Monterey Bay

Interim Report

Posted by: Suzanne Aurilio
Date: 1/3/2008 4:14 pm
Views: 9056

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.