Council on Distance Education (ICDE) and the Campus Alberta Quality Council in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Led by Frits Pannekoek, president of ICDE and Athabasca University, the group discussed topics important to online learning including student expectations, motivational engagement, student support and academic integrity. The group included experts from Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Norway. The symposium staff will generate a summary report, and the ideas generated will serve as a basis for the development of criteria for quality guidelines.

CHANGING THE EQUATION

Engaging the nation’s community colleges in a successful redesign of their developmental math sequences.

NCAT Selects 38 Institutions to Participate in Changing the Equation

The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) is pleased to announce that 38 two-year institutions have been selected to participate in Changing the Equation, a new program focused on redesigning remedial/developmental math supported by a $2.3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Institutions participating in the program will improve student learning outcomes while reducing costs for both students and institutions using NCAT's proven redesign methodology. Collectively, these 38 redesigns will impact more than 120,000 students annually.
 
Each participant in Changing the Equation will redesign its entire developmental math sequence--all sections of all developmental courses offered--using NCAT's Emporium Model and commercially available instructional software.  Each redesign will modularize the curriculum, allowing students to progress through the developmental course sequence at a faster pace if possible or at a slower pace if necessary, spending the amount of time needed to master the course content. Institutions will pilot their redesign plans in spring 2011 and fully implement their plans in fall 2011.

The following institutions have been selected to participate: Anne Arundel Community College, Bowling Green Technical College, Cecil College, College of Central Florida, Cochise College, Cossatot Community College of the University of Arkansas, Cumberland County College, Dakota College at Bottineau, Delgado Community College, Genesee Community College, Guilford Technical Community College, Hazard Community and Technical College, Heartland Community College, Henderson Community College, Iowa Western Community College, Laramie County Community College, Leeward Community College, Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, Manchester Community College, Mercer County Community College, Mesabi Range Community and Technical College, Miami Dade College, Mid-State Technical College, Mountwest Community &Technical College, Nashville State Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, Northwest-Shoals Community College, Northwest State Community College, Oakton Community College, Pearl River Community College, Robeson Community College, Somerset Community College, Stark State College of Technology, Volunteer State Community College, Washington State Community College (OH), West Kentucky Community and Technical College, West Virginia University at Parkersburg, and Wilbur Wright College.

Congratulations to all!

CENTER CHRONICLES

Featuring initiatives to scale course redesign through state- and system-wide redesign programs.

Impressive Cost Reduction achieved in Mississippi Redesign Initiative

From September 2007 to September 2010, NCAT conducted a program in course redesign in partnership with the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) called the IHL Course Redesign Initiative. That program has now successfully concluded. The results achieved by the initiative were impressive, especially considering that the first semester of full implementation occurred during a time of severe budget crisis. The redesigns impacted approximately 15,000 students. Seven of the 15 projects demonstrated improved student learning as measured by direct comparisons of content mastery; six produced learning equivalent to the traditional format. In two projects, student learning outcomes decreased, though these decreases were not significant. Course completion rates (as measured by a final grade of C or better), in general, showed no difference or declined. These differences, again, were not significant or can be attributed to possible grade inflation in prior offerings of the courses. All projects reduced their instructional costs—on average by 34%. The annual savings for the 15 projects was $765,267. All of the redesigns will definitely be sustained.

The following teams fully implemented their redesigns in fall 2009: Alcorn State University: College Algebra, Delta State University: College Algebra; Jackson State University: College Algebra; Mississippi State University: Biology, Survey of Chemistry I, Statics and Elementary Statistics: Mississippi University for Women: College Algebra and Intermediate Algebra; Mississippi Valley State University: Intermediate Algebra; University of Southern Mississippi: First-Year Spanish, Intermediate Algebra, Introduction to Computing, Nutrition, Psychology and Technical Writing.

For a more detailed analysis of these results, see http://www.theNCAT.org/States/MS/MS%20Outcomes.htm. For more information about the initiative, contact Al Rankins, IHL Assistant Commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs, at arankins@ihl.state.ms.us.  

SUNY Redesign Initiative Produces Strong Outcomes

From June 2007 to June 2010, NCAT partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) on a course redesign program called the SUNY Course Redesign Initiative. The results achieved by the initiative were very strong. The redesigns impacted approximately 5,000 students. Four of the eight projects demonstrated improved student learning as measured by direct comparisons of content mastery. Two of the remaining four produced learning equivalent to the traditional format. The assessment results of the remaining two were unclear due to problems with the instruments (but each showed increased completion.) Five of the eight projects improved course completion rates (as measured by a final grade of C or better). One showed a completion rate equivalent to the traditional format. Completion rates in two projects declined. Seven of the eight projects reduced their instructional costs—on average by 35%, and two projects saved more than originally projected. (One project was not able to carry out its cost savings plan due to a state-imposed hiring freeze.) The annual savings for the eight projects was $534,655. All eight of the redesigns will definitely be sustained after the grant period is over.

The following teams fully implemented their redesigns in fall 2009: Buffalo State College: The Economic System; SUNY Canton: Introduction to Biology; SUNY Fredonia: First-Year Spanish; Niagara County Community College: Introduction to Statistics; SUNY College at Old Westbury: College Algebra; SUNY at Oswego: College Algebra; SUNY at Potsdam: European and U.S. History; and, Stony Brook University: Physics for Life Sciences. For a more detailed analysis of these results, see  http://www.theNCAT.org/States/NY/SUNY%20Outcomes.html. For more information, contact Sharon Gallagher Senior Staff Associate, Provost Office, SUNY System Administration, at Sharon.Gallagher@suny.edu

COLLEAGUES COMMITTED TO REDESIGN (C2R)

Featuring progress reports and outcomes achieved by the C2R program.

NCHEMS Evaluates C2R

The National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) has conducted a detailed evaluation of the Colleagues Committed to Redesign (C2R) program as part of the overall evaluation of the FIPSE project described above. Master evaluation questions addressed are: 1) how successful was the C2R project in soliciting widespread interest and engagement in course redesign? 2) how effective were the Redesign Scholars in working with novice members of C2R? 3) how effective were the planning and redesign tools used by the C2R campuses in planning and executing their redesigns? 4) did C2R members replicate the experiences of PCR and R2R in creating redesigns that resulted in better student learning at reduced cost? 5) are the resulting redesigns becoming institutionalized at participating campuses; have they led to the redesign of other courses? NCHEMS staff surveyed and interviewed C2R participants as well as NCAT staff and Redesign Scholars. The report calls particular attention to the value of the Redesign Scholars, saying, “The Redesign Scholar model has proven to be an unqualified success.” The evaluation concludes, “Taken together, C2R results on institutionalization are a bit stronger than those experienced in a prior FIPSE-funded program, R2R, and far stronger with regard to generalization.  This—together with the fact that current fiscal conditions suggest greater institutional interest in generating cost savings—suggests that a take-off point for the NCAT redesign approach has been reached at many campuses.” To read the full report, visit http://theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/C2R/C2R_Lessons.html.  A chart summarizing the learning improvement and cost reduction results for all C2R projects is also available at http://theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/C2R/C2R_SavingsSummary.html.

THE REDESIGN ALLIANCE

Featuring updates from the Alliance, a member organization of institutions, organizations and companies committed to and experienced with large-scale course redesign.

NCAT Redesigns the Redesign Alliance Annual Conference

In view of the dismal budget situations that are projected in higher education for the near future, NCAT plans to suspend the Redesign Alliance Annual Conference for at least two years. During that period, we will replace the conference with a series of more affordable options for campuses and companies. In essence, we want to apply the principles of redesign to the conference–-i.e., to serve more people at a reduced cost.

We will replace the conference with a series of smaller seminars and workshops that are less expensive for all participants. We will hold at least six events each year and keep the registration fees at cost, organizing these events around the “pieces” of the conference—i.e., disciplinary clusters, sector meetings and “hot topics in course redesign.” Our plans for the first four events of the coming year are described below. We welcome your suggestions for topics and foci for future events.

December 2010 Getting Started Seminar in Baltimore, MD

People frequently ask us, “How can our institution get started on course redesign? What should we do first?” The Redesign Alliance and The University System of Maryland (USM) are co-sponsoring Getting Started on Course Redesign, a seminar for those who are thinking about beginning a redesign project. The day-long event will be held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Technology Center in Baltimore, MD, on December 3, 2010.

The seminar will provide participants the opportunity to learn about how redesign efforts have begun at both four- and two-year institutions and how these initial redesigns has spread to other departments on campus. Representatives from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Northeast State Community College will share their experiences with initiating course redesigns. Participants will learn about the issues they faced and how they resolved problems that arose. The agenda includes plenty of time for discussion, including an interactive exercise to help attendees think about how to get started.

The registration fees, which cover lunch and breaks, are $100 for Redesign Alliance members and $150 for attendees whose institutions and companies are not members of the Alliance. The agenda as well as information regarding registration and the seminar location can be found at http://www.theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/USMWorkshop.html. If you have questions about this seminar, contact Carolyn Jarmon at cjarmon@theNCAT.org.

The meeting is open to the higher education community, but registration will be limited. We look forward to seeing you there!

February 2011 Workshop on Increasing Success in Developmental and College-Level Math

Many institutions face the problem of growing numbers of low student success rates in both developmental and college-level math courses. NCAT has ten years of experience in conducting large-scale course redesign programs that improve learning while reducing costs. Math redesigns at NCAT partner institutions (both two-year and four-year) have increased the percentage of students successfully completing a developmental math course by 51% on average (ranging from 10% to 135%), while reducing the cost of instruction by 30% on average (ranging from 12% to 52%). At the college-level, redesigns have increased the percentage of students successfully completing a math course by 25% on average (ranging from 7% to 63%), while reducing the cost of instruction by 37% on average (ranging from 15% to 77%)

NCAT will hold an exciting two-part workshop, Increasing Student Success in Developmental and College-Level Math, on February 6-7 and February 8, 2011, in Orlando, FL. This two-part workshop is designed for those who want to replicate the successes described above. You may register for one or both parts of the workshop.

  • Orientation Workshop (February 6 – 7, 2011): This workshop is organized in two tracks: one for two-year institutions and one for four-year institutions. Redesign Scholars from three institutions from each sector will join NCAT in sharing their redesign approaches and successes achieved. The workshop will be preceded by corporate exhibits and an opening reception.
  • Planning Workshop (February 8, 2011): This workshop is designed for campus teams that are ready to launch a math redesign and want the opportunity to interact with Redesign Scholars and NCAT about specific next steps. Workshop topics have been selected to address the key implementation issues in developing a successful redesign.

The workshop agendas as well as registration information can be found at http://theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/MathWkshp020611.html. To receive the early-bird registration discount for both events, you must register by December 17, 2010.

We guarantee that you will be able to improve student success in developmental and college-level math while reducing instructional costs if you follow the advice of these pioneering institutions. We look forward to seeing you there.

Hold the Date: March 2011 Seminar on Science and Technology Course Redesign

The Redesign Alliance and the Dallas County Community College District will co-sponsor a seminar showcasing successful course redesigns in science and technology. Open to the higher education community, the seminar will be held on March 11, 2011 at the LeCroy Center in Dallas, TX. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with faculty who have led these projects and learn more about the challenges they have overcome and the outcomes they have achieved. The group will also address issues that may have arisen when the redesigns were conceived and launched.  The full agenda and registration information will be available at http://thencat.org/RedesignAlliance/DCCCDWorkshop031111.html on November 15, 2010.

Hold the Date: April 2011 Seminar on Social Science Course Redesign

The Redesign Alliance and Buffalo State College will co-sponsor a seminar showcasing successful course redesigns in the social sciences. Open to the higher education community, the seminar will be held on April 18, 2011 at the Buff State campus in Buffalo, NY. Faculty project leaders who have redesigned psychology and economics courses will describe the organization and outcomes of their redesign, with a special focus on the effective use of undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs) as a key feature of their redesigns. Participants will be able to learn about how the redesign projects got started, what issues the teams faced in implementing their redesign and what learning improvements and cost reductions have been achieved. The full agenda and registration information will be available at http://thencat.org/RedesignAlliance/BSCWorkshop041811.html on November 15, 2010.

New Membership Levels and Benefits for Redesign Alliance Members

The Redesign Alliance is a membership organization whose mission is to advance the concept of course redesign throughout higher education. The Redesign Alliance pursues this mission by creating a community of higher education institutions and others who are committed to and experienced with large-scale course redesign. Since its inception in 2004, the Alliance has offered one level of membership for all constituents. In consultation with the Redesign Alliance Advisory Board, NCAT has decided to make a number of changes in the membership structure of the Alliance for both its institutional and corporate members.

In the past, the only way individual campuses could become involved with NCAT and course redesign was to participate in an NCAT program at the national or state level or to participate in the Redesign Alliance conference and its other events. The former meant a substantial involvement but was only available to a restricted set of institutions; the latter was open to a larger set of institutions, but there was no clear way to follow up with those who wanted to initiate a redesign after the event. In addition, NCAT continually receives requests to consult with individual campuses, but we have not had a good way to respond to those requests.

We will now offer a more diversified way for institutions to become involved in course redesign by restructuring membership in the Redesign Alliance, especially for those campuses that want to take advantage of NCAT’s expertise to get started on course redesign or that want to sustain a campus-based course redesign program. (We have also made similar changes in the membership structure for our corporate members described below.) To that end, we have established three levels of institutional membership in the Alliance: 1) the current $5,000 level; 2) a $10,000 level that includes the current member benefits plus one campus workshop annually conducted by NCAT staff and/or NCAT Redesign Scholars plus related follow-up telephone and email advice and counsel throughout the year; 3) a $25,000 level that includes the current member benefits plus ongoing consultation about campus redesign activities from NCAT staff and/or NCAT Redesign Scholars throughout the year, including at least two campus visits. Each level provides increasing involvement with NCAT, with the Redesign Alliance and with the institutions undertaking course redesigns.

Specifics regarding each level of membership and its benefits can be found at http://www.theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/Mem_Institution.html. To discuss which level is right for you, contact Carolyn Jarmon at cjarmon@theNCAT.org.

REDESIGN SCHOLARS PROGRAM

Linking those new to course redesign with experienced colleagues to whom they can turn for advice and support.

NCAT Appoints 32 New Redesign Scholars

NCAT is pleased to announce the appointment of 32 new Redesign Scholars. Each of these faculty members and administrators has experience leading a large-scale redesign that improved student learning and reduced instructional costs. They join 18 existing Scholars, bringing the total number to 50.

In 2006, NCAT received a FIPSE (the Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education) grant in part to identify and work with a group of experienced faculty and administrators who had successfully completed and sustained a large-scale course redesign. We designated these experts Redesign Scholars. From 2006 – 2009, these Scholars provided assistance to the redesign teams that were part of our Colleagues Committed to Redesign (C2R) program. The Scholars have also been key participants in each of the national meetings which NCAT has organized. In 2009, we added to the original Scholars as part of Changing the Equation.

As the number of successful redesign projects has increased, so has the number of faculty and administrators with valuable course-redesign expertise. As a result, NCAT has been able to expand the Redesign Scholars Program, providing greater breadth and depth of academic areas. Scholars are available to speak at NCAT events and at other national, regional and local meetings and conferences; and, to consult with individual colleges and universities that want to initiate one or more course redesigns.

The new Redesign Scholars and their disciplines are listed below sorted by the program in which their redesigns occurred. Short biographies for each Scholar are available at http://www.theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/ScholarsList.htm. Follow the links at this site to view the list of Scholars sorted by academic discipline, type of institution, position and redesign model experience.

Kudos to all!

The Program in Course Redesign (PCR): John Harwood, Penn State University, Statistics; and, Norb Pienta, University of Iowa, Chemistry.

The Roadmap to Redesign (R2R): Alicia Cipria, University of Alabama, Spanish; Shahla Peterman and Terry Thiel, University of Missouri-St. Louis, College Algebra; and, Donna Seagle, Chattanooga State Community College, Psychology.

Colleagues Committed to Redesign (C2R): Tammy Muhs, University of Central Florida, College Algebra; and, Meredith Toth, Arizona State University, Emergent Literacy.

Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR): Meliksah Demir, Northern Arizona University, Psychology; Toni Farley, Arizona State University, Computing; Julia Johnson and Steve Reynolds, Arizona State University, Geology; and, Michelle Vlahoulis, Arizona State University, Women in Society. 

Institutions of Higher Learning in Mississippi (IHL): Marchetta Atkins, Alcorn State University, College Algebra; Denise Brown, University of Southern Mississippi, Nutrition; Latonya Garner, Mississippi Valley State University, Intermediate Algebra; Nancy Howell, University of Southern Mississippi, Computing; and Masoud Rais-Rohani, Mississippi State University, Statics.

State University of New York (SUNY): Geoffrey Clark and Jim German, SUNY at Potsdam, European and U.S. History; Bill Ganley, Buffalo State College, Economics; and, Dan Miller, Niagara County Community College, Introduction to Statistics.

Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR): Mary Jane Bassett, Jackson State Community College, Developmental Math; Martin Golson and Nell Rayburn, Austin Peay State University, Elementary and Intermediate Algebra; and, Xiaoping Wang, Northeast State Community College, Developmental Reading.

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB): Leslie Jones and Arlene Ready, University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, Developmental Reading.

University System of Maryland (USM): Megan Bradley, Frostburg State University, Psychology; Ron Gutberlet, Salisbury University, Biology; Jennifer Hearne, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Chemistry; and, Eileen O’Brien, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Psychology.

What Can a Redesign Scholar Do for Your Campus?

NCAT has enlarged the group of Redesign Scholars in response to the many requests we have received to visit individual colleges and universities, both to introduce local faculty and staff to consider a course redesign and to work with the campus to implement one or more course redesigns. As more and more institutions seek to increase student learning and reduce instructional costs, they are seeking advice and support from those who have successfully achieved these goals. The Redesign Scholars help fill this important role.

Individual institutions that want to initiate a course redesign may wish to invite a Redesign Scholar to visit their campus. Site visits focus on issues of curriculum and pedagogy, administrative matters, assessment and evaluation efforts, and implementation issues. Redesign Scholars are also available to campuses via telephone and email for ongoing consultation. Redesign Scholars are engaged on a per-event basis and determine their consulting fees individually. We invite you to consider using these Scholars for advice and support as your institution moves forward.

If you are interested in engaging a Redesign Scholar to speak or consult about course redesign, please contact that person directly to make arrangements by following the links at http://www.theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/ScholarsList.htm

How To Apply To Become a Redesign Scholar

 Are you interested in joining this select group of Redesign Scholars? Redesign Scholars include both faculty members and academic administrators who are experienced and knowledgeable about how to implement a large-scale, whole-course redesign that improves student learning outcomes while reducing instructional costs. Only exemplars in course redesign are selected to be Redesign Scholars. If you meet these criteria, we welcome your application.

Successful applicants will have the following experience and skills: experience as a faculty member or academic administrator at a two- or four-year college; successful implementation of a course redesign showing improved learning and reduced cost; experience and/or familiarity with NCAT’s course redesign programs; excellent communication skills; ability to mentor novice institutions; ability to work in a virtual environment, and, ability to travel.

