Course Redesign Initiative


The National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT) has announced several webinars on the course redesign process.  These are free, but you need to register.  If you can't attend, but would like to view a recording, register anyway; they generally send out links to the recordings.

Here are the sessions:

  • Getting Started Webinar on September 16, 2014 at 1 pm EST (NOTE:  This session was canceled by the vendor.  Will be rescheduled.)
  • Redesigning The Economic System on October 14, 2014 at 1 pm EST
  • Redesigning Developmental Math on November 11, 2014 at 1 pm EST
  • Redesigning Fundamentals of Biology on December 9, 2014 at 1 pm EST


Project Overview

The course redesign initiative is scheduled to launch the summer of 2014 and continue through the 2015-16 academic year.  Course redesigned should be implemented and assessed/revised as the redesign process is completed.  These pages outline the project goals, outcomes, and processes and implementation.

Goal/Outcome for the Project: 

Redesign high impact courses (high volume, low completion rates, etc.) to improve measurable learning outcomes, and to take advantage of and to integrate evidence-based research on best practices for teaching and learning.

Positive outcomes will result in:

  • Improved student learning (as demonstrated by lower percentages of D, F, W rates).
  • Increased course completion rates.
  • Improved retention.
  • Increased student and faculty satisfaction with new modes of instruction.
  • Reduced number of students on waiting lists.
  • More consistency across all sections.

Course Design Institute: 

A Course Redesign Institute will be offered on an annual basis (for the life of the project) to present an overview of the course redesign process, resources, facilitation and training for faculty to design/redesign high impact courses, using best practices, data-informed research, and other proven models.  Based on the team preferences, some activities will be completed online/synchronously; other activities will be completed in face-to-face/synchronous sessions.

Course and Faculty Participant Selection Process: 

Department heads and/or course coordinators will select the faculty team members and coordinate the process within their area.  A call for proposed courses is planned for January 2015 that also includes a call for redesign of general education courses to online and/or hybrid formats.

Outcomes for Redesigned Courses:

  • All sections of the selected courses will be implemented using the course redesign.
  • All sections will report and post midterm grades.
  • Active learning strategies appropriate for the discipline and as evidenced in the literature will be incorporated into the course redesign.
  • Technology tools will be integrated to provide better student communication and feedback as well as increased effectiveness.

Resources and Services for the Process:

Academic Affairs personnel will act as process facilitators, provide research data, collect information, give feedback, etc., keep faculty groups on task within a time frame and authorize payments based on deliverables.

Personnel from the Walker Center for Teaching & Learning (WCTL) will be assigned to the redesign groups to provide for support for a variety of pedagogical and technological structures that may be suitable for redesigned courses.  Personnel from the Center for Academic and Innovative Technology (CAIT).  Library faculty and IT personnel will also be available to support all course redesign teams, if needed.

Funding and Use of Funds: 

Project funds are available for course redesign and for the general education online initiative that can be used to cover faculty stipends, implementation costs, software and hardware, etc. as indicated in the project plans.

  • Faculty participating in the course design process may receive $1,000 for their work to develop a plan for the course.  Departments may elect to make these funds available for faculty professional development or other departmental needs as they see fit.
  • Limited funds are available to support the project through its first year of implementation (classroom technology, equipment and supplies to support applied, active, and experiential learning, etc.).

Books and Electronic Resources:

  • Chickering, Arthur W. (Fall 1991).  Institutionalizing the seven principles and the faculty and institutional inventories. New Directions For Teaching And Learning. Jossey Bass Inc. 47.
  • Chickering, Arthur W. and Gamson, Zelda F. (March 1987). Seven principles for good practice In undergraduate education. [Online]. Available: [2002, September 16].
  • Fink, D. (2003).  Creating significant learning experiences:  An integrated approach to designing college courses.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass
  • The National Center for Academic Transformation. (n.d.).


  • Redesigned course syllabi and sample course schedules.
  • Training plan for all faculty teaching the course.
  • Assessment and data plan to measure course efficacy and student completion rates.
  • “Observation” and assessment plan outlined through one academic year.
  • Implementation plan, including anticipated expenses for redesign.

Need additional information?  Contact Dawn Ford