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Missouri Course Redesign Initiative (2010– 2013)

Improving Learning and Reducing Costs:
A Summary of Program Outcomes

By Carol A. Twigg

From November 2010 to May 2013, the National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) conducted a program in course redesign in partnership with the Missouri Four-Year Public Institutions (MFYPI) called the Missouri Course Redesign Initiative (MCRI). The goals of this partnership were to 1) build on the successful models and lessons learned from NCAT’s national and statewide programs to create a course redesign program within MFYPI; 2) adopt new ways to improve student learning outcomes and demonstrate these improvements through rigorous assessment; 3) reduce instructional costs and free up instructional resources for other purposes; 4) produce a number of successful MFYPI course redesigns that could be spread to institutions throughout the system; and, 5) develop the internal capacity of MFYPI faculty and staff to continue the course redesign process. All of those goals have been achieved.

Each campus participating in the MCRI made funds available to support the selected redesign projects. NCAT engaged the MFYPI institutions in an extensive planning process to teach applicants its principles of course redesign. The NCAT process required faculty teams to follow a highly structured, iterative course redesign development process. Of the 26 teams which began the process, 13 were ultimately selected for funding. The final selection was made by MFYPI. The following proposals were funded: Lincoln University: Basic English; Missouri Southern State University: Oral Communication; Missouri State University: Psychology; Missouri University of Science and Technology: Chemistry I; Missouri Western State University: Introduction to Business; Northwest Missouri State University: Principles of Management; Southeast Missouri State University: College Algebra and Spanish I; Truman State University: Health and Fitness; University of Central Missouri: Human Anatomy and Intermediate Algebra; University of Missouri-Kansas City: College Algebra; and University of Missouri-St. Louis: Information Systems. Eleven of the 13 projects completed the redesign process and fully implemented their redesigns in fall 2012.

The results achieved by the MCRI were generally impressive. The redesigns impacted approximately 8,892 students. Six of the 11 projects demonstrated improved student learning as measured by direct comparisons of content mastery. Three produced learning equivalent to the traditional format. In two projects, student learning outcomes decreased slightly. Course completion rates (as measured by a final grade of C or better) increased in two courses, showed no difference in seven courses and declined in two courses. All but one project reduced their instructional costs—on average by 30%. The annual savings for the 11 projects was $403,278. Seven of the redesigns will definitely be sustained after the grant period is over; the future of the other four is unclear.

Discussed in the report are NCAT’s recommendations for future action, which include  1) IHL should find ways to publicize the results of the IHL CRI among its colleges and universities; 2) IHL should conduct a second round of the IHL CRI; 3) MFYPI should create a MFYPI Redesign Scholars Program based on those who have both improved student learning and reduced instructional costs; 4) provosts’ offices on each campus should be more purposeful and more actively involved in generating course redesign project possibilities; and, 5) each campus should consider requiring course redesign as part of its campus allocation strategy.

Project Outcomes

What follows is a summary of the MFYPI course redesign projects’ final reports. There were 11 course redesign projects.

1) Did student learning improve (as measured by direct comparisons of content mastery)?

6

Yes
3 No difference
2 No

2) Did course completion rates improve (as measured by comparisons of final grades)?

2

Yes
1 No difference (but traditional completion rates were 96%)
4 No difference
2 No (but standards were higher in the redesign)
2 No

3) Were instructional costs reduced?

10

Yes
 1 No

4) Will the redesign be sustained after the grant period is over?

7

Yes
3 Unclear
1 No

1) Did student learning improve (as measured by direct comparisons of content mastery)?

Yes

1. Lincoln University Basic English (used pre/post-tests to compare student writing samples using a common rubric and compared grammar and mechanics using a common online diagnostic)

  • It appears that there was some improvement in student learning. Two sets of pre/post-test scores were collected from students, one from a rubric designed in-house and the other from an online diagnostic designed by Pearson publishing.
  • Students in the traditional course showed a 14-point gain on their rubric finals, whereas students in the redesigned course showed a gain of 17 points. Students in the traditional course showed an 18-point gain on the online diagnostic, whereas students in the redesigned course showed a five-point gain. It is worth noting that the in-house rubric had a grammar and mechanics portion, and redesign students outscored the traditional ones.

2. Missouri Science and Technology University General Chemistry  (compared common final exams)

  • There was a considerable increase in performance on the post-assessment from the fall 2011 traditional course (mean=70.93%) to the fall 2012 redesigned course (mean=80.39%).
  • In addition, a math and science preparedness test developed by the team was administered to all students as a pre-test. Students in the redesign course were less prepared (mean score=68.56%) than students in the traditional course (mean score=74.70%), making the learning increase in the redesigned course even more impressive.

