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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.

Cost Savings

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

Faculty  
   
Annual salary and benefits $58,800
% devoted to instruction 78%
% devoted to this course 14%
$ devoted to this course $6,421
   
Contact hours for course 48
Out of class hours 163
Total hours 211
Cost per hour $30
   
TAs/GAs  
   
Salary $3,000
% devoted to instruction 50%
% devoted to this course 50%
$ devoted to this course $750
   
Contact hours for course  
Out of class hours 80
Total hours 80
Cost per hour $9
   
Undergraduate TAs  
Cost per hour  
   
Support Staff $ per
Position Hour

Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course

Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—American Government

  Faculty   TAs/GAs  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $30 Hourly rate = $9
I. Course Preparation        
         
A. Curriculum Development        
B. Materials Acquisition 10 $300    
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations 60 $1,800    
2. Learning materials/software 10 $300    
3. Diagnostic assessments        
4. Assignments 15 $450    
5. Tests/evaluations 24 $720    
Sub-Total 119 $3,570      
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation        
2. Staff meetings 5 $150 5 $45
3. Attend lectures     15 $135
Sub-Total 5 $150 20 $180
Total Preparation 124 $3,720 20 $180
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge        
2. Presentation 45 $1,350    
3. Interaction 15 $450 15 $135
4. Progress monitoring     15 $135
Sub-Total 60 $1,800 30 $270
              
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 3 $90 6 $54
2. Tests/evaluation 24 $720 24 $216
Sub-Total 27 $810 30 $270
Total Delivery 87 $2,610 60 $540
         
TOTAL 211 $6,330 80 $720
Classroom space costs per section    $1,189      
TOTAL per section    $8,239      
# of sections   30    
GRAND TOTAL    $247,170    
Total # of students   2,200    
Cost per student  
$112  

 

Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—American Government

   Faculty   TAs/GAs   
   # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
   Hourly rate = $30 Hourly rate = $9
I. Course Preparation        
         
A. Curriculum Development 5 $150    
B. Materials Acquisition 10 $300 5 $45
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations 15 $450    
2. Learning materials/software 30 $900 10 $90
3. Diagnostic assessments        
4. Assignments 30 $900    
5. Tests/evaluations 20 $600 10 $90
Sub-Total 110 $3,300 25 $225
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation     15 $135
2. Staff meetings 10 $300 5 $45
3. Attend lectures        
Sub-Total 10 $300 20 $180
Total Preparation 120 $3,600 45 $405
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 4 $120    
2. Presentation 15 $450    
3. Interaction 40 $1,200 15 $135
4. Progress monitoring 5 $150    
Sub-Total 64 $1,920 15 $135
              
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 3 $90 5 $45
2. Tests/evaluation 24 $720 15 $135
Sub-Total 27 $810 20 $180
Total Delivery 91 $2,730 35 $315
         
TOTAL 211 $6,330 80 $720
Classroom space costs per section   $396    
TOTAL per section   $7,446    
# of sections    24    
GRAND TOTAL   $178,704    
Total # of students   2,200    
Cost per student
$81

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