|Program in Course Redesign
University of Central Florida
American Government—Course Planning Tool
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 32% 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 the University of Central Florida and the completed course planning tool.
UCF’s plan focuses on saving funds currently spent for renting the classroom space needed to accommodate a rapidly growing student population. At $22 per square foot, the cost to rent a 100-seat classroom is $44,000 annually. Based on UCF’s scheduling policies and procedures, 37 traditional class sections can be placed in a single classroom annually. Therefore, the cost to rent a 100-seat classroom is $1,189 for each traditional section if the classroom is utilized to capacity.
The total cost for each traditional section of American National Government, including personnel and classroom space rental, is $8,239, as shown on the course-planning tool. UCF will substitute Web-based asynchronous, modular learning materials and small, collaborative learning groups for two-thirds of the face-to-face, in-class time. With this 67% reduction in live-class meeting time, the cost to rent a 100-seat classroom is reduced to $396 for each redesigned course section if the classroom is utilized to capacity. A single classroom can hold 111 redesigned class sections annually. The total cost for each redesigned section, including personnel and classroom space rental, is reduced to $7,446.
Due to the more efficient use of 100-seat classrooms in the redesigned course configuration, 5 fewer sections will need to be offered to accommodate the same number of students each year. That amounts to savings of $46,309, including faculty, GTAs, and traditional classroom rental costs.
UCF data collected in earlier redesigned courses show a 7% increase in retention rate in redesigned class sections. Applying this increased retention rate to 25 redesigned sections results in a one-course-section reduction, amounting to an additional $8,239 cost savings. Plus, $19,825 in classroom space rental cost would be saved because of the reduced per-section rate for redesigned class sections.
The total cost for the traditional American National Government course is $247,170. If the redesign is implemented in all 24 sections, the total cost for the course is reduced to $178,704.
The projected annual savings to UCF derived from implementing the redesigned course model in all sections of American National Government is $68,466. These savings would continue each year that the new course-delivery model is used. When applied to other high-enrollment courses, the cost savings become significant. Applying projected annual savings to 15 high-enrollment courses would amount to $1,026,990.
Although there is no change in the absolute amount of time spent on this course by either the faculty member or the GTAs, the kinds of activities undertaken by faculty and GTAs will change. Because there are fewer lectures, the faculty member will spend less time preparing and presenting material (105 hours in the traditional model vs. 30 hours in the redesigned course). However, the faculty member will spend more time interacting with students (15 hours in the traditional model vs. 40 hours in the redesigned course) and more time designing assignments and diagnosing and monitoring students’ progress. The GTAs will spend more time selecting software and preparing tests (no time in the traditional model vs. 25 hours in the redesigned model) and less time evaluating tests (24 hours in the traditional model vs. 15 hours in the redesigned course). Both shifts involve more interaction with students and their work.
[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—American Government
Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course
Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—American Government
Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course
Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—American Government
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