3. Missouri State University Introductory Psychology (compared common final exams)

  • The fall 2011 semester served as a baseline semester where two faculty members, who were both members of the redesign team, each taught a traditional section of Introductory Psychology. The primary measures of learning outcomes included two pre-post comprehensive exams:  1) a 30-item comprehensive exam which was developed a number of years ago by members of the department of psychology and has traditionally been used as a measure of student learning in Introductory Psychology, and 2) a 50-item comprehensive exam created specifically for this project by the course redesign team.
  • Analyses confirmed that there were no significant differences between the two baseline sections with respect to pretest scores on the 30-item exam (t (276) = .92, p > .05) or the 50-item exam (t(282) = .04, p > .05), thus the sections were combined into one comparison group (n = 302).
  • The full implementation occurred during the fall 2012 semester and consisted of five sections, all taught by members of the redesign team. Results indicated that, on the 30-item comprehensive exam, students (N=1340) in the redesigned sections performed significantly better (84% improvement) compared to the traditional comparison group (54% improvement), t (317.54) = -7.50, p < .001. Similarly, students in the redesigned course demonstrated significantly more improvement from pre to post on the 50-item comprehensive exam (62% improvement) compared to the traditional sections (37% improvement), t (429.41) = -12.55, p < .001.

4. University of Central Missouri Intermediate Algebra (compared common final exams)

  • Students in the redesigned course performed significantly better. With a baseline of 100 points, the average final exam score of the fall 2011 traditional sections was 63, while that of the fall 2012 redesigned sections was 85.

5. University of Missouri Kansas City College Algebra (compared common final exams)

  • Students in the fully implemented redesigned course performed significantly better on the final exam compared with students in the previous three fall semesters of the traditional course. The mean on the final exam in the redesigned sections was 68%; the traditional sections had a mean of 55%.

6. University of Missouri St. Louis Computers and Information Systems (compared common final exams)

  • In the traditional course, final exam scores averaged 73%, whereas in the redesigned course; final exam scores averaged 79%.
  • For Pell-eligible students, the average final exam score was 69% in the traditional course and 77% in the redesigned course. 

No difference

1. Missouri Western State University Introduction to Business (compared common final exams)

  • A common comprehensive final exam was used to measure academic performance between the traditional and redesigned courses. Students in the traditional course scored an average of 74%; students in the redesigned course scored an average of 73%.

2. Truman State University Lifetime Health and Fitness (compared common exam items)

  • Students in the redesigned health course learned just as much as those in the traditional version of the course. The means for the final exam in the spring 2012 section of traditional course (84.46) , the spring 2012 section of the redesigned course  (83.91), and the fall 2012 section of the redesigned  course (83.77) were all statistically similar (p > .05).

3. University of Central Missouri Human Anatomy (compared common exam items)

  • The assessment of UCM’s Human Anatomy course redesign involved a performance comparison between two traditional courses that combined the teaching of human anatomy and physiology (i.e., A&P I and A&P II) in the same semesters to the redesigned Human Anatomy course that solely focused on human anatomy content. To resolve these issues the team implemented a pre/post-test comparison among all sections.
  • All sections reported student improvement between the pre-test and post-test, with the traditional course averaging an increase of 4.82%, while the redesign course averaged an increase of 1.91%.  This difference was not statistically different. 
  • The results from the pre-test comparisons suggest that the students entering into UCM’s redesigned course were less prepared for the material as the average pre-test score was 37.55 ± 14.92%, while the average pre-test scores from the combined traditional courses was 46.77 ± 15.3%.  While this difference was not statistically significant, the nearly 20% decrease in performance would suggest the populations were not perfect comparisons. In addition, the average ACT score for the redesigned course was 20.9 versus 22.4 for the traditional courses combined, which represents a nearly 9.5% decrease in ACT performance in the students enrolled in the redesign.

No

1. Missouri Southern State University Oral Communications (compared common final exams)

  • Students in the redesigned section of the course had a lower average score on the final assessment used to evaluate student performance.  The average score for traditional sections was 71.3%, while the average score for the redesigned sections was 66.6%.

2. Northwest Missouri State University Principles of Management (compared common final exams)

  • Students in the redesigned section of the course had a lower average score on the final assessment used to evaluate student performance.  The average score for traditional sections was 77%, while the average score for the redesigned sections was 71%.

