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Program in Course Redesign

Iowa State University

Discrete Mathematics—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 for faculty teaching the course and includes a 23% benefit 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 Iowa State University and the completed course planning tool.

Cost Savings

The traditional course uses 12 faculty members and 15 teaching assistants to deliver the course to 1,800 students annually. Large lectures are paired with smaller recitations, incurring significant preparation and delivery time.

The redesigned course will be more effectively staffed with two faculty, 10 teaching assistants, and a half-time Online Course Manager. Faculty hours will decline significantly from 2268 to 400; those of the teaching assistants will decline from 2280 to 1580. The time spent in the redesigned model will shift from presentation and content delivery to interaction with students. Most of the grading will be handled online, with allocated hours declining from 660 total to 110.

The redesign will reduce the cost per student from $129 to $75, resulting in a projected savings of $97,200 per year. Based on previous experiences with redesigned courses, Iowa State believes the cost savings from reduced staff commitments will be sufficient to fund ongoing development of other courses and to pay for upgrades to hardware and software. These savings will be used to reduce teaching loads, found to be higher than those in peer institutions, and to strengthen the Math Department’s other teaching and research missions.

[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—Discrete Mathematics

Faculty


Salary and Benefits $75,000
% devoted to instruction 50%
% devoted to this course 25%
$ devoted to this course $9,375


Contact hours for course 30
Out of class hours 159
Total hours 189
Cost per hour $50


TAs/GAs


Salary and Benefits $15,800
% devoted to instruction 100%
% devoted to this course 50%
$ devoted to this course $7,900


Contact hours for course 160
Out of class hours 92
Total hours 152
Cost per hour $52


Support Staff Position $ per Hour


Online Course Manager $43

Step #2: Determine Instructional Costs of Traditional Course

Instructional Costs of Traditional Course—Discrete Mathematics


Faculty TAs/GAs

# of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost

Hourly rate = $50 Hourly rate = $52
I. Course Preparation








A. Curriculum Development 72 $3,600

B. Materials Acquisition



C. Materials Development



1. Lectures/presentations 540 $27,000 225 $11,700
2. Learning materials/software



3. Diagnostic assessments



4. Assignments 96 $4,800

5. Tests/evaluations 240 $12,000

Sub-Total 948 $47,400 225 $11,700





D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training



1. Orientation



2. Staff meetings 180 $9,000 225 $11,700
3. Attend lectures



Sub-Total 180 $9,000 225 $11,700
Total Preparation 250 $11,460 450 $23,400





II. Course Delivery








A. Instruction



1. Diagnose skill/knowledge



2. Presentation 360 $18,000 900 $46,800
3. Interaction 360 $18,000 450 $23,400
4. Progress monitoring 180 $9,000 60 $3,120
Sub-Total 900 $45,000 1410 $73,320





B. Evaluation



1. Test proctoring 48 $2,400 60 $3,120
2. Tests/evaluation 192 $9,600 360 $18,720
Sub-Total 240 $12,000 420 $21,840
Total Delivery 1140 $57,000 1830 $95,160





TOTAL 2268 $113,400 2280 $118,560





GRAND TOTAL
$231,960

Total # of students
1800

Cost per student
$129

Step 3: Determine Instructional Costs of the Redesigned Course

Instructional Costs of Redesigned Course—Discrete Mathematics


Faculty TAs/GAs Online Course Manager

# of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost # of Hours Total Cost

Hourly rate = $50 Hourly rate = $52 Hourly rate = $43
I. Course Preparation












A. Curriculum Development 40 $2,000

60 $2,580
B. Materials Acquisition 30 $1,500



C. Materials Development





1. Lectures/presentations





2. Learning materials/software 30 $1,500

60 $2,580
3. Diagnostic assessments





4. Assignments



30 $1,290
5. Tests/evaluations



90 $3,870
Sub-Total 100 $5,000

240 $10,320







D. Faculty/TA Devmt/Training





1. Orientation 30 $1,500 30 $1,560 30 $1,290
2. Staff meetings 30 $1,500 50 $2,600 48 $2,064
3. Attend lectures





Sub-Total 60 $3,000 80 $4,160 78 $3,354
Total Preparation 160 $8,000 80 $4,160 318 $13,674







II. Course Delivery












A. Instruction





1. Diagnose skill/knowledge





2. Presentation

900 $46,800

3. Interaction 90 $4,500 600 $31,200 210 $9,030
4. Progress monitoring 90 $4,500

120 $5,160
Sub-Total 180 $9,000 1500 $78,000 330 $14,190







B. Evaluation





1. Test proctoring





2. Tests/evaluation 60 $3,000

50 $2,150
Sub-Total 60 $3,000

50 $2,150
Total Delivery 240 $12,000 1500 $78,000 380 $16,340







TOTAL 400 $20,000 1580 $82,160 698 $30,014







Total for Personnel
$132,174



Testing Software License
$2,500



GRAND TOTAL
$134,674



Total # of students
1800



Cost per student
$75



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