Course Redesign 2014-2015

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 and they generally send out links to the recordings.

Here are the sessions:

  • Redesigning Fundamentals of Biology on December 9, 2014 at 1 pm EST


The course redesign initiative is scheduled to launch the summer of 2014.  These pages outline the project goals, outcomes, processes and implementation plan.

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.

Course Design Institute: 

Offer resources, facilitation and training for faculty to design/redesign high impact courses, using best practices, data-informed research, and other proven models.  A hybrid delivery institute model will be utilized to complete this work for initial course implementation during the fall 2014 semester.  Some activities will be completed online/synchronously; other activities will be completed in face-to-face/synchronous sessions.

Faculty Participant Selection Process: 

Department heads and/or course coordinators will select the faculty team members and coordinate the process within their area.


  • 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:

  • Background Information/Readings
  • Basic information on course redesign process and models
  • Imperative to complete course redesigns
  • Researched and tested models (and why they work)

Walker Center for Teaching & Learning (WCTL) personnel will act as process facilitators, provide research data, collect information, give feedback, etc., keep faculty groups on task within a timeframe and authorize payments based on deliverables.

Library faculty and IT personnel will also be available to support all course redesign teams.

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” plan outlined through FY15.
  • Implementation plan, including anticipated expenses for redesign.

Funding and Use of Funds: 

  • Faculty participating in the course design process will receive $1,000 for their work over the summer.
  • 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.). 
  • Faculty participating in the assessment component of the project may be eligible for an additional stipend at the end of spring 2015.

Tentative Timeline

May 1, 2014

  • Courses identified and faculty groups selected.

May 5 - May 11, 2014

  • Background readings, faculty groups articulate, and determine course outcomes and select a model and/or strategies to implement and provide a rationale for those selections.

May 12 - May 19, 2014

  • Face-to-face meeting for all redesign faculty groups.

May 20 – June 23, 2014 (online)

  • Course redesign work (develop common syllabi, include active learning strategies/student interaction models and technology used/incorporated).  Most of this work will take place online.

June 24 – July 14, 2014 (online)

  • Faculty/adjunct training plan developed in conjunction with WCTL personnel.
  • Monitoring plans (across sections) outlined; milestones identified with actions to take to redirect, if necessary.
  • Formative assessment measures and action plan to intervene, if necessary.
  • Summative assessment measures and data outlined to gauge success.
  • “Observation” plan outlined through FY15.
  • Measurement plan outlined to determine if redesigned course is working.
  • Anticipated costs for redesign implementation outlined.
  • Necessary support resources needed identified (tutors, supplemental instruction, peer-led study groups, etc.)

July 28 – August 1, 2014 (online and face-to-face)

  • Faculty plans presented.
  • Updated course training for all faculty teaching redesigned courses.

Fall 2014

  • Implement redesigned courses.

September 2014

  • Redesigned courses "observations."

October 2014

  • Mid-term grades recorded/reported.
  • Mid-course review data.

December 2015

  • Final grades reported.
  • Data analysis on results.
  • Faculty debriefing and revisions determined.
  • (Re)training for all faculty who teach sections of redesigned courses (incorporating revisions).

January – February 2015

  • Spring 2015 implementation of revised redesigned courses.
  • Course "observations."

March 2015

  • Mid-term grades recorded/reported.
  • Mid-course review data.

April/May 2015

  • Final grades reported.
  • Data analysis on results.
  • Faculty debriefing and revisions determined.
  • (Re)training for all faculty who teach sections of redesigned courses (incorporating revisions).


Need additional information?  Contact Dawn Ford, 423-425-4204.