A full description of the responsibilities of a Redesign Scholar can be found at http://theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/ScholarsProgram.htm. Instructions for how to apply are at http://www.theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/ScholarsProgram_How%20to%20Apply.html.

CORPORATE CONNECTIONS

Linking content and software providers with leading edge institutions.

New Opportunities for Higher Education Companies to Connect with Course Redesign

One of NCAT’s primary goals is to forge closer ties between the content and technology sectors and those in the higher education community engaged in cutting-edge redesign. Our vision is that these relationships will lead to a greater awareness about products and services that have already been developed as well as what needs to be developed to better serve students. Through one-on-one contact, focus groups, workshops and meetings, NCAT helps facilitate meaningful dialog between higher education companies and the various programs and institutions with which NCAT works. NCAT can also assist as companies seek to educate their current clients, potential new clients and employees in the firm regarding the benefits of course redesign for students and their institutions.

NCAT has restructured both its Corporate Associates program and Redesign Alliance corporate memberships to offer four levels of corporate affiliation with NCAT whereas formerly there were only two. The four levels of membership in the Redesign Alliance are: Corporate Member ($5,000), Corporate Associate ($10,000), Corporate Partner ($25,000) and Corporate Strategic Partner ($50,000). Each level provides increasing involvement with NCAT, with the Redesign Alliance and with the institutions undertaking course redesigns. Specifics regarding each level of membership and its benefits can be found at http://www.theNCAT.org/RedesignAlliance/Mem_Corporate.html. To discuss which level is right for you, contact Carolyn Jarmon at cjarmon@theNCAT.org.  

Pearson Course Redesign Workshop Attracts 270+ Participants

Building on several highly successful prior events, Pearson Education held its annual course redesign workshop on September 24 - 25, 2010, at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA. Over 270 participants learned more about how to get started on course redesign from NCAT’s Carolyn Jarmon and from large- and small-group interaction with experienced educators in accounting, biology, chemistry, developmental reading and writing, economics, math, physics, and world languages. The workshop highlighted successful course redesigns that take advantage of technology to improve student learning and efficiency in large-enrollment, introductory courses. Faculty also learned more about Pearson's leading technology products. Workshop presentations, photos and videos will be available the week of November 8, 2010 at http://www.pearsoncourseredesign.com/events.html. For more information, contact Karen Mullane at Karen.Mullane@pearson.com.

COMMON GROUND

Reporting on initiatives that share the Center's goals and objectives.

Lumina Foundation Issues New Report: A Stronger Nation through Higher Education

Lumina Foundation recently issued a new report, A Stronger Nation through Higher Education, focused on the need to increase the number of citizens holding a degree or credential beyond a high school degree. Unless the number of workers in the United States who hold postsecondary credentials increases, the ability of the country to remain competitive globally will decline, says Lumina. The gap between the need and the available educated workforce will grow to just under 23 million by 2025. The report tracks progress at the national, state and county levels toward Lumina's "Big Goal" of 60 percent of Americans holding high-quality degrees by 2025 and includes individual profiles for all 50 states. To read the full report, see http://www.luminafoundation.org/publications/A_stronger_nation.pdf.

Education Commission of the States Examines Best Way to Redeploy Postsecondary Resources

States are faced with the difficult challenge of increasing college completion rates at a time of historic budget shortfalls. While most agree that increasing the education level of U.S. citizens is essential to future economic prosperity (and public revenue collection), institutions will need to meet the goal through the more efficient use of existing resources. The August 2010 issue of The Progress of Education Reform, published by The Education Commission of the States, summarizes recent research that may challenge conventional wisdom on how and where public resources for postsecondary education should be dedicated in an effort to increase college completion rates. Entitled, “Investing in College Completion,” the report examines such questions as, how did changes in enrollments and the allocation of resources result in declining college completion rates in the United States? Does shifting enrollments to community colleges save money in the long run? Can investments in student services rather than instruction increase college completion? To read the full study, visit http://www.ecs.org/clearinghouse/87/48/8748.pdf.

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