Included in the schedule for the second year in a row, the course redesign track at Cite 2012, held April 10-12 in Orlando, Florida, brought administrative faculty together to discuss the effect of using technology for course redesign.
The course redesign track included five presentation themes and one distinguished panel providing prospective and advice from experienced leaders in course redesign. Michael Badolato, Senior Academic Technology Office atMiddlesex Community College, discussed his school’s RAMP-up math initiative. This complete redesign of the developmental math sequence took a traditionally delivered course-based model to one that is modular, mastery-based, and technology-driven. Badolato stressed the importance of college-wide collaboration as one of the keys to overcoming the many challenges that arise during a large redesign.
Assistant Professor Theresa Ryerse Overton and Instructor Beverlee Drucker, both in the mathematics department of Northern Virginia Community College, covered the road to redesign by sharing their stories of using redesign as a solution to improving success rates in developmental math. Again, the importance of collaboration was stressed by Overton and Drucker who said that their redesign would have been a struggle without the support of their administration. Since collaboration is such an important factor in redesign, Overton and Drucker reminded everyone that there really is a growing community of faculty at all different stages of the redesign process so “you’re never alone”. They assured the audience that there’s bound to be a model out there to follow or a colleague to talk with if you’re stuck in the process or new to redesign.
A common problem that faculty look to course redesign to improve is student failure/drop-out rates. Kate Demarest, Chair of the Business and Information Technology Department at Carroll Community College, addressed this issue with a multi-stage course redesign process in Principles of Accounting that included the incorporation of MyAccountingLab. Using both technology and improved pedagogy, Demarest has seen grade distributions move closer to the departmental norm, as well as an increase in student and faculty engagement in the learning process.
Also included in this course redesign track was a distinguished lecture presentation focusing on increasing learning and reducing costs. Both KlausWoelk, Chemistry Chair at Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Dr. Martha Campbell, Dean of Communications at St. Petersburg College, presented. Woelk took on the increasing learning portion of the presentation by sharing how he targeted diverse learning needs with a “buffet” redesign model, while Campbell shared strategies on reducing time (and costs) in developmental education.
This diverse learning track came to a close with nearly all of the session presenters sitting on a panel moderated by Carolyn Jarmon from NCAT. Badolato, Drucker, Demarest, Overton, and Woelk all shared their perspective on and advice for those engaged in course redesigns. Of course, Jarmon offered sage advice as well, when she told the crowd that, “simply wanting to use more technology is not the reason to redesign,” but rather redesign should be undertaken to achieve better learning outcomes at a lower cost by taking advantage of the capabilities of information technology.
PowerPoint slides from these presentations can be found online along with additional archives from previously-held course redesign events.
Other areas administrators took advantage of at Cite 2012 included best practices for creating impactful course content, tips and tricks to take online teaching to the next level, collaboration across learning environments, and strategies for improving the student experience and engaging new learners.
Information on Cite 2013, can also be found online.