2) Did course completion rates improve (measured by comparing final grades)?

Yes

1. University of Central Missouri Intermediate Algebra

  • Student success rates (final grade of C or better) increased from 68% in the traditional sections to 85% in the redesigned sections.
  • The percentage of students receiving an A in the redesigned sections was more than twice of those in the traditional section (48% vs. 23%). 
  • It is worth noting that some instructors of the traditional sections curved the grades of the sections they taught, while all the redesigned sections were graded on a straight scale.

2. University of Missouri Kansas City College Algebra

  • Course completion (final grades of C or better) increased slightly in the redesign from 63.8% in three previous fall semesters to 66.5% in the redesigned semester.

No difference (but traditional completion rates were 96%)

1. Truman State University Lifetime Health and Fitness

  • Course completion rates were comparable with 96% of students receiving a C or higher in the traditional course, while 95% of students received a C or higher in the redesigned course.

No difference

1. Missouri Science and Technology University General Chemistry

  • There was no significant difference in the completion rate in the redesigned course with 77.23% of students receiving a C grade or better in the redesign compared with 78.30% in the traditional course.

2. Missouri State University Introductory Psychology

  • Completion rates (grades of C or better) were 76% in both the traditional and redesign sections.

3. University of Central Missouri Human Anatomy

  • Because the course content changed from a combination of anatomy and physiology to only anatomy, it is difficult to make a valid course completion comparison between traditional A&P I and II and the redesigned Human Anatomy course.

Course

Timeframe

C or Better

A&P I  

Fall 2011 & Spring 2012

70%

A&P II 

Spring 2012 & Fall 2012

73%

Human Anatomy

Fall 2012

69%

  • The percentage of students earning a D or F across all traditional sections was 27.7%, whereas the percentage in the redesigned sections was 20.4%.

4. University of Missouri St. Louis Computers and Information Systems

  • There was no significant difference in the final grades for the course: 85% of students in the traditional course received a passing grade (defined as C or better) versus 84% of students in the redesigned course.

No, but standards were higher in the redesign

1. Lincoln University Basic English

  • The percentage of students earning a grade of C or better in the traditional course was 50%; in the redesigned course, it was 36%.
  • Since grade inflation was an issue in the past affecting approximately 20% of students, the lower number mastering the course in the redesign is not alarming. In addition, exit standards were not only consistent in the redesigned course but also higher than in the traditional course.

2. Missouri Southern State University Oral Communications

  • The percentage of students earning a grade of C or better in the traditional course was 65%; in the redesigned course, it was 64%.
  • However, the final grades from the traditional courses suffered from grade inflation. Even though the course had a syllabus as a guideline, the preponderance of the 18 adjuncts instructing sections viewed the guideline in differing ways. Some of the sections did not require speeches; rather, these sections replaced actual speeches with rhetorical criticisms of speeches. These sections tended to have curved grades that were mostly A or B. In the redesign, the ULAs were trained to follow the National Communication Association guidelines for oral communication presentations to standardize what an A or B speech should be. Most adjunct instructors in the traditional course could not have identified those competencies in an oral presentation.

No

1. Missouri Western State University Introduction to Business

  • The percentage of students earning a grade of C or better in the traditional course was 69%; in the redesigned course, it was 60%.

2. Northwest Missouri State University Principles of Management

  • Completion rates (final grade of C or better) in the traditional and redesigned sections dropped dramatically from 81% to 57%.

3) Were instructional costs reduced?

Yes – Saved More

1. Missouri Science and Technology University General Chemistry

  • MS&T’s cost savings plan was to reduce the number of instructors needed to teach the course by increasing the section size from 200 to 400 students, reducing the number of sections offered annually from six to three, and transferring some student learning experiences online. These actions would reduce the cost-per-student by 19%, from $150 to $122.
  • MS&T carried out its cost savings plan of reducing the number of instructors from six to three (two in the fall and one in the spring down from four in the fall and two in the spring) and combining original sections into larger sections of students that included face to face and synchronous online participation.
  • In addition, MS&T saved more than they anticipating since the redesign required fewer graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) than planned. Only seven GTAs were needed instead of the 12 projected. The structure of the activities allowed undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs) to replace GTAs. Three additional ULAs were hired, but at a lower rate than GTAs.
  • Further with only three sections taught annually, and a much more organized course, release time for coordination was not needed in the redesign. The actual cost-per-student dropped from $150 to $102 per student, a savings of 32%.

