Summary of Transforming Course Design Projects
Supporting 1st Year and Transitional Success
Developing Information and Technology Literacy
Improving Success in Mathematics Courses
Campus-wide projects (multiple courses)
Multi-campus Disciplinary Collaborations
|Channel Islands||Seed project|
+ advising CSUSB
|Dominguez Hills||Advising CSUSB||Seed project||Teacher Ed|
|East Bay||Advising CSUSB||Human Development|
|Fresno ||History Lead|
|Fullerton||2 courses tbd|
|Humboldt State University||History|
|8 G.E. courses||LCT Languages|
|Los Angeles||Seed project||Teacher Ed|
|Seed project||Less Commonly Taught (LCT) Languages Lead|
|Math 103||Teacher Ed. Lead|
|Cal Poly Pomona||4 medium enrolment tbd|
|Seed project||LCT Languages|
|San Bernardino||Gateway Program|
|San Diego State||12-15 GE courses||History|
|San Francisco State||Calculus I||Advising CSULB|
|San Jose State||Advising on LCT|
|Cal Poly San Luis Obispo||2 courses tbd|
|San Marcos||2 courses tbd|
|Sonoma State||6 high enrolment GE courses tbd|
Supporting 1st Year/Transitional Success
[advisory role for CSUDH, CSUEB, CSUC]
The Gateway Program II
The Gateway Program is an innovative approach to address CSUSB’s low six-year graduation and two-year retention rates. The program merges a first-year experience – a transition program designed to both motivate student success and to provide students with a clear sense of what college-level work entails – into required first-year G.E. courses that have been transformed into inquiry-based classes that emphasize active, collaborative learning and encourage greater interaction between students and faculty (in part through the integration of an online learning management system).
In our initial year, 2006-07, 150 students took Gateway-enhanced versions of introductory composition (ENG 085A in Fall ’06 and ENG 085B in Winter ’07) in cohorts of 20, and then moved with their cohorts into a set of subsequent Gateway courses. We know that in order to move our program closer to institutionalization and sustainability, we need to address the high cost of keeping all these Gateway-enhanced sections capped at twenty students.
During the academic year 2007-2008, our project will restructure the program so that the third Gateway-enhanced course that students take will be a large class 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. This new structure, Gateway II, will enroll 320 students in 2007-08 and involve sixteen sections of ENG 085A/B, plus one section each of PSYCH 100, Health and Society: An Ecological Approach (HSCI 120), and World Civilizations II (HIST 142). Our intent is to capitalize on the bonds established in the smaller learning communities and engage students in active, collaborative learning, and to provide more immediate feedback from and contact with their instructors – all at a level close to the small cohort Gateway classes.
Improving Academic Success – Using Adjuncts for Gatekeeper Gen. Ed. Courses
The Learning Skills adjunct classes provide students at CSUS with a focused, nurturing environment conducive to successful learning. Our adjunct courses offer supplementary instruction as a cost-effective way to give students the skills necessary to succeed in large lecture sections. Under the guidance of trained and supervised senior students acting as Adjunct Facilitators, students practice the skills necessary to succeed in the GE coursework. While the focus of each Learning Skills adjunct class is directed towards successful completion of the concurrently enrolled GE course, the organizational activities, active learning strategies and collaborative techniques emphasized within the adjunct class transfer to other academic areas, contributing to improved retention rates.
In our project, the current Adjunct Coordinator will work with campus leadership to promote the expansion of the adjunct program beyond the current focus on students from targeted demographic groups, and to additional GE courses where large numbers of students historically have encountered academic obstacles to success. This seed project will include an analysis of the cost savings from such an expansion of Supplemental instruction through the adjunct program, as a result of decreasing the number of course repetitions due to failure or withdrawal so that the required number of sections and number of faculty members to teach them are reduced. If we can move our students through more quickly by enabling them to pass key courses in fewer attempts, this will generate considerable savings both in terms of institutional resources and student investment.
