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The 2018 CRD Cohort VIII. Tarleton Proud!!!

Course Redesign Cohort VIII

CRD is a place for faculty to learn from peers. We are better teachers when we work side by side-"CHURNING the LEARNING!"

Striding Toward the Future

Generation Next”, “Generation Y”, and “Millennials”, the names commonly attached to the current generation of students, have presented every college campus with challenges specific to academic engagement. This generation is the most “socially connected” ever, and is commonly characterized as being “digital natives” because they grew up with the internet, smart phones, video games, and near instantaneous global decimation of information. The development of instructional methods and activities that accommodate the characteristics of this generation is imperative to success of these future students.

Carl Weiman (Change, September/October 2007) points out that the traditional lecture method is not an effective form of instructions in reaching these students. He also claims it is an inefficient delivery system that does not employ the professor’s time well. The goal of establishing Course Redesign at Tarleton is to create a group of professors from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to address a reformation in traditional classroom delivery aimed at reaching this vastly different generation of students.

Cohorts to Enhance Student Learning

In order to achieve this reformation, it is proposed that a succession of Cohorts to Enhance Student Learning (CESLs) made up of diverse faculty teaching a range of courses across the disciplines be formed. These groups of faculty, sometimes referred to as “Faculty Learning Communities”, “Communities of Practice” or “Faculty Cohorts” are groups of higher education instructors from different backgrounds and disciplines working together to encourage excellence in teaching and learning.

Next Generation Course Redesign

Course Redesign appears under various names at campuses and around the country, and involves a top-down dismantling and reconstruction of a course. The goal of this reconstruction is to make a ‘better’ course that will increase academic success by increasing student engagement and providing deeper and more meaningful learning experiences.

In the book Next Generation Course Redesign, Turner and Carriveau (2010) state that the reduced lecture portion of a redesigned course should be used to:

  • Create interest and motivation,
  • Clarify and expand upon knowledge rather than deliver content,
  • Model the acquisition of knowledge that is idiosyncratic into that field, and
  • Present the most likely concrete and lower level concepts to scaffold learning of the most difficult higher level concepts.

Course Redesign Model

Lecture, Course Redesign Model
  • Medium to large group (30+ lectures
  • 0 to 35% of the course
Media Rich
  • Media-rich online learning environments
  • 30 to 60% of the course
Small Group Experience
  • Small group experiential learning
  • 30 to 50% of the course

Cohorts to Enhance Student Learning

A pilot group of 14 faculty undertook the challenge of Course Redesign in the initial CESL in May 2011. The process required that faculty members apply and be approved to participate in the pilot program. This pilot program was made up of a cross section of undergraduate and graduate level courses.

Number of Tarleton Faculty by Cohort and Year

Cohort Year Number of Members
Cohort I 2011 14
Cohort II 2012 10
First-Year 2012 10
Cohort III 2013 11
Cohort IV 2014 8
Cohort V 2015 9
Cohort VI 2016 8
Cohort VII 2017 10
Cohort VIII 2018 10

Because of the time-intensive nature of the project, the process also includes a stipend to the instructor for participating in all CESL activities and completing the Course Redesign project. A stipend of $1,000 will be paid in May of the academic year of implementation.

Measuring Success

Success of the project can be evaluated using the following measures:

Student Grades
Student Retention
Student Course Evaluations
Student Surveys
CESL Faculty Surveys