|Program in Course Redesign
University of Southern Maine
Course Planning Tool—Introductory Psychology
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 33% 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 Southern Maine and the completed course planning tool.
Redesign of the course will allow the number of students per section to grow from 75 to 125. Lecture time will be reduced by 50%, and per-term, per-section faculty time will be reduced by 31 hours. These changes will result in a planned 49% cost-per-student reduction, from $113 to $58. Total preparation time will decline from 95 to 72 hours. Time required for the evaluation of students’ work declines from 8 hours per section per term to 3, with the introduction of technology. The role of undergraduate TAs will also change; their involvement will increase from 38 to 78 hours, with the primary change in responsibilities being an increase in interaction.
The redesign will enable the university to offer Introductory Psychology to 875 students in 7 rather than 13 sections. As a result, psychology faculty will be free to engage in two other instructional options. A new, completely asynchronous section of the redesigned course will be offered using a combination of videotapes and Web-based materials. USM anticipates that an additional 100 students will take the new off-campus course. Currently, tuition is $354 per course for an in-state student; the anticipated revenue increase is $35,400. Other faculty who have previously been teaching Introductory Psychology will be free to teach other badly needed upper-level courses. The wider array of upper-level courses will enrich the curriculum and make it easier for students to graduate. Two additional sections of upper-division courses with an average enrollment of 30 will increase revenue by $21,240.
[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 Psychology
Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course
Instructional Costs of Traditional Courses—Introductory Psychology
Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course
Instructional Costs of Redesigned Courses—Introductory Psychology
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