Contact: Shelagh Nugent, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Summit Program – Learning and Community Support for Transfer Students
The Summit Program at California State University, Stanislaus is an interdisciplinary program that links upper division general education classes together to improve a sense of community and quality learning, particularly for junior transfer students. With solid qualitative and quantitative results that show improved student learning, deeper levels of understanding of the subject matter, and higher retention and graduation rates for junior transfers University-wide, the Summit Program has proven to be a successful model for upper division general education. In this seed project, we will be developing a plan to transform the Program, elevating it from the status of a successful model to a high-profile program that is a standard for upper division general education.
This project will increase the number of clusters to serve more students and establish a foundation for continued growth of the Program. Current courses in the clusters will be redesigned, and new courses will be designed to expand the use of technology, increase opportunities for service learning, and embed assignments to be used for outcome-based assessment. Technology support for these learning communities will be developed, enrollment will be expanded through a new marketing and enrollment infrastructure, and faculty support will be increased by establishing a support network to bolster technology training, service learning opportunities, and student advising and participation in the Summit Program.
Contact: Marjorie Jaasma, MJaasma@csustan.edu
Integrating Technology in the 1st-Year Seminar
CSU Chico’s First-Year Seminar (FYS), UNIV 101, serves over 500 incoming students each year. This project will enhance student learning outcomes in the course by addressing the following issues:
• the use of inconsistent content and pedagogy across sections (currently 23; 25-30 sections planned for Fall 08);
• the lack of statistically significant gains in students’ understanding of information literacy, which is one important component of the course content;
• the use of assignments which are disconnected from students’ lived experiences and real needs;
• the lack of consistent quality in students’ introduction to and use of WebCT Vista;
• the failure to acknowledge what students know about technology and the inability to engage them in meaningful conversations around the links between technology and learning.
This project includes a series of developments that will address these problems through:
• creating a common WebCT Vista shell for all sections of the course, to provide consistency and innovative pedagogy to support learning communities within and across sections;
• creation of an online resource for the development of a common virtual text based on authentic student experience, and the archiving of student work for assessment purposes;
• re-designing the information literacy portion of the course to link instruction to meaningful student inquiry projects focused on enhanced academic content of the course. In addition, the librarian for the First Year Experience will deliver a single large lecture to students in multiple sections which will be integrated with small group meetings with student teams;
• exploration of students' use of mobile computer technology as important arenas for learning and delivery of course content through the TeachBack program.
Contact: Thea Wolf, email@example.com
Online/Interactive Directed Self-Placement in English Composition
For 25 years, the CSU has used a standardized test, the English Placement Exam, to place students in first-year writing classes. English Composition at CSUCI handles 400-500 incoming students each fall. For the past four years, the Channel Islands campus has experimented with an alternative to placement by testing: Directed Self-Placement (DSP). DSP invites students to place themselves in first-year writing after conducting a series of questionnaires that help them evaluate their confidence and experience as writers…. This program has been widely acclaimed as an innovative approach to English Composition. Furthermore, it was the model for Fresno State’s new DSP program and is being considered by other CSUs as a model for their English Composition programs.
The entire success of DSP rests on students being informed—about their own abilities and experiences, and about the composition program at CSUCI… This proposal intends to dramatically increase the information available online to students, in a generalized form which can be re-used and adapted at other CSU campuses.
…We are also looking to integrate applicable DSP methods into the Computer Literacy Program. There is a similar problem in placing students in the proper computer literacy course because of an extremely wide variation in student competencies in this area. Currently, the Computer Literacy Program uses a lengthy diagnostic test to help student decide whether to take a basic computer literacy class (MS Word, Excel, Power Point, Access) or a more advanced course that covers the basics of Web Development, Networks and Databases. We believe that the DSP philosophy could be adapted to help make the computer literacy placement process more efficient and effective.
Contact: Bob Mayberry, Bob.Mayberry@csuci.edu
Developing Information and Technology Literacy
Embedding Information Literacy in Human Development Course Redesign
The Human Development Department has been a major leader in the effort to transform courses. This latest redesign will be launched in Fall 2007. The department is also in the process of submitting a substantive change proposal to WASC because more than 50% of the curriculum will be fully online. One of the ongoing goals of the curriculum redesign is to improve student research skills, and this joint project with the University Libraries…will engage students in increasingly complex research projects that ultimately lead to a major research capstone project. Team members will map the curriculum and identify appropriate points in which to embed information literacy learning objectives. By the end of the program, students taking the Human Development curriculum should be sophisticated in information literacy and their growing skills will be demonstrated at each course level, culminating in their capstone projects.
Online modules will be developed for the specific research points identified in the mapping process, and will involve a variety of technology tools deemed appropriate for each research point. This could include blogs, wikis, video presentations, animation, etc.
These resources will be discussed with our Assistive Technology and IT staff as issues arise regarding accessibility and infrastructure challenges. Testing and assessment will involve a variety of techniques based on both human development and library learning outcomes.
Contact: Lori Townsend, firstname.lastname@example.org
Promoting Student Success in Undergraduate Scholarship using Information Literacy and New Media Technology Across Disciplines
The Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS) program at CSU Dominguez Hills primarily serves returning and non-traditional students. IDS 490, the Senior Seminar in IDS and Labor Studies is presently a class that provides students with an opportunity to do research in their areas of concentration, and to redefine how they have previously thought about information and research as they develop the capabilities of information literacy. This project seeks to transform IDS 490 through the development of online tutorials for information literacy to assist students in their efforts to do research, as well as to develop skills in new media technology (PowerPoint, webpage, and iMovie-type presentation formats).
Faculty will work with staff in Academic Technology and the Library to create and customize these tutorials and assessment tools for the Senior Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies and Labor Studies, and embed them in Blackboard pages for the class. We are interested in developing our capability to provide students more quality interaction with faculty, while delivering upper-division academic research and presentation skills in a cost effective manner. This project provides a basis for our campus to develop important models of efficiency in online tutorials for use in both face-to-face classes as well as in distance learning. It also maps out a method for making our students better acquainted with new media technology to present their work in public forums, furthering their academic and professional careers.
Contact: Vivian Price, email@example.com
Redesign of CST 101 [Tech Tools]
“Tech Tools” (formally titled CST 101) is a course offered by the CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB) Information Technology and Communications Design (ITCD) department in collaboration with the CSUMB Library. In teaching the CSUMB senior Capstone preparatory classes, CSUMB librarians have found that students in large measure have forgotten many of the concepts and skills taught in the CST 101 “Tech Tools” course they took as first-year or sophomore students. In this seed project, the course team will be learning how to apply Transforming Course Design to improve the outcomes and reduce the costs of CST 101. Nine other classes at CSUMB provide Tech Tools-type content, often making use of the Tech Tools curriculum and assessments. The Tech Tools course redesign will produce reusable resources and assessment tools for these courses to employ.
Contact: Mardi Chalmers, Mardi_Chalmers@csumb.edu
Improving Success in Mathematics Courses
Improving Understanding of Calculus Content as a Pilot Study in Course Transformation
The original seed project is being converted to a course demonstration project that will provide a compelling local example of the effectiveness of transforming course design within the CalState Los Angeles context.
Contact: Ethan Lipton, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bridging the Gap: Improving Passing Rates in Math 103 – Mathematical Methods for Business
About 3,250 students a year at California State University Northridge (CSUN) enroll in an introductory mathematics course that fulfills a major program requirement or a prerequisite to one. In these courses, only 55-65% of students achieve a grade of C or better. (These numbers are not unique to CSUN.) The entrance requirements to the CSU call for students to have exposure to all or most of the prerequisite material in these courses. The dominant reason for failure in these courses is the lack fluidity and/or depth of understanding of the mathematics taken in secondary school. What is missing is a bridge between the prerequisites and the college-level course material.
This project will develop a “Bridge-the-Gap” solution to increase student success in these courses. The solution model has two key elements: 1) a prerequisite test that determines the existing level of understanding of prerequisite material and 2) a self-paced, modular enrichment laboratory that includes the integration of advanced software tools and face-to-face time with a laboratory instructor. Resources and assignments in the laboratory will be placed in distinct online modules, which the students can move through at their own pace. Because each student will be unique in their understanding and retention of prerequisite material, each student can focus on his or her areas of specific difficulty. The enrichment laboratory will also provide an instructor to assist students having difficulties with the material and/or software. This hybrid format, therefore, allows students to move at their own pace, but have access to face-to-face time with an instructor when their encounter difficulties.
