|Program in Course Redesign
Riverside Community College
Elementary Algebra—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 20% 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 Riverside Community College and the completed course planning tool.
Cost savings will be achieved by creating larger sections (from 50 students in the traditional course to 75 students in the redesigned course) taught by fewer faculty. Because the number of sections will decrease from 72 to 48 annually, total faculty preparation hours will decrease from 5632 hours in the traditional course to 2200 hours annually in the redesigned format. In addition, faculty will prepare and offer Spotlight Sessions for two hours per week rather than the four hours per week of lectures in the traditional format.
Since much of the learning results from using the ALEKS software in the Math Collaboratory, faculty no longer need to diagnose learning needs (a reduction of 288 hours per year to 0) or proctor tests (a reduction of 504 hours per year to 0). In the redesigned course, faculty will be available in the lab as part of their responsibilities and will have over 2000 hours of interaction with students when they need help. Several additional forms of professional assistance will be included in the new design. A counselor and clerks will monitor students, providing several levels of help, over 2500 hours per year. Graduate students from UC Riverside will provide weekly sessions on specific math issues as supplemental learning opportunities, over 300 hours per year.
The redesign will reduce the cost-per-student from $206 to $113, a 45% decrease. The number of sections will decline from 72 to 48 to serve the same enrollment,generating an annual savings of $333,304. Additional savings are anticipated from decreased repeat rates for students and from decreased need for classroom rental space. Riverside's redesign will free full-time faculty to teach other courses, and the savings generated from the decrease in part-time faculty will be used to redesign other math courses.
[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—Elementary Algebra
Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course
Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—Elementary Algebra
Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course
Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—Elementary Algebra
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