AASCU Innovations Exchange
Your Source for innovation in Public Higher Education

Program Design and Delivery

A Strategic Focus for Online Learning University of Central Florida Project Description: UCF’s distributed learning initiative consists of fully online degree and certificate programs, blended courses, and web-enhanced face-to-face classes, and is supported by central services and facilities. This initiative meets a wide range of student, faculty, and institutional needs:students: convenient access; engaged, interactive learning; use of technology; and increased control over their learning environment;faculty members: innovative teaching practices and tools, faculty development, and scholarship of teaching and learning;institution: expands access, cost-effective instructional delivery, develops new markets, improves teaching practice, supports growth. Read more >>

A Vertical Approach to General Education Outcomes: Reinforcing Essential Outcomes through Overlays Georgia College & State University Project Description: Georgia College’s vertical approach to general education emphasizes essential outcomes through overlays; requirements are fulfilled through core and/or advanced courses in the major. Overlays carry learning outcomes and foster transferability of skills across the curriculum. The University Curriculum Committee, reporting to the Provost, approves courses for the overlay based on learning outcomes. The GC model was the basis for the University System of Georgia’s (USG) 2009 core curriculum policy, but GC exceeds the minimum USG exposures to these overlays, features required thematic courses to address critical thinking and global perspectives, and adds unique writing and speaking intensive overlays.  Read more >>

Academic Innovation through Strategic Use of One-Time Move-The-Needle Funding Georgia College Project Description: Faced with a cumulative reduction of 21% in state funding during the recent recession, Georgia College made difficult expenditure reductions and held funds in reserve to replace temporary federal stimulus dollars and ensure that its most critical mission-related operations could continue.  Funds held in reserve to replace federal stimulus dollars were thus made available for “one-time” needs and awarded through a competitive “move-the-needle” proposal process.  The academic affairs division was awarded funds for curricular innovation projects including a “course redesign” project.The project consists of pilot programs using models developed by Carol Twigg and associates at the National Center for Academic Transformation and focuses on redesigning instructional approaches by utilizing technology to cut costs and enhance student learning. The pilot focuses on high-demand, introductory-level courses with high drop/withdrawal/failure rates or courses in programs unable to offer enough sections to address student demand. Departments offering courses matching the criteria were encouraged to apply for funding to support faculty development and the implementation of pilot redesign courses. “Move-the-needle” funding was also provided to create technology-rich classroom environments for delivering selected courses in Spanish, Political Science, and Algebra. We sent participating faculty to national workshops and provided them with salary supplements for curriculum design; hired support staff, reconfigured classroom spaces, and purchased computers and software to set up teaching labs. Read more >>

An Innovative, Multidisciplinary Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Applied Social Science University of Wisconsin-Stout Project Description: The innovatively structured, multidisciplinary B.S. in Applied Social Science program provides undergraduates with a solid base in the social sciences, along with concentrations in specialized areas of history and politics, economics, or sociology/anthropology. This Applied Social Science baccalaureate degree was developed with UW-Stout’s special mission status as a comprehensive, career-focused polytechnic university in mind. Read more >>

Competency Reports for Graduates of Personalized Learning BA Programs Northern Arizona University Project Description: Project Description: Northern Arizona University’s Personalized Learning (PL) competency-based degree programs prepare students for post-graduate employment by requiring that they demonstrate what they have learned. Upon graduation, each student receives a Competency Report that concisely details his/her competencies, including the areas in which he/she has demonstrated mastery. A Competency Report can be tailored to fit each job description and highlight relevant skills. The intention is for the Competency Report to evolve, based on employer and advisor input, to become a brief online “knowledge portfolio” for graduates to use to highlight and authenticate their skills. PL’s Competency Report supplements the traditional credit hour transcript.  Read more >>

Creation and Development of Undergraduate and Graduate Computational Science Programs The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Project Description: Stockton College designed and implemented an interdisciplinary five-year program (B.S./M.S.) in the emerging field of Computational Science (CPLS) with a stand-alone masters program introduced a few years later. A student entering the program acquires substantial knowledge in a traditional science discipline. This is augmented by training in computational mathematics, sophisticated modeling software, and programming expertise; the mastery of these skills allows the student to explore complex scientific problems that are beyond the scope of existing experimental and analytical approaches. The college dedicated faculty lines to the program. A high performance computing laboratory was also designed and built. Read more >>

