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Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

Course Title: Information Technology Concepts
Connie Sketch

Status: This project originated as part of a collaborative program between NCAT and the Ohio Learning Network, 2004 – 2006. NCAT’s role was to introduce the course redesign methodology to Ohio institutions and assist them in developing a project plan. NCAT was not involved in project implementation; consequently, the project’s status is unknown. For more information, contact George Steele at or the project contact listed above. The project plan serves as a good example of how to think about redesigning a large-enrollment course.

Project Plan:
The Information Technologies Division (ITD) at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College will redesign Information Technology Concepts. The College offers programs in 10 areas of concentration ranging from Network Engineering Technology to Audio/Video Production. In order to ensure that program enrollees in ITD have a sound background in the fundamentals of information technology, all students are required to take this course. The course is currently offered primarily in a traditional face-to-face format with multiple sections capped at 18 students per section, an annual enrollment of 472 students. Because of the number of sections that are required, numerous adjunct instructors must be hired each term. As a result, it is difficult to ensure consistency of content and the cost for delivery of the course is very high.

Using the online model, Cincinnati State ’s redesign will include a single, media rich, section of the course with multiple instructors assigned for delivery. Online quizzes will allow instant feedback with a built-in tracking system to monitor student progress. Scheduled chat sessions and threaded discussions will support teaching and learning, with computer-mediated interaction between students and instructors and student-to-student exchange of viewpoints and shared knowledge. The redesigned course will also include computer simulations to support hands-on learning and use computer facilitated research to expand learning.

Student learning will be assessed by be pre- and post-course exams. These exams will be given to students in the traditional face-to-face offering of this course during the remainder of this calendar year to establish a baseline and to students taking the course under the new format beginning next year. The performance of students in each group will also be compared to the stated core outcomes of the class.

By reducing the number of faculty teaching the course substantially (from 12 to 4 in the fall term), the cost-per-student of Information Technology Concepts is projected to decline from $284 to $141, a decrease of 50%. In addition, because the redesign uses the fully online model, Cincinnati State will free up space that can be used for other courses and will achieve greater consistency of content so that students are better prepared for downstream courses.



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