Contact: Katherine Stevenson, Katherine.Stevenson@csun.edu
Calculus in the New Millennium
In a typical year at SF State, only 50% of the 800 students who enroll in Calculus I will earn a grade of C or better and thereby qualify to continue into Calculus II. According to reports shared in Fall 2005 by CSU Math Chairs, success rates are about as low at many other CSU campuses. Calculus is a gatekeeper to entry into most science majors, so improving the success rate in calculus could well allow more students to succeed in the sciences. Two primary reasons for failure stand out: poor preparation and lack of student engagement. Many students lack prerequisite skills in algebra, trigonometry and logical reasoning, and the same students find it difficult to learn calculus in the present lecture format. This is not to blame the students, many of whom spend hours each week struggling to read their book and do their homework. They just lack the strategies to learn calculus without additional support.
This project is designed to provide calculus students with additional support in a cost-effective manner through the utilization of on-line, interactive curricular materials and classroom instruction based on the principles of active and collaborative learning. The key concept is interactive, because interactivity is the component that is missing from current calculus instruction. The course redesign will include the following features:
• Calculus concepts and methods will be introduced through a weekly two hour on-line calculus lesson interspersed at intervals of no more than ten minutes with interactive activities. The activities must be successfully completed to continue the lesson, and the system has the capability of tracking student participation.
• Concepts and methods will be reinforced in classes meeting three hours each week under the guidance of an instructor trained in collaborative group, active learning methods and following a carefully prepared syllabus.
• Six times each semester students will be asked to write a literate answer to a problem. They will state in complete sentences what the problem asks, how they found their answer, and what their answer means. These papers are usually little more than one page long, but that is more formal writing than most calculus courses require. We believe that even occasional writing shows students the thought processes they should employ when solving problems and prepares them for more advanced work in mathematics. These solutions will be graded by the classroom instructors.
Contact: Arek Goetz, email@example.com
Campus-wide projects (multiple courses)
SAGE Designs for Learning: Linking GE Assessment Outcomes to Transforming Course Design [advisory role for SFSU]
The central goal of the SAGE Designs for Learning project is to link assessment activities with improved student learning and student success. The CSULB general education program initiated an assessment project called S.A.G.E (Student Achievement in General Education) during the 06/07 academic year. In SAGE Designs for Learning we plan to extend the SAGE project by adding a course redesign component. Eight faculty partners teaching GE foundation courses will use their SAGE assessment outcomes to identify student learning challenges that impact student learning and student success.
These faculty partners will collectively take our course redesign faculty development modules (e-Merging Learning Workshop) with the goal of transforming a component of their GE foundation courses. The e-Merging Learning Workshop provides LMS-based modules specific to improving learning and student success and helps faculty members understand how the Learning Management System can be used to improve student/faculty interaction, increase interaction among students, provide a tool for continuous assessment and feedback, and add flexibility for collaborative learning in a commuter campus environment.
In addition to incorporating general education assessment into transforming course design processes, our key objectives in the project include the creation of an online community of practice in general education and integrating transforming course design with ongoing activities in faculty development.
Contact: Terre Allen, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Formative Evaluation Framework to Facilitate Development of Blended, Hybrid and Distance Education Courses for General Education and Professional Education
This project will create a Formative Evaluation Framework to augment other activities in Transforming Course Design, such as SDSU’s I5 Course Design Institute. We will develop methods and guidelines that yield evaluation data directly relevant and immediately applicable to improvement of enabling conditions for learning in 12-15 large general education courses. These enabling conditions include clear statements of expected learning outcomes, student attendance, student access and utilization of materials and resources, engagement in class activities, feedback to students, and reflection by students on course-related experiences.
Requested funding will be devoted exclusively to development of a framework for providing course instructors and instructional support personnel with robust and reliable streams of evidence they will need to make iterative improvements in these enabling conditions. The project team will design the Formative Evaluation Framework (FEF) to be scalable, portable, and suitable for dissemination in conjunction with learning management systems such as Blackboard and WebCT. The goal is to make the evaluation framework and its tools and methods ready for demonstration to other CSU campuses by Fall 2008.
