|Program in Course Redesign
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa redesigned the first semester of its two-semester General Chemistry course, which enrolls approximately 1300 students annually. The traditional course was taught in large lectures of 250-400 and discussion sections of 25, serving students from several colleges including engineering, pharmacy and liberal arts. The redesign goals were to reduce the drop-failure-withdrawal rate, which was sometimes as high as 30%, and to make course content more relevant to the students' future majors. In order to promote active learning, the redesign decreased the number of large lectures and optimized student participation by using applied modular content, computer-based assignments, tutorial help, Web-based homework, and discovery-based labs. A more learner-centered environment enabled greater success for students with different learning styles. The plan expected to achieve cost savings by 1) substituting two instructors for the three used in the traditional format; 2) automating homework grading (over 16,000 assignments per semester); and 3) decreasing the number of students who must repeat the course. Incorporating these changes was expected to reduce the cost-per-student from $277 to $223, a 20% savings, which translated into an annual savings of about $70,000. 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: