Course Transformation Outside CSU

NCAT Approach

Our Transforming Course Design approach shares many features with the Academic Transformation model developed by Carol Twigg and colleagues through the National Center for Academic Transformation's national projects to redesign instruction at colleges and universities with effective uses of online resources and activities.

The following features characterize the NCAT approach:

  • The use of technology to refashion the course activities according to several models, the most frequent choice being a hybrid model in which some traditional course activities are replaced by online activities or resources. Other models for using technology include augmenting traditional activities with remedial or supplemental online elements, designing new learning spaces for online work with on-site support, and combinations of all of these which allow individual students to choose which approaches best fit their needs.
  • The most successful courses maximize student engagement, emphasize active learning and use technology to enable increased amounts of high-quality contact between faculty and students.
  • The successful courses achieve these outcomes by increasing the amount of material made available online; using online quizzing and feedback mechanisms; making use of discipline-based computer laboratories; providing flexibility in course options; and maximizing student access to course help, either from an instructor or an undergraduate teaching assistant.

To be successful, this approach requires high levels of departmental commitment, a baseline level of academic technology infrastructure and technology, adequate faculty development support, and a model for assessing and evaluating outcomes.

Our approach also shares common elements with a number of other related initiatives in higher education, including the following: