Changing the Course of Learning

Large Course Redesign Grant Initiative

The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) invites participation in a university-wide initiative to improve student outcomes by redesigning large-enrollment courses using active learning strategies and integrated educational technologies to “change the course of learning.” The Large Course Redesign (LCR) Grant Initiative is aimed at “making large courses feel small.” 

Research has shown that undergraduate enrollments in the United States are highly concentrated in introductory courses. On average nationally the 25 largest courses generate about 35 percent of student enrollment. In addition, successful completion of these courses is key to student progress toward a degree. High failure rates in these courses can lead to significant drop-out rates between the first and second years of enrollment.  National course redesign initiatives have demonstrated significant improvement in achievement of learning outcomes, reduction in drop-failure-withdrawal (DFW) rates, and enhanced resource effectiveness, along with improved student attitudes toward the subject matter.

 

Eligibility Criteria & Program Features

  • Courses should have an enrollment of 100+ students in very large sections or a large number of smaller sections;
  • Courses should have an identifiable academic problem (e.g., high DFW rates, lack of student engagement, limited assessment strategies, limited faculty-student or student-student interaction);
  • LCR projects should be as specific as possible about anticipated results and benefits to different stakeholders (i.e. students, faculty, department, university)
  • In cases where there are multiple sections, the intent is to redesign the whole course rather than a single class/section
  • The decision to commit to the LCR project has strong support from the academic department and department head
  • Identification of an exemplary course being taught at a peer/aspirant institution and willingness to travel to learn what others are doing more effectively
  • Projects can be led by individual faculty (any full time rank) or involve a team of faculty

 

To Submit a Proposal

Interested parties should submit a proposal by February 10, 2019 to Lauren Schlesselman with:

  • The application form;
  • A copy of the current course syllabus;
  • An acknowledgement from all faculty involved in the course of their commitment to the redesign with identification of the lead faculty member on the project; and
  • A letter of support from the department head.

Please feel free to refer any questions to Lauren Schlesselman at CETL (lauren.schlesselman@uconn.edu or 860-486-3402).

 

Timelines & Responsibilities for LCR Award Winners

  • Award winners announced March 10th (max. 3 awards)
  • Spring Semester 2019: Discovery Phase and Evaluation Plan
    • Team Meeting, Role Clarification and Kick Off
    • The faculty will conduct the discovery phase of the project. The course faculty will work to identify similar-course innovators and exemplars at other institutions (via video conferencing or in-person visits).
    • Work with CETL staff to develop an evaluation plan that will be used to measure impact of large course redesign on student learning.
  • Summer 2019: Course Design Started
    • Work with CETL Instructional Design to create a Course Design Plan - These weekly consultations will include, but not be limited to, development of course objectives, alignment of course activities with objectives, identification of active learning strategies, and alignment of course formative and summative assessments.
    • Faculty will develop the materials necessary to implement the redesign.
  • Fall 2019: Course Development Completed
    • Faculty continue to develop the materials necessary to implement the redesign
    • The faculty member will begin building the HuskyCT site to support the course. In addition to guidance from CETL instructional design, CETL’s educational technology unit will help train faculty on how to utilize HuskyCT components or other educational technology to be incorporated into the course.
  • Spring 2020 (or Fall 2020 if only fall course): Course Implementation and Assessment/Evaluation
    • Course is taught
    • Work with CETL staff to measure the impact on student learning
    • Submit LCR redesign final report

 

Review of Timeline

February 10, 2019                                Deadline for submitting application

March 10, 2019                                   Participant selections announced

March-May 2019                                 Discovery phase and evaluation plan

Summer 2019                                      Course design

Fall 2019                                              Course development

May 1, 2020                                        Final redesign reports due to CETL

 

Budget Outline

Semester Funding
Spring 2019 ~$5K for discovery phase to cover travel if necessary
Summer 2019 ~$5k - $15K summer funding provided to the faculty member(s) upon completion of course design plan
Fall 2019 ~5K - $10K course buyout provided to the department at the University rate of $1556/credit plus 23% fringe (if applicable) and/or support for 10hr Graduate Assistant for one semester with funding provided at completion of course development process and development of HuskyCT site