What's New

Course Redesign Initiatives

Carnegie Course Redesign 2

Lumina Foundation Course Redesign

The University System of Maryland has placed a great deal of emphasis on course redesign as a strategy to improve student academic experience and performance in high enrollment core and gateway courses. The first initiatives in course redesign began in 2006 and by 2009 demonstrated significant improvements in student performance, reductions in rates of D, F, W grades, greater levels of faculty student interaction, and a rise in overall satisfaction with instruction from both students and faculty.

The USM will continue this initiative with two programs in Course Redesign that differ primarily in focus yet have many similarities in approach and goals. Thanks in part to a grant from the Carnegie Foundation to Chancellor Kirwan last year, The Carnegie Course Redesign (2) Initiative is now available to USM institutions to enable academic departments to review and redesign courses that have been traditionally taught in lecture format to large groups of students. This Initiative will provide up to $20,000 per course, with an equal institutional match, creating a $40,000 grant to cover costs associated with redesign planning and implementation. A second program, funded through the Lumina Grant Initiative, is available to all higher education in Maryland including all public and private four year institutions and the Maryland Community Colleges.

This program focuses primarily on the redesign of developmental courses but may fund other courses as appropriate. Recipients of funding from both sources will be expected to utilize the National Center for Academic Transformation's (www.thencat.org) approach to course redesign. These redesigns are not section specific but require the participation of all faculty in all sections of a multi section offering. NCAT provides multiple options on how to redesign, ranging from replacement of some in person lectures with more highly interactive online offerings, to complete reworking of courses into computer lab type approaches. This initiative is not, however, about technology. While technology tools are frequently utilized, the initiative is more about creating a higher level of interactivity both in the classroom and in its surrounding activities. While one of its goals is cost savings, the intent is to have those savings used within the academic department to allow for funding additional departmental needs.

To learn more about these offerings, faculty, department chairs and deans are invited to participate in an Orientation Workshop that will provide information on Course Redesign, illustrations of the successes of past redesigns, requirements for awards, the process for applications and timelines for participation. There will be two identical one day workshops, one on October 7 and another repeated on October 8, 2010. for full details and registration.