2. Missouri Southern State University Oral Communications

  • MSSU cost savings plan was to decrease the number of sections offered annually from 44 to four, increase section size from ~23 to 230 students and decrease the need for adjunct instructors from 18 to two. Four undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs) would work with small groups of students both in the lecture and in the Communications Assessment and Learning Lab. The cost-per-student was projected to decrease from $174 in the traditional format to $39 in the redesigned format.
  • MSSU saved more than originally projected. Since enrollment dropped from 920 students to 755, MSSU decreased the number of sections offered annually from 44 to three. The cost-per-student decreased from $174 in the traditional format to $33 in the redesigned format, a reduction of 81%.

3. University of Central Missouri Intermediate Algebra

  • UCM’s plan was to reduce the number of Intermediate Algebra instructors, all GTAs, from five to 2.5 by increasing section size from 35 to 70 students and thus reducing the number of sections offered annually from 20 to 10. Although undergraduate learning assistants were added to help staff the computer lab, the redesign would reduce the cost-per-student from $118 to $104, a 12% savings.
  • During full implementation in the fall 2012 semester, the redesign team was surprised by a high enrollment of 497 students in Intermediate Algebra (compared to the estimated average of 375 students). Therefore, eight sections of Intermediate Algebra, instead of five, were offered taught by four GTAs. Despite this modification of the plan, the cost-per-student was reduced from $118 to $103 per student, a 13% savings.

4. University of Missouri St. Louis Computers and Information Systems

  • UMSL’s original plan was to consolidate all sections under one instructor assisted by a team of undergraduate and graduate students. The number of sections would decrease from 11 to two annually and section size would increase from 50 to ~150-300 students. The planned enrollment was 550 students and would have resulted in a decrease in the cost-per-student from $113 to $95, a 16% reduction.
  • However, the actual enrollment increased to 640, yielding greater savings.  The cost-per-student decreased from $113 in the traditional sections to $81 in the redesign, a 28% reduction.

Yes

1. Northwest Missouri State University Principles of Management

  • NMSU carried out its cost savings plan which was to reduce costs by increasing section size from ~40 to 100 students, reducing the number of sections offered each year from eight to four and reducing the number of different instructors teaching the course from three to one. Graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) students assisted the faculty member by monitoring the case analyses and discussions and doing some grading. The cost per student declined from $221 to $113, a 49% reduction.

2. University of Missouri Kansas City College Algebra

  • Costs were reduced as planned by more than doubling student load for GTAs and adjunct instructors, from one section of 35-40 students to two sections of 50. Removing GTAs and adjunct instructors from the lecture setting and placing them in the lab setting means they no longer spend time preparing lectures. Additionally, far less time is spent grading student work. These changes reduced the cost per student from $103 to $67, a 35% decrease. Instructors found, however, that they had somewhat underestimated the time needed for interacting with students outside of scheduled class meetings, proctoring exams, grading and training. 

Yes – Saved Less

1. Missouri State University Introductory Psychology

  • MSU’s cost savings plan was implemented as originally planned and consisted of a combination of the restructuring of course personnel and increasing section size. The course staff changed from one faculty member or adjunct instructor teaching 153 students to a teaching team of seven individuals (one full-time faculty, one graduate student or adjunct instructor serving as senior learning assistants (SLAs), and five undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs) for a section of 300 students. The anticipated reduction in the cost-per-student was 18%.
  • The number of sections taught annually declined from 18 to nine as planned. Three changes affected the actual cost-per-student. 1) The team expected a small enrollment increase of 72 students annually, which did not occur.  Instead, the enrollment declined by about 126 students to 2500. 2) Two of the sections were taught by an experienced adjunct rather than by a full-time faculty member. 3) The team decided that the course needs a coordinator to ensure consistency and to train the multiple course staff as they change in the future. The result of those changes was that the cost-per-student actually decreased from $73 in the traditional course to $66 in the redesign, a 10% reduction.

2. Missouri Western State University Introduction to Business

  • MWSU carried out its cost reduction plan of using fewer full-time faculty to teach the course. In the traditional format, typically four faculty members taught the course in the fall and three in the spring. In the redesign, the plan was for one full-time faculty member to teach the course to one large section of students (150-160 in fall and 75-100 in spring) with support from adjuncts and undergraduate learning assistants.
  • Cost reduction was, however, less than anticipated. In the past, the typical annual enrollment was 200. During the course of the redesign, MWSU dropped its Associate of Business degree, which had required that students take the Introduction to Business course. This change unexpectedly dropped the annual enrollment by nearly half. With the reduction in sections, instruction was carried out by one faculty member and one adjunct. The cost-per-student was projected to decline by 60%, from $325 to $130. Instead, it declined by 33%, from $325 to $217.

3. University of Central Missouri Human Anatomy

  • In the traditional format, Anatomy and Physiology I and II were offered as a two-semester, combined sequence. In the redesign, Anatomy and Physiology were offered as two separate courses.  UCM’s cost reduction plan was to increase the course enrollment from 336 to 480, combine recitations and labs, increase the lab section size from 25 to 40 and reduce the number of lab sections from 14 to 12 annually. In addition, non-tenure track faculty were to replace tenure-track faculty. Graduate teaching students (GTAs) assisted by undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs) were to manage the labs. The plan showed a decline in the cost-per-student from $355 in the traditional format to $108 in the redesign, a 70% savings.
  • The implementation of the redesign followed the plan with some modifications. The increased enrollment of 480 was accommodated in sections of 40. The team decided, however, that a tenure-track faculty member should serve as course coordinator to insure that the redesign policies were clear and that consistency was maintained. The coordinator received a one-course (3 credits) release time each term. During one of the weekly labs, which included some recitation time, the non-tenure track faculty member was present and assisted by a GTA. The second weekly lab was managed by a GTA   with the assistance of a ULA. These changes increased the cost-per-student in the full implementation from the planned $108 to $161, which represents a 55% percent decline in cost.

No

1. Truman State University Lifetime Health and Fitness

  • Truman planned to reduce course sections from 15 (annually) to two and reduce faculty involvement in course instruction from seven to two people team-teaching the one large section offered each term supported by undergraduate learning assistants (ULAs.) The cost-per-student was planned to decrease from $32 in the traditional course to $21 in the redesigned format, a reduction of 34%.
  • The structure of the plan was implemented. However, the two instructors were supposed to be quarter-time; instead they were half-time. The ULAs were to be paid $1,875; instead they were paid $4,969.89. The impact of those changes was to raise the cost per student from $32 in the traditional course to $43 in the redesigned format, an increase of 31%.

4) Will the redesign be sustained after the grant period is over?

Yes

1. Lincoln University Basic English

  • This redesign should be sustainable at Lincoln.  One issue that needs to be addressed is finding high-quality undergraduates with schedules to fit around the course’s schedule.to serve as ULAs. In the future, assistants will be interviewed and secured months in advance.

2. Missouri Science and Technology University General Chemistry

  • The newly hired faculty position is permanent; therefore, there is support for the redesigned format of the course to continue.
  • There are plans to increase the number of options for students, including an online asynchronous model. Additional recitation models that are discipline-specific are also being planned.

3. Missouri State University Introductory Psychology

  • The support for the redesigned course has not wavered within the department and university, and there is every indication that the course will continue as currently designed. All of the members of the original redesign team had teaching responsibilities modified to accommodate the course redesign process, and now, these faculty wish to return to teaching other courses in addition to introductory psychology. This change will require the recruitment of additional departmental faculty interested in teaching the redesigned course (this has already begun with a combination of existing faculty and new hires). 
  • Overall, the redesign team developed a robust, engaging course, based on best-practices in teaching that have proven to significantly improve learning outcomes. Therefore, any revisions that take place in the future are likely to be relatively minor and are not expected to place any significant burden on the existing redesign team.

4. Northwest Missouri State University Principles of Management

  • The sustainability of the course redesign on campus will not be a problem.  Issues encountered with classroom availability and room scheduling during the first semester of full implementation (fall 2012) have been addressed and both sections of the redesigned course are currently (spring 2013) being executed under the originally designed schedule (two 50-minute meetings per week).
  • Technological issues with wireless connectivity in residence halls on campus are also being addressed with additional financial resources being utilized to improve and broaden wireless connectivity on campus.
  • Decreased student attendance in the redesigned sections is the primary reason for the decrease in completion rates and learning outcomes. This presents a significant concern for sustainability of the redesigned course. Alternative solutions are being generated and plans are in place to test card-swipe technology to encourage and monitor student attendance.
  • Perhaps the most significant concern pertaining to sustainability will be the student perception of the redesigned course and how it fits with the organizational culture.  However, the team anticipates that with time, students will become more familiar with the course format and the planning, organizational, and time-management skills necessary for successful performance.

NCAT Note: Given that the redesign showed a drop in mean final exams scores from 77% to 71% and a significant drop in completion rates from 81% to 57%, we would recommend against continuing this redesign in its present form. The instructor has not been able to analyze and understand the issues in the redesign that have led to decreased attendance.