Contact: Jim Julius, email@example.com
From Faculty Teams to Communities of Practice – Leveraging DOLCE for Medium Enrollment Courses
In 2006, building upon Cal Poly Pomona’s previous successful course redesign efforts, the DOLCE program for Designing Online Learning-Centered Environments was implemented. Teams consisting of three to four faculty members, as well as an instructional designer and a content specialist librarian, redesigned courses for online or blended delivery. During the first year, teams in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Information Systems redesigned four courses with positive outcomes. In most cases, several different faculty members concurrently taught the redesigned courses. There have been over one thousand enrollments in these courses during the initial year in which they have been offered. Perhaps most impressively, students in the redesigned courses achieved grades equal to or better than their colleagues in traditional sections.
The principal goal of our current project is to explore whether some of the same procedures used to accomplish these objectives for high enrollment courses can be employed to accomplish similar objectives for medium enrollment courses. In this project we will be extending our previous DOLCE efforts in the following ways:
• adapting the current DOLCE course redesign and support models for multi-section, multi-instructor courses;
• organizing a community of practice in course redesign;
• training instructors to use pedagogical techniques that support effectively teaching in online and blended formats; and
• creating courses that are sustainable beyond the project lifetime
Contact: Peggy Perry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Developing an Effective Process for Transforming Courses
Our primary objective is to jointly develop a systematic process for our faculty members to effectively redesign courses to improve student success. Towards that end we will develop a model to achieve the following outcomes:
• educate faculty about course redesign principles, goals and methods.
• demonstrate the assessment and evaluation methods faculty may use when considering a redesign of a course.
• provide a step-by-step model which faculty may use when redesigning a course.
• implement an assessment and reassessment process for use in determining the impact of redesign on teaching, learning and costs.
We have established the following milestones in our project plan to achieve these goals:
1) Complete analysis and outreach required to identify courses and faculty on both campuses.
2) Implement Course Redesign Training jointly with partner campus
3) Identify faculty redesign goals, strategies and methods to assess student learning outcomes.
4) Identify methods and practices required to implement the redesign including technology when appropriate.
5) Complete the “step by step model” as referred to above.
6) Assess teaching impact, learning impact and cost.
7) Capture the story along with the training model, and apply to other faculty.
Student success will be measured by decreased withdrawal rates, increased final grades and student satisfaction surveys. Costs will be reduced by fewer drops and withdrawals in course and lower failure rates. Costs will also be decreased by reducing student and faculty time to achieve specified learning outcomes.
Contact: Linda Scott, lscott@csusm
Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Large Enrollment Course Redesign at Cal Poly
The primary need addressed by this project is to develop the capability to apply the course transformation to large enrollment courses and to demonstrate its effectiveness to the broader campus community. The use of technology to improve student learning and reduce costs (e.g. potentially increase time faculty have for student interaction and scholarly activity) has had strong support at Cal Poly for a number of years. What has been lacking is a demonstration of its effectiveness that is convincing to large numbers of faculty.
This project will demonstrate the feasibility of improved learning and lower cost relative to traditional small class size (35 or less) instruction. Some specific project objectives and milestones include:
• achieve the redesign of a large (multi-section) course with assessments and metrics that demonstrate its effectiveness.
• begin the technology transfer of two major components of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) project to Cal Poly State University at San Luis Obispo and demonstrate their effective use.
We believe that a major result of our effort will be the further development of our “Hybrid Courses: Planning and Implementing with Success” course into an online course that may be used by faculty in course transformation and in particular the development of hybrid courses. This course will be made available to other CSU campuses and beyond.
Contact: Tim Kearns, email@example.com
Supporting and Transforming Academic Milestones:
Pachyderm-Enhanced Demonstrations and Education
The STAM:PEDE program is intended to improve student learning in high enrollment General Education courses, while simultaneously addressing the issue of instructional costs, through the development of engaging online units of instruction. STAM:PEDE will offer a structured Faculty Learning Community to better foster exchange and development of ideas across disciplines, as well as systematic training opportunities for participating faculty.
