Monterey Bay

By Suzanne Aurilio - 1/3/2008 Transforming Course Design of CST 101 “Tech Tools”at CSUMB CST 101 is a for-credit course, required of all CSUMB students for graduation. It is team-taught by the Information Technology and Communications Design (ITCD) department and the CSUMB library faculty. We are using our seed grant funds to develop a grant proposal for the redesign of CST 101 “Tech Tools” and have selected the buffet-model redesign. In our case, we are using the following definition of "buffet model": providing an array of high-quality, interactive learning modules and instruction and activities with built-in, continuous assessment, and varied kinds of human interaction when needed. The two project leaders, Mardi Chalmers and George Station, have architected the structure of the redesign. CSUMB librarians and ITCD faculty will be developing the curriculum, using new pedagogies learned through professional development workshops. We will develop, borrow, or modify existing online learning modules for all "nuts and bolts" aspects of information and technology literacy. Examples of nuts-and-bolts would be learning Word word-processing software and the basics of combination (Boolean) searching. There will also be assessments for these modules. Students will be able to "test out" of a module, thereby earning the "right" not to attend the lab associated with the learning module. There will be one lab a week, staffed by a trained, paid TA, where students can get personal, one-on-one help. Library and ITCD faculty will introduce new or difficult concepts, complex skills, and ethical issues in a one hour class each week. The classes will be active, student-centered and will include group and individual work, as well as short lectures. Formative assessing will be practiced in these sessions. Using online learning modules and appropriate staff and faculty embody the Chancellor’s Office’s (CO) goal of enhancing "learning experiences and student success, through learner-centered and technology-enabled instruction." Online and formative assessments embody the CO’s goal of demonstrating "learning outcomes in rigorous assessments of student success and instructional efficiencies." Online module assessments would be created by professional assessment instrument developers or modified from existing assessments. The final project for this class is an annotated bibliography, which demonstrates students' technological skills in the construction and production of the bibliography. Research, evaluative and critical thinking skills are demonstrated in the quality of the citations and the search strategy used to find information. This will probably be the only product to be hand graded, using a newly developed rubric to streamline this process. The cost savings from this model would come from using online learning objects and assessments, staff for appropriate activities, and smaller classrooms. This model would increase efficiencies enough so that faculty would be able to handle nearly twice as many students as they do currently, and students would get more interaction with staff and faculty. This model also would scale easily, as the University continues to grow.

By Suzanne Aurilio - 11/14/2007 Mardi Chalmers writes… With this seed grant, the course team has been developing the architecture of a redesigned “Tech Tools” course (formally titled CST 101). We have chosen a buffet model for the course redesign. Our model will utilize NCAT’s six characteristics of course redesign projects: whole course redesign; use of active learning pedagogies; access to computer-based learning resources; mastery of specific learning objectives; on-demand help; and alternative staffing comprised of the appropriate level of instructional personnel. When the framework of the course is done, we will be collaborating with course instructors from the Information Technology and Communications Design (ITCD) department and teaching librarians to develop the overall pedagogical approaches. Nine other classes at CSUMB provide Tech Tools-type content, often making use of the Tech Tools curriculum and assessments. Thus, the Tech Tools course redesign will produce reusable resources and assessment tools for these courses to employ.

By Suzanne Aurilio - 10/31/2007 Redesign of CST 101 [Tech Tools] “Tech Tools” (formally


Featured Campus Project: CSU San Bernardino

The focus of our project is the transformation of our first-year experience project, the Gateway Program. We plan to restructure the program so that the third Gateway-enhanced course that students take will be a large class (such as PSYCH 100, HSCI 120, or HIST 142) transformed—through technology and other pedagogical strategies—from a lecture-based format into inquiry-based courses that promote active learning and greater teacher-student interaction and are consistent with the Gateway Program philosophy.

 Utilizing the three Gateway-enhanced large classes in Spring 2008 as part of the Spring 2008 offering will enable us to achieve our learning outcomes at a much lower cost than the previous approach, which would have us offering sixteen Gateway-enhanced courses in the Spring 2008 capped at 20 students.

 You can learn more about our project on our website.