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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

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

Faculty Type I Type II
     
Annual salary and benefits $69,600  
% devoted to instruction 75%  
% devoted to this course 27%  
$ devoted to this course $14,094  
     
Contact hours for course (72 per sem.) 144  
Out of class hours (72 per sem.) 144  
Total hours 288  
Cost per hour $49 $39
     
TAs/Gas    
     
Annual salary and benefits    
% devoted to this instruction    
% devoted to this course    
$ devoted to this course    
     
Contact hours for this course    
Out of class hours    
Total hours    
Cost per hour    
     
Undergraduate TAs    
Cost per hour    
     
Professional/Staff $ per  
Positions Hour  
      
#1 Clerks $8  
#2 Student Workshop Facilitators $8  

Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course

Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—Elementary Algebra

  TYPE I FACULTY   TYPE II FACULTY  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $49 Hourly rate = $39
I. Course Preparation        
         
A. Curriculum Development        
B. Materials Acquisition        
C. Materials Development        
1. Lectures/presentations 1280 $62,640 640 $24,960
2. Learning materials/software 224 $10,962    
3. Diagnostic assessments 768 $37,584 160 $6,240
4. Assignments 864 $42,282 160 $6,240
5. Tests/evaluations 1024 $50,112 512 $19,968
Sub-Total 4160 $203,580 1472 $57,408
         
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training        
1. Orientation 224 $10,962 64 $2,496
2. Staff meetings 224 $10,962    
3. Attend lectures        
Sub-Total 448 $21,924 64 $2,496
Total Preparation 4608 $225,504 1536 $59,904
         
II. Course Delivery        
         
A. Instruction        
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge 144 $7,047 144 $5,616
2. Presentation 4788 $234,313 4788 $186,732
3. Interaction        
4. Progress monitoring        
Sub-Total 4932 $241,360 4932 $192,348
         
B. Evaluation        
1. Test proctoring 252 $12,332 252 $9,828
2. Tests/evaluation        
Sub-Total 252 $12,332 252 $9,828
Total Delivery 5184 $253,692 5184 $202,176
           
TOTAL 9792 $479,196 6720 $262,080
           
           
         
GRAND TOTAL    $741,276    
Total # of students per year   3600    
Cost per student   $206    

Step #3: Determine Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—Elementary Algebra

  TYPE I FACULTY   TYPE II FACULTY   Professional Staff  
  # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost
  Hourly rate = $49 Hourly rate = $39 Hourly rate = $8
I. Course Preparation            
             
A. Curriculum Development            
B. Materials Acquisition            
C. Materials Development            
1. Lectures 400 $19,600 400 $15,600    
2. Learning materials/software 400 $19,600        
3. Diagnostic assessments 400 $19,600 400 $15,600    
4. Assignments 200 $9,800        
5. Tests/evaluations            
Sub-Total 1400 $68,600 800 $31,200    
             
D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training            
1. Orientation 140 $6,860        
2. Staff meetings 140 $6,860 140 $5,460    
3. Attend lectures            
Sub-Total 280 $13,720 140 $5,460    
Total Preparation 1680 $82,320 940 $36,660    
             
II. Course Delivery            
II. Course Delivery            
A. Instruction            
1. Diagnose skill/knowledge            
2. Presentation 1728 $84,672 1728 $67,392 336 $2,688
3. Interaction (lab) 1080 $52,920 1080 $42,120    
4. Progress monitoring     480 $18,720 2560 $20,480
Sub-Total 2808 $137,592 3288 $128,232 2896 $23,168
             
B. Evaluation            
1. Test proctoring            
2. Tests/evaluation            
Sub-Total            
Total Delivery 2808 $137,592 3288 $128,232 2896 $23,168
             
TOTAL 4488 $219,912 4228 $164,892 2896 $23,168
             
             
             
GRAND TOTAL   $407,972        
Total # of students per year   3600        
Cost per student   $113        

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