DirectConnect to UCF: A Powerful Partnership to Impact Access and Bachelor Degree Outcomes University of Central Florida Project Description: The demand for higher education in Florida has increased significantly due to a convergence of a number of factors, including population growth, increased high school graduation rates, and a state scholarship program designed to keep students in-state.  The Central Florida Higher Education Consortium of UCF and four community and state colleges, branded DirectConnect to UCF, provides guaranteed admission to UCF for students with an A.A. or A.S. degree, expansion of shared-use facilities on the community and state college campuses with additional academic programs, combined financial aid resources, and a regional infrastructure for workforce development programs, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math, (STEM) disciplines. Read more >>

Improving Cooperation and Effectiveness between State Institutions of Higher Education: Maximizing Performance in an Era of Reduced Funding and Increased Need Old Dominion University Project Description: Old Dominion University and the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) recently completed a joint planning initiative, laying the cornerstone for a new pact and a vibrant future for Virginia college students. During the 18-month effort, a unified planning team designed a road map to the future for online and distance learning in Virginia, and outlined objectives for the next generation of this long-standing, strategic alliance. The group committed to shared goals and mutually beneficial collaborations, and to promoting the combined value of their institutions. The team also agreed to establish innovative, streamlined, coordinated student support processes and solutions, and it drafted a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cement the education accord. Read more >>

Incubation of New Majors/Minors through Individualized Degree Program Metropolitan State College of Denver Project Description: The Individualized Degree Program works with departments interested in developing new majors and minors, providing an option to incubate these new programs before submitting them through the formal curriculum process. This enables the college to respond to emerging community needs and promotes innovation within and across departments that see the need for a new program but are uncertain of its prospects or required curriculum. Examples of incubated programs are Aerospace Systems Engineering Technology, Aerospace Physics, and Convergent Journalism. Limited budgets and cuts do not encourage new programs, yet new programs are needed to meet the swiftly changing needs of our students; the incubator program addresses this dilemma. Read more >>

Initiatives to Transform the Writing Performance of Undergraduate Students Across the Curriculum University of Central Florida Project Description: This project makes writing a vertical curricular experience through administrative reorganization, hiring of faculty members, class-size reduction, writing center resources, and writing across the curriculum. It includes:hiring or converting (from adjunct or visiting instructor lines) twenty-four permanent instructors and hiring five tenured or tenure-track faculty members over three years;increasing the rigor of the composition curriculum through professional, permanent staffing;lowering composition class sizes, including a three-year pilot program with19 students per class;increasing University Writing Center tutoring and campus support across sites and modes;implementing a writing-across-the-curriculum initiative; and creating the Department of Writing and Rhetoric for oversight, coordination, and assessment functions. Read more >>

Math Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) University of Wisconsin – Stout Project Description:  The Math TLC is where UW-Stout students learn basic math skills in a people-oriented, technology-enhanced environment. Teachers start daily classroom sessions with a short lecture, then students begin online homework assignments with help from teachers and specially trained peer tutors.  Read more >>

Online at Southern Mississippi—e-learning Initiative University of Southern Mississippi Project Description: The University of Southern Mississippi began the eLearning Initiative, now known as Online at Southern Miss, in the spring of 2009. In 2009, The University of Southern Mississippi focused on developing a more strategic approach toward online learning. This initiative originally focused on increasing additional fully online degree programs, however; we have extended the focus to include increasing the number of general education core courses available to our online students.  Also, we aimed to improve student satisfaction, raise retention and graduation rates, and increase enrollment at Southern Miss. A strategic plan was developed to focus on delivery methods of online instruction, as well as on marketing and recruiting efforts geared toward fully online degree programs that would draw a very specific targeted audience. With a growing number of online degree programs and only a few resources to support marketing efforts for online learning, it was imperative to utilize a solution that would enhance our ability to reach prospective leads in a timely manner. In 2009 the university contracted with Hobsons, formerly known as Intelliworks, to help us do just that. Through the implementation of Radius, we are now able to customize email campaigns to reflect specific program and faculty information regarding the university's online degree programs. Radius can also systematically deliver communication pieces on a strategic timeline defined by the university requirements. Therefore, the system now contains much historical data, and Radius provides a multitude of reporting functionalities to help sort both historical and current data. Through our reports, we can identify specific trends and track our progression within the workflow process.   Read more >>

Personalized Learning BA: Computer Information Technology, Small Business Administration, and Liberal Arts Northern Arizona University Project Description: Northern Arizona University’s Personalized Learning (PL) program enables motivated students to earn a high quality BA degree in the fields of Computer Information Technology, Small Business Administration and Liberal Arts quickly and affordably by customizing online coursework to satisfy each student’s learning preferences, goals, and prior experience. Northern Arizona University’s model ensures competency by including shared and open-source content; multiple delivery modules such as video, simulations and gaming; faculty-led mentorships and tutoring; customized instruction; pre- and post-competency testing, prior learning assessment and credit, internships and service learning. The prior learning (PL) model respects adult students’ prior learning by allowing students to earn credit for what they already know, as assessed through pre-tests.  Read more >>

Persuasive Communication Project York College, City University of New York Project Description: To help students’ oral communication/presentation skills, three faculty teaching upper level courses in the School of Business and Information Systems introduced the use of videotaping to help fine tune students’ presentation skills. The Department of Performing and Fine Arts provided the technical support to videotape student presentation rehearsals. Faculty then reviewed the recordings with students to reflect on their learning and make changes. The initiative is expected to expand so all senior students take it before they graduate.  Read more >>

Redesign of a Post-Professional DPT Program: Development of an Online Medically Complex Case Database Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Project Description: This project is a collaboration between graduate programs in Physical Therapy and Instructional Technology that involved redesigning a doctoral-level Physical Therapy course from a face-to-face offering to an online course. The central component of the redesign was a student-generated database of cases drawn from each student’s personal experience. This database helped to scaffold for students the use of the evidence-based clinical decision-making process, thus assisting them in reflecting on their own decision-making processes and furthering their understanding of the value of a new approach to patient care. Read more >>

Restructuring College Algebra to Increase Student Learning, Success, and Retention University of Central Florida Project Description: This innovation redesigns the college algebra experience to improve student learning, success, and retention through a student-centered learning environment where students spend one hour in lecture and a mandatory minimum of three hours per week in lab. This change is based on the National Center for Academic Transformation Redesign Concept, providing resources and active learning time for students to internalize math skills, and receive immediate feedback regarding their performance. Lab technical resources and availability of Graduate Teaching Assistants at all times are essential components. Funding is from a presidential initiative and administration through the math department was based on pilot efforts. Read more >>

Stockton CSI: A College Residential Summer Camp for High School Students The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey Project Description: Richard Stockton College hosts the Stockton CSI summer forensics camp for high-school students. The camp is a residential experience where students learn about and then take on the roles of police officers who discover a body, investigators who question suspects and witnesses, and attorneys and expert witnesses who take part in a criminal trial. The camp includes field trips and guest speakers. Students learn that many aspects of some popular crime dramas are misleading. Camp staff members--faculty, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates--teach campers about the training and required educational backgrounds for criminal justice and crime scene professions. Read more >>

University Libraries Knowledge Commons: A Technology-Driven Transformation from Print-Centered to Student-Centered Learning Space University of Central Florida (UCF) Project Description: The Knowledge Commons brings technology, study and research, collaboration, academic support, and research resources together in a dynamic, revitalized, 21,000 sq. ft. of learning space in the Orlando campus library. It includes:ubiquitous power and wired and wireless network access67% of seating spaces equipped with built-in PCscollaborative group study areas featuring dedicated PCs, wall-mounted displays, and rolling white boards to enhance peer interactionattractive visual screening and acoustical treatments that reduce distraction and dampen noiseconsultation stations that provide space for one-on-one research and writing center supportseating that maximizes comfort for extended study periodsThis project was made possible through an award of UCF technology fees, which are competitively granted. The project was ranked number one out of 68 project proposals submitted during the 2009-10 technology fee award cycle. Read more >>

Using Lecture-capture Technology to Engage Face-to-Face and Distance Students University of Wisconsin-Stout Project Description: Lecture-capture technology in all B.S. in Professional Communication and Emerging Media (PCEM) program core courses allows instructors to teach face-to-face and distance learners in one course, increasing engagement and productivity. Lecture-capture technology allows an instructor to teach a conventional face-to-face course and to archive audiovisual recordings of class meetings so these can be accessed by distance students who experience the course solely online. Web-based course management software—used to store and manage curricular materials, facilitate class and group discussions, and receive electronically submitted assignments—also enables instructors to involve both face-to-face and distance learners in the course. Read more >>

Virtual Advisement York College, City University of New York Project Description: “Virtual Advisement” is a web-based tutorial, developed by Kognito, which provides first-year students with an introduction to college academic policies, procedures, and resources in a timely and student-friendly manner. Created in the academic year 2009 -2010, Kognito is one of the tools used by the college to advise first-year students. The “Virtual Advisement” program is comprehensive and its interactive design allows for greater student engagement.  This intervention serves as a meaningful resource, as it provides an opportunity for first-year students to learn about general education and degree requirements early in their academic study.   Read more >>