|Program in Course Redesign
Portland State University
Course Title: Introductory Spanish
Portland State University (PSU) redesigned Introductory Spanish, a yearlong, multiple-section course. Because of funding and space limitations, enrollment had been arbitrarily set at about 690 enrollments annually. In some academic years, current offerings met only 50% of the demand. One faculty member coordinated the course content and taught one section; teaching assistants taught the 9-10 remaining sections. The DFW rate was approximately 25% from fall to spring. The redesigned course addressed inconsistencies among sections through improved planning, coordination and training of teaching assistants, and clear articulation with new universal second-language requirements in Oregon. Class meetings were reduced from three per week to two with increased class time spent in interactive speaking. PSU moved testing, writing and grammar instruction, and partner/group activities outside the classroom using multimedia materials; shifted responsibility for assignment development to the course director; spent additional effort training teaching assistants; increased oral practice in assigned study groups; reduced in-class time for students clearly performing above standards; and directed low-achieving students to small group sessions for additional oral practice. PSU intended to reinvest the cost savings in serving more students (300-360 students per year) for approximately the same labor cost. The results of the completed redesign can be found by following the links listed below under Final Report.
Initial Planning (as of 7/1/01)
Interim Progress Report (as of 12/31/02)
Final Report (as of 10/31/03)
Program in Course Redesign Quick Links: