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Program in Course Redesign

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Course Title: Introductory Biology
Contact: Randy Phillis

The University of Massachusetts Amherst redesigned Introductory Biology, a course that serves 700 students each fall semester, representing about 20% of the freshman class. This was a "second generation" redesign. Stage one introduced interactive classroom technology (ClassTalk) into one of two large lecture sections prior to this redesign initiative. While using this technology promoted active student learning, it also increased course costs, reduced coverage of course content, failed to meet departmental goals for student success, and created the need for technology-proficient faculty. Stage two enhanced student preparation prior to class to allow in-class activities to focus on problem solving and concept manipulation while still maintaining adequate content coverage. The course redesign had five components: 1) online class-preparation pages; 2) online quizzes to motivate students to use the preparation pages and help students assess their own learning; 3) expanded use of interactive classroom technology; 4) supplemental instruction and peer tutoring; and 5) an instructor apprenticeship program to prepare new instructors to efficiently use the online and interactive technologies. The active learning approaches, adopted in the stage one redesign, had increased the cost-per-student from $174 to $199. The stage two redesign was expected to reduce the cost-per-student to $117 while enhancing the active learning environment, producing a savings of 41%. The results of the completed redesign can be found by following the links listed below under Final Report.

Initial Planning (as of 7/1/00)

Interim Progress Report (as of 12/31/01)

Final Report (as of 12/31/02)

 

 

Program in Course Redesign Quick Links:

Program In Course Redesign Main Page...

Lessons Learned:
Round 1...
Round II...
Round III...

Savings:
Round I...
Round II...
Round III...

Project Descriptions:
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