The online content of each STAM:PEDE course will be increased to approximately 25%. To better accommodate a variety of student learning styles, the online units of instruction will be multi-modal and non-linear in format; while they will be accessed and experienced in a self-paced mode by individual students, collaborative learning experiences will be developed as extensions. To decrease passive lecture time, our intent is to reduce teacher-directed lectures by approximately 25% in number and to decrease the amount of teacher-directed lecture time within a class session by an additional 25%. To increase the amount of active and cooperative learning in class meetings, each online unit of instruction will contain questions and prompts that will be incorporated into class meetings by instructors
Contact: Brett Christie, Brett.Christie@sonoma.edu
Multi-campus Disciplinary Collaborations
Distributed Synchronous Language Learning (DSL2)
This project will provide leadership to and model course development and distribution of language learning courses between CSU campuses through the use of synchronous and asynchronous delivery modes via internet technologies. In line with national standards and the California Foreign Language Framework, the project seeks to enhance and strengthen existing programs in order to maximize cost effectiveness and enrollments for Strategic and Less Commonly Taught Languages. The project will work with administrative divisions to streamline and clarify the infrastructure around inter-campus course offerings.
Currently there is only 1 upper division course in Japanese at each campus per semester due to low enrollment. Coordinating course offerings will effectively double those enrollments as students will be able to enroll in two courses without adding additional faculty lines at either campus. We will also expand the language course offerings on smaller campuses to include Japanese, French, Portuguese, etc. as courses are developed. Success in this model can translate to other campuses and encourage them to offer Strategic Language courses in Arabic and Chinese. In addition, coordinating campus and language-department experiences with various technologies will define ‘best-of-breed’ solutions, reducing cost and increasing availability and flexibility across the CSU.
Contact: Yoshiko Saito-Abbott, firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaboration, Consolidation and Transformation of “High Enrollment, Low Success” Courses in History
History departments in all of the CSUs are teaching similar courses. Every student in the CSU system is required to meet their American Institutions requirement. At most campuses this means that they take an American history course and a political science course…Because we see history as such a vital and integral part of the curriculum, we would like to explore ways in which students in these survey courses can learn some history content and also learn the attendant skills associated with history (thinking critically, writing analytically, reading carefully).
Although every history department has some version of this course, there is little or no contact between departments. We have no way of discerning which practices are working and which are not, which departments are exploring new and innovative teaching strategies, and which departments have already instituted course redesign projects. Aside from student evaluations, grades, and drop-out rates, we also have no data or direct assessment measures which measure student success in these courses.
Our primary objective is to initiate collaboration to improve student learning in high enrollment, low success courses which all history departments share in common (primarily the American history survey course and the World History survey course). In order to do this we will carry out the following activities:
• Bring the CSU History Department Chairs and their representatives together in order to discuss current projects (related to course redesign of high enrollment, low success courses), difficulties of implementation and plans for the future;
• Develop an Assessment Strategy and a Plan for how to collaborate on shared resources and expertise;
• Submit an expanded course redesign proposal for 2008 and follow up on other grant opportunities.
Contact: Michelle Denbeste, email@example.com
Virtual Professional Development for Master Teachers
Each year, CSUN places over 1,700 student teachers in K-12 classrooms under the direct supervision of master teachers or support providers for the requisite two semesters of clinical supervision in the teacher preparation programs… These critical experiences in the teacher preparation program lack consistency in quality across hundreds of master teachers or support providers.
The three member intra-campus collaboration team, in consultation with the intra-campus consultants and the inter-campus representatives, will design and develop a common website for master teachers in all three credential programs with two distinct virtual components—clinical supervision information/resources and professional development/training. While the majority of these two virtual components will share much in common across all three credential programs within the college, as well as across CSU campuses offering teacher preparation programs, a substantial portion is expected to be unique to each of the programs and campuses. Therefore, both the common components and the unique components to each of the programs at CSUN will be designed collaboratively so as to maintain uniformity in the technology architecture and the infrastructure to encompass future intra- and inter-campus collaboration projects on clinical supervision.
Contact: Sandra Chong, firstname.lastname@example.org