|Program in Course Redesign
University of Dayton
The Traditional Course
Introductory Psychology enrolls students from nearly every major and academic division; over 50% of students take the course. Each year, 12 sections are offered, with an average of 71 students per section. Three faculty members each devote 50% of their workload to teaching the course. They deliver the course in traditional lecture format with two to three lectures per week, covering the specific sub-disciplines of the field in a modular fashion. Student learning is evaluated through several multiple-choice tests. Although the lecture-test format is similar across sections, in the traditional course model faculty develop their own syllabi and content so that there is no shared set of learning objectives for the course.
The traditional course faces four significant academic problems:
The Redesigned Course
The prime objective of course redesign is to use technology to reduce costs while enhancing quality through interactive, collaborative, self-paced, student-directed learning. In general, the goals of redesign are better subject mastery, higher levels of student satisfaction with the process, and a stronger sense of belonging to a community of learners.
The learning goals for the redesigned course will require students to
In order to achieve these learning goals, Introductory Psychology will be redesigned for online distribution, using pre-existing commercial technology. Faculty and students will meet in large groups only a few times per semester: at an orientation session, a series of featured presentations, and one comprehensive final exam. Instead of attending lectures, students will download interactive content from the web and discuss that content with other students and the instructor using a variety of computer mediated communication tools (e.g., applet demonstrations, streaming video, collaborative writing and problem-solving exercises). Online delivery allows for greater depth of learning, as students participate actively in solving problems. Online delivery also allows for greater breadth of learning, as explanations and activities are more easily drawn from diverse sources (e.g., films, journals, Web sites, faculty-created applications).
Collaborative technology will enhance the quality of student learning by allowing students to communicate synchronously and asynchronously with other students, faculty, and various instructors and assistants responsible for administering the course. The course will be fully groupware-enabled. Students will be divided into virtual teams with their own customized workspace to foster a learning community. Faculty will visit these communities on a regular basis to check work, provide feedback, and conduct online study sessions for exams.
The redesigned course will also foster quality student learning by aiding in outcome assessment, made possible by regularizing learning objectives and course content. The redesigned course is expected to increase student time-on-task by 70% and make learning resources available to students 24x7.
Traditional Course Structure
Redesigned Course Structure
In summary, the redesigned course will implement the following changes:
Program in Course Redesign Quick Links: