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Program in Course Redesign

Rio Salado College

Course Planning Tool—Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Math Concepts/Applications and College Algebra/Functions

The Course Planning Tool is a formatted spreadsheet that facilitates a three-step process for institutions to establish and compare the instructional costs before redesign (the traditional course) and the instructional costs after the redesign (the redesigned course).

Step #1 shows the calculation of all personnel costs associated with preparing and delivering the course expressed as an hourly rate. Annual salary for faculty listed is the average of all faculty teaching the course and includes a 26% benefits rate. Step #2 uses this initial calculation to determine the cost of preparing and delivering the traditional course. Step #3 calculates these costs for the redesigned course. More specific Course Planning Tool instructions are available.

Below are a summary of the cost savings anticipated at Rio Salado College and the completed course planning tool.

Cost Savings

Rio Salado College is redesigning four courses to increase the number of students served in a distance-learning format from 35 in a section to 100. During the same term, faculty will work with students taking four different math courses (Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Mathematical Concepts/Applications, and College Algebra–Functions). Distribution of the 100 students among the several courses will vary depending on student demand. A new professional, the course assistant, is included in the redesign.

By using technology to its full capacity, offloading course-management tasks to the course assistant, and devoting faculty time to four courses simultaneously, the redesign should result in a projected cost-per-student reduction of 37% (from $49 to $31), compared with previous distance-learning formats at Rio Salado. Faculty will spend the same amount of time, but a major shift will occur from monitoring students’ progress to interacting with students when they need assistance with math concepts. In addition to reducing the cost-per-student through increased class size, Rio anticipates additional savings from reducing the number of students who need to retake the course.

[For more detailed information regarding their initial academic redesign, consult the project plan description.]

Step #1: Determine Instructional Costs per Hour

Instructional Costs per Hour—Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Math Concepts/Applications and College Algebra/Functions

Faculty  
   
Course Salary and Benefits $1,725
% devoted to instruction 100%
% devoted to this course 100%
$ devoted to this course $1,725
   
Contact hours for course  
Out of class hours 98
Total hours 98
Cost per hour $18
   
Graduate TAs/GAs  
   
Salary  
% devoted to instruction  
% devoted to this course  
$ devoted to this course  
   
Contact hours for course  
Out of class hours  
Total hours  
Cost per hour  
   
Undergraduate TAs  
Cost per hour  
   
Professional/Staff $ per
Position hour
   
Course Assistant $21

Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course

Instructional Costs of Traditional Courses—Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Math Concepts/Applications and College Algebra/Functions

  Faculty   
  # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $18
I. Course Preparation    
     
A. Curriculum Development    
B. Materials Acquisition    
C. Materials Development    
1. Lectures/presentations    
2. Learning materials/software    
3. Diagnostic assessments    
4. Assignments    
5. Tests/evaluations    
Sub-Total    
     
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training    
1. Orientation 16 $282
2. Staff meetings 16 $282
3. Attend lectures      
Sub-Total 32 $563
Total Preparation 32 $563
     
II. Course Delivery    
     
A. Instruction    
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 28 $493
2. Presentation    
3. Interaction 100 $1,760
4. Progress monitoring 212 $3,731
Sub-Total 340 $5,984
     
B. Evaluation    
1. Test proctoring    
2. Tests/evaluation 20 $352
Sub-Total 20 $352
Total Delivery 360 $6,336
     
TOTAL 392 $6,899
     
     
     
GRAND TOTAL   $6,899
Total # of students   140
Cost per student   $49

Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Courses—Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra, Math Concepts/Applications and College Algebra/Functions

  Faculty   Professional Staff  
   # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
   Hourly rate = $18 Hourly rate = $21
I. Course Preparation            
          
A. Curriculum Development        
B. Materials Acquisition        
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations        
2. Learning materials/software        
3. Diagnostic assessments        
4. Assignments        
5. Tests/evaluations        
Sub-Total        
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation 6 $106 6 $127
2. Staff meetings 8 $141 2 $42
3. Attend lectures        
Sub-Total 14 $246 8 $170
Total Preparation 14 $246 8 $170
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 25 $440 5 $106
2. Presentation         
3. Interaction 48 $845 15 $318
4. Progress monitoring 12 $211 30 $636
Sub-Total 85 $1,496 50 $1,060
         
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring        
2. Tests/evaluation 5 $88    
Sub-Total 5 $88    
Total Delivery 90 $1,584 50 $1,060
         
TOTAL 104 $1,830 58 $1,230
         
         
         
GRAND TOTAL   $3,060    
Total # of students   100    
Cost per student   $31    

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