Friday, April 1, 2011

Course Redesign: What is it?

This spring, my college, Maysville Community and Technical College, is working on our course redesign plan for mathematics.  Course redesign means adding multimedia and internet to a course to improve student learning.

A summary of course redesign is posted on the Pearson website.
Course redesign is the process of restructuring the way the content of a course is delivered. It generally involves the redesign of an entire course (rather than individual classes or sections) to achieve better learning outcomes—often at a lower cost. This is most often done by taking advantage of the capabilities of technology to deliver effective online teaching and learning experiences.
The leader in course redesign is The National Center for Academic Transformation or NCAT.  The NCAT offers six different models of course redesign.  The models are listed below, with my thoughts on each.

The Supplemental Model

From the NCAT Website:
The supplemental model retains the basic structure of the traditional course and a) supplements lectures and textbooks with technology-based, out-of-class activities, or b) also changes what goes on in the class by creating an active learning environment within a large lecture hall setting.
More info:  The Supplemental Model

My thoughts:  The phrase "large lecture hall setting" is very telling of some of the implicit bias.  Our developmental classes have an enrollment cap of 22 students.

This appears to boil down to keeping things the same with addition of videos, similar to those of the Khan Academy, or computer-based homework, like MyMathLab.

The Replacement Model
From the NCAT Website:
The replacement model reduces the number of in-class meetings and a) replaces some in-class time with out-of-class, online, interactive learning activities, or b) also makes significant changes in remaining in-class meetings.
More infoThe Replacement Model

My thoughts:  This is my favorite of the redesign models.  It allows the most flexibility in curriculum as well as use of time.  Students can work outside of class on the computationally based material, while class time can be used for higher level work and applications.  We've been using the replacement model for a while at our college for some college level classes.

The Emporium Model
From The NCAT Website:
The emporium model replaces lectures with a learning resource center model featuring interactive computer software and on-demand personalized assistance.
More info:  The Emporium Model

My thoughts:  This is the most common redesign model to be implemented.  It is so popular, that most people don't remember the other five models.  Last week, John Squires told a gathering of KCTCS mathematics faculty that the emporium model is the only successful model.  It is being implemented at most of the KCTCS colleges, including Maysville.  I'll say more on the emporium model in a future post.

The Fully Online Model
From the NCAT Website:
The fully online model eliminates all in-class meetings and moves all learning experiences online, using Web-based, multi-media resources, commercial software, automatically evaluated assessments with guided feedback and alternative staffing models.
More infoThe Fully Online Model

My thoughts:  I'm not a fan of teaching mathematics online, especially for developmental mathematics.  I only send my advisees to online math classes if all of our sections are full.  I believe that this can work well for other disciplines.

The Buffet Model
From the NCAT Website:
The buffet model customizes the learning environment for each student based on background, learning preference, and academic/professional goals and offers students an assortment of individualized paths to reach the same learning outcomes.
More info: The Buffet Model

My thoughts:  This would work well for students who are intimately familiar with their own learning.  However, very few developmental students would fit in this category.

The Linked Workshop Model
From the NCAT Website:
The Linked Workshop model provides remedial/developmental instruction by linking workshops that offer students just-in-time supplemental academic support to core college-level courses.
More infoThe Linked Workshop Model

My thoughts:  There is not enough here to have any thoughts about.

These are the six models for course redesign.  The emporium model has gotten all of the attention.  The replacement model is my favorite.  Tune in next time for more information.