First-Year Writing: UWRT 1104
Project members: Meaghan Rand, Debarati Dutta, & Joan Mullin
This project responded to the reparedness of a changing population of first-year and transfer students who are required to take first-year writing at UNC Charlotte. Over the last few years, more students have met the cutoff criteria for entrance to an advanced FYW 1103, but were not prepared for the 3-credit accelerated course. Similarly, less students seemed in need of the two sequence first-year writing course, needing less than two semesters to prepare them to apply writing within other contexts outside of UWP. UWRT 1104: Writing and Inquiry in cademic Contexts I and II/with Online Studio is a 4-credit hybrid writing course that has been designed to provide student writers with an accelerated writing experience on the one hand, but also provide additional support and writing practice through its online series of writing studios.
Project members: Lisa Walker, Mary McKenzie, Rosemary Hopcroft, Vaughn Schmutz, Elizabeth Stearns, & Kendra Jayson
In the previous format, most students never had the opportunity to interact with instructors/TAs or other students in meaningful ways. The course has an average of 96 students/section (and this average includes a couple of small online sections each term). In the new format, we allow students to interact in two ways: online in small group and individual activities, and in small discussion sessions led by undergraduate teaching assistants. The new format will be blended / hybrid instruction. Each section will have two class meetings (50 minutes each) in large lecture (approximately 120 students) per week plus additional activities online in small groups (30 students or less) every week.
Africana Studies 1100
Project members: Debra C. Smith & Felix Germain
In redesigning AFRS 1100, our goal was to recruit distance learners to the Africana Studies curriculum, promote clearer and earlier evaluation of student understanding of course concepts, and provide greater ability to demonstrate connection between course theories/themes and students’ daily lives. We designed a 100% online asynchronous course with eight learning modules. The impact has been profound. The course has been full every semester since its offering (even during summer), and we have students who are non-traditional, traditional, and some students who do not live in Charlotte. We believe that we can sustain this course because it is a regular part of our curriculum.
Political Science 1110
Project members: Martha Kropf, John Szmer, Beth Whitaker, David Swindell, & Eric Heberlig
Our approach was to replace one large lecture each week with a discussion period, led by a graduate teaching assistant, who facilitated activities such as debates and reflection writing. Students also prepared for class each week with low-stakes online activities. The DFW rate of the redesigned course was 20 percent compared to 34 percent in the traditional sections. More substantively, using rigorous propensity score matching, we found that students in the traditional sections performed better on overall knowledge using a common battery of 24 questions. However, on questions related to methods of inquiry and critical thinking, the students in the redesigned section performed significantly better. Given the limited benefits of the redesigned course and the overwhelming costs, we have not been able to continue offering this particular version of POLS 1110. Instead, we will be offering two 50-percent online sections of POLS 1110 in Fall 2014 and will determine whether that model may be more cost effective.
Physics 2101, 2102, 1101, & 1102
Project members: Pedram Leilabady, Awad Gerges, Yildirim Aktas, & Aditi Sharma
The current project affects 4 of the introductory service physics courses: PHYS 1101, 1102, 2101 and 2102. The hybrid course format gives students the responsibility for first exposure to the material through online activities and assessments that are completed prior to class (i.e. reading pre-lecture materials, viewing lecture videos, and answering pre-quizzes.) Class time is then used to summarize content and deal with misconceptions, subtleties, connections and applications. The second 75-minute lecture time is now replaced with a problem solving session in groups of 30 to 40 students conducted by trained GTAs. The redesigned format turned the faculty-centered passive learning environment into the student-centered active environment while saving instructional cost and increasing enrollment capacity of current resources.
Project members: Lori Van Wallendael, Bill Siegfried, & Sue Spaulding
This team took a twice-a-week, face-to-face lecture course, with 300 students per section, and redesigned it as a hybrid 50% online course. In the new format, students meet face-to-face once a week for 1 hour and 15 minutes, and during the remaining course time, students do online activities within the MyPsychLab etextbook. During the pilot semester (Spring 2011,) we offered two sections of the new hybrid design, a traditional section, and a fully online section. Student outcomes were comparable in the hybrid and traditional course formats, and the use of large lecture halls has decreased by 50% in the hybrid format.
Project members: Kathryn Asala, Richard Jew, Susan Michael, & Kate Popejoy
The redesigned course uses a supplemental, web-enhanced model with three characteristics: 1) class structure that retains the same number of meetings, 2) technology-based, out-of-class activities, and 3) active learning strategies in place of traditional lectures. A portion of the Chem 1251 redesign was implemented in one section in spring 2011. The traditional weekly large-lecture problem session was replaced by Team Approach to Successful Learning (TASL) workshops. Another portion of the redesign included online quizzing.
Project members: David Langford, Michael Moore, Pilar Zuber, Matt Belles, Julie Padilla, & Trudy Moore-Harrison
The redesign model focused on dividing in-class course time into larger keynote sessions led by faculty and smaller discussion sections led by graduate students, primarily from the college’s doctoral program. This model meant less sections taught by ad hoc temporary instructors and more mentored teaching experiences for doctoral students. The smaller discussion sections have enabled a variety of techniques for student engagement and active learning. Debates, Think-Pair-Share discussions, and group presentations have all been used to explore the nuances of course themes. The small discussion sections used online discussion groups as well.
Spanish 1201 & 1202
Project members: Concepción Godev, Ann Gonzalez, Adriana Vega, Heather McCullough, Paula Goolkasian, & Sandra Watts
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte piloted a redesigned first-year Spanish course in fall 2009 and spring 2010. The full implementation across all sections occurred in fall 2010 and spring 2011. The redesign of the first two semesters of Spanish affects some 3000 students a year, including fall, spring and summer. The program has reduced the need of physical space and instructors by 50%. This savings result from having increased the enrollment in each section by 100%. Each section previously enrolled 30 students and currently enroll 60 students. The face-to-face instruction has been reduced by 50% thus reducing the use of classroom space.