5. University of Central Missouri Human Anatomy

  • The University of Central Missouri is fully dedicated to this redesign.  The initial results are promising, and the full implementation of the follow-on course, Human Physiology, is currently under way during the spring 2013 semester. The spring 2013 semester of Human Anatomy is going well.  A simple comparison of the cost savings versus the change in student performance suggests that UCM is on the right track, and these results are providing data for any individuals that are somewhat suspicious of the approach.  In addition, the entire instructional staff associated with Human Anatomy at UCM is in full support of the format and continues to work toward perfecting the course format.

6. University of Central Missouri Intermediate Algebra

  • The full implementation of redesigned Intermediate Algebra in fall 2012 occurred just in time when more math full-time faculty and adjuncts were needed to teach other courses due to increased enrollment and expanded programs within the department. Meanwhile, a lot more students than expected were required to take Intermediate Algebra. The department had to offer eight 70-seat sections, instead of five sections as originally planned. Without the redesign approach, it would have been impossible to offer three more sections accommodating nearly 200 additional students on short notice.
  • The higher course completion rate makes it clear that the redesign approach improves the student learning experience. The two redesigned College Algebra sections were full shortly after they were open for enrollment, which shows many students were in favor of redesign model when it was available. At the same time, the Department of Academic Enrichment is seeking to undertake Introductory Algebra redesign with the help of Intermediate Algebra Redesign Team.

7. University of Missouri Kansas City College Algebra

  • The redesign has shown to be a cost-effective way to improve student learning and reduce course drift.  There are no department faculty interested in moving back to the traditional format, and administration remains committed to the redesign effort.  Students are reasonably content with the format---in the full implementation there were no complaints to the department chair.  The redesign will be sustained.

Unclear

1. Missouri Southern State University Oral Communications

  • The student outcomes showed no significant difference in learning while instructional costs were reduced by 81%.  However, if the course does not receive the public support from campus leaders on along with the required technology and data assessment needed to provide success, the redesign has a clear opportunity to backslide. The cost savings and format of the course are sustainable as long as the selection and training of the learning assistants remain a priority. 

2. Missouri Western State University Introduction to Business

  • The team plans to continue the redesign for at least two more years since the enrollment numbers will stay high enough for at least that length of time. The course redesign was certainly worth the time and effort.  Two other disciplines on campus have already adopted a redesign model for their large course sections and many others are considering it too.  This will result in a net gain for the university as a whole.

3. University of Missouri St. Louis Computers and Information Systems

  • Despite the best efforts of the redesign team and lead instructor to communicate the goals and structure of the redesign, institutional changes in leadership have posed a number of obstacles.  The department chair left UMSL just before the full implementation and the dean of the college of business administration is stepping down.  As the information systems department shrinks in faculty FTEs and students and our institution faces substantial budget cuts in the near future, the challenge is to lobby for the necessary resources (a large teaching space to accommodate all students at one time).

No

1. Truman State University Lifetime Health and Fitness

  • The traditional model of the course included two separate courses—Lifetime Health & Fitness (1.5 credits) and Lifetime Physical Activities (.5 credits) for a total of two credits. The redesigned course Lifetime Health & Fitness (three credits) included expanded course content and doubled the physical activity portion from half a semester to a full one. There is substantial faculty governance resistance to “inflating” the Personal Well-Being requirement from two credits to three credits. It was acceptable to Undergraduate Council but not Faculty Senate for students to have a choice of either the two-credit model or the three-credit model.
  • The department is unwilling to offer the redesigned course as a two-credit class. It is too resource-intensive to sustain if the credit hours generated are reduced by 33-50%. Faculty Senate will revisit this issue at the end of March 2012.
  • Because many students prefer the full semester activity class, while others are more comfortable with the less intensive option, the department plans to offer one section of the redesigned course to approximately half of the HES enrollment (300 seats) and four sections (300 seats) of the traditional course if Faculty Senate accepts the three credit hours. If not, no sections of the redesign will be offered.

Final reports from each completed redesign are available at http://www.theNCAT.org/States/MO/MO%20Project%20Descriptions.html.
Final reports include learning outcome data, course completion data, cost reduction data, a discussion of the most important pedagogical techniques that led to increased learning, a discussion of the most important cost reduction techniques that led to reduced costs, a discussion of implementation issues encountered during the redesign process, and a discussion of future sustainability of the redesign.

 

 

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