Redesigning 101: How and Why to Redesign Foundational Courses

January 14, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Math, Statistics And Probability
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Taking the Next Step in Building a Coherent First Year Learning Experience NAU’s First Year Learning Initiative Karen Pugliesi, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Michelle Miller, Chair, Department of Psychology and Director, NAU Course Redesign Team Blase Scarnati, Director, First Year Seminar and Global Learning, Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

First Year Courses: The Last Frontier • Strategic goals: Student success, progress to degree • Key metric: 1st to 2nd year retention • Robust suite of first year programs leaves formal curricular experiences relatively untouched, unaligned

First Year Courses • Determine the shape of first year academic experience • Socialize students for success • Set the foundation for learning • Convey institutional expectations and values

• First year academic outcomes • Impact probability of retention • Affect progression in academic programs

Being Deliberate About What Matters • First year courses designed and implemented by numerous units • Course designs variable– many lack strong internal alignment or do not use best practices • Multi-section courses not coordinated • Low course completion rates • No systematic integration with academic support, advising, and other programs • Unable to capture fine grained data about student progress

The First Year Learning Initiative (FYLI) • Common characteristics combine rigor and support, geared to needs of first year students – Course certification

• Grounded in authentic practice at NAU – Leadership Group

• Also grounded in research, SOTL – E.G., Academically Adrift; Decoding the Disciplines; research in cognitive psychology, motivation

Three key areas • Socializing students for excellence • Design • Alignment All FYLI courses must address each of these key areas

Socializing students to excellence Building critical practices, commitment

Promoting help-seeking behavior

Challenging and rigorous work

Scaffolding from novice to expert learner


Active engagement/active pedagogy

Required attendance/participation

Role of lecture


“Early and often”

Connect to student interests, understanding of the discipline


Co-curricular learning experiences

Alignment and coordination Learning outcomes

Communication, not standardization! Assessment (grades)


Learning activities

Shared goals and standards

Consistent, challenging student experience

FYLI Certified Courses in Fall 2011 • • • • • •

BIO 181: Unity of Life I: Life of the Cell BIO 192: Introduction to Exercise Science BIO 201: Human Anatomy / Physiology I CHM 152: General Chemistry II CIS 120: Introduction to Computer Information Systems ENG 105: Critical Reading and Writing in the University Community FS 111, 121, 131, 141: First Year Seminar Topics in Science; Topics in Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry; Topics in Cultural Understanding; Topics in Social & Political Worlds

• • • • • • • •

HON 100/190: Introduction to Honors / Seminar in Critical Reading and Writing I HON 291, 292, 293, 294: Honors Topics in Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry; Topics in Cultural Understanding; Topics in Science; Topics in Social & Political Worlds MAT 102X: Intermediate Algebra MAT 108: Algebra for Precalculus MAT 119: Finite Mathematics MAT 125: Precalculus Mathematics MAT 136: Calculus I PHY 111: General Physics PHY 161: University Physics STA 270: Applied Statistics

25 courses 10,111 students

Impacts • > 4 % increase in A,B, and C grades • Math: 4 courses 8-10 % increases in A, B and C grades; 3 w/ success rates > 80% • 20 new courses for Spring 2012 • Inspiring best practices


Student Success Impacts


22.22 17.59






Mean DFW % (D, F, or WIthdraw


AY 10-11

Time period

Fall 11

The interaction between time period (before/after FYLI) and FYLI status is statistically significant, p = .002.

What Supports FYLI’s Success? • Faculty buy-in • • • •

Research basis Values basis Peer to peer Faculty empowerment

• Institutional support • “Safe zone” • Infrastructure • Rapid response capacity • Certification process

Next Steps • Expand course certifications • Assess impact on grades and learning outcomes • Evaluate and improve course designs and coordination protocols • Strengthen integration with coaching and academic support programs • Market FYLI with prospective and new students • Integrate into new University College

NAU First Year Learning Initiative [email protected] u [email protected] u [email protected] u

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