Office of Academic Innovation


Since 2006, the University System of Maryland (USM) has sponsored a Course Redesign Initiative with funding initially provided by USM and later by the Carnegie Corporation. One of the goals of the initiative has been to encourage USM institutions to create their own course redesign initiatives specific to the mission and needs of each institution. In response to the USM, the Office of Academic Innovation at Towson University now announces Course Redesign—Towson Style, sponsored by the Division of Academic Affairs.

Purpose and Goals

The purpose of Course Redesign at Towson University is to support the renewal of existing courses—as well as creating new courses—that have the potential for long-term effects on (1) student success, (2) faculty success, and (3) the quality of academic programs.

Goals of the initiative are to simultaneously

• Adopt new ways to improve student learning outcomes
• Demonstrate these improvements through rigorous assessment
• Enhance the faculty teaching experience


Focus of the TU Program

Course Redesign—Towson Style encompasses the spectrum of TU course offerings in all discipline areas and levels, including developmental, general education, undergraduate, and graduate courses; and in all modalities, including face-to-face, hybrid, and online courses. The intent is to increase the potential long-term effects on (1) student success, (2) faculty success, and (3) the quality of academic programs.

Towson Course Redesign Interviews


Dr. Raouf boules

Dr. Raouf Boules


Department of Mathematics

Dr. Jeremy Tasch

Assistant Professor

Dept. of Geography and Environmental Planning


Selection Criteria

  1. The course to be redesigned (or created) is appropriate (e.g., large enrollment or gateway course, course with a high DFW rate, new course needed for updating a major or minor).
  2. There is a clear statement of the academic problem or issue about teaching and learning to be addressed through the course redesign.
  3. There is a clear description of how the impact on student learning will be assessed.
  4. The plan demonstrates a basic knowledge of the course redesign process.
  5. There is evidence of the department’s and college’s academic support.
  6. The project incorporates a team approach with appropriate membership.
  7. There is a clear timeline that outlines the process/plan.
  8. The budget/costs are realistic.



Stage 1

Interested faculty should submit a Concept Paper (max. 5-pages, 12-point font) that addresses each of the Selection Criteria, above, by May 05, 2014.

Stage 2

Participants chosen to move to Stage 2 will be asked to submit a full proposal (max. 12-pages, 12-point font) by June 15, 2014

Recipients will be notified by July 1, 2014.



Funding ranges from $5,000-$10,000, depending on scope and significance of the project. Average award is $7,000 and for faculty compensation only.



Submissions should be sent by email only to

Dr. Jane Neapolitan, Assistant Provost
Office of Academic Innovation


Elements of Successful Course Redesigns

(adopted from NCAT

  1. Whole course redesign. In each case, the whole course--rather than a single class or section- is redesigned. Faculty members begin by analyzing the time that each person involved in the course spends on each kind of activity. This analysis often reveals duplication of effort. By sharing responsibility for both course development and course delivery, faculty members save substantial time and achieve greater course consistency.

  2. Active learning. All of the redesign projects make the teaching-learning enterprise
    significantly more active and learner-centered. Lectures are replaced with a variety of learning
    resources that move students from a passive, note-taking role to active learning. As one math
    professor put it, “Students learn math by doing math, not by listening to someone talk about
    doing math.”

  3. Computer-based learning resources. Instructional software and other Web-based learning
    resources assume an important role in engaging students with course content. Resources include tutorials, exercises and low-stakes quizzes that provide frequent practice, feedback, and reinforcement of course concepts.

  4. Mastery learning. The redesign projects offer students more flexibility, but the redesigned
    courses are not self-paced. Student pace and progress are organized by the need to master
    specific learning objectives--often in a modular format, according to scheduled milestones for
    completion--rather than by class meeting times.

  5. On-demand help. An expanded support system enables students to receive assistance from a
    variety of people. Helping students feel that they are a part of a learning community is critical to
    persistence, learning and satisfaction. Many projects replace lecture time with individual and
    small-group activities that meet in computer labs--staffed by faculty, graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and/or peer tutors--or online, thus providing students more one-on-one assistance.

  6. Alternative staffing. Various instructional personnel–-in addition to highly trained, expert
    faculty--constitute the student’s support system. Not all tasks associated with a course require a faculty member’s time. By using alternative staffing, the projects increase the number of hours during which students can access help and free faculty to concentrate on academic rather than logistical tasks.


Based on its nationwide experiences, NCAT has identified six different models for applying these elements. The six models represent different points on the continuum from a fully face-to-face course to a fully online course. The Course Redesign Project at Towson University will support redesigns of existing courses (or the development of new courses) that utilize any of these approaches:

  1. The Supplemental Model -The supplemental model retains the basic structure of the traditional course and (a) supplements lectures and textbooks with technology-based, out-of-class activities, or (b) also changes what goes on in the class by creating an active learning environment within a large lecture hall setting.

  2. The Replacement Model - The replacement model reduces the number of in-class meetings and (a) replaces some in-class time with out-of-class, online, interactive learning activities, or (b) also makes significant changes in remaining in-class meetings.

  3. The Emporium Model - The emporium model replaces lectures with a learning resource center model featuring interactive computer software and on-demand personalized assistance.

  4. The Fully Online Model - The fully online model eliminates all in-class meetings and moves all
    learning experiences online, using Web-based, multi-media resources, commercial software,
    automatically evaluated assessments with guided feedback and alternative staffing models.

  5. The Buffet Model - The buffet model customizes the learning environment for each student based on background, learning preference, and academic/professional goals and offers students an assortment of individualized paths to reach the same learning outcomes.

  6. The Linked Workshop Model - The Linked Workshop model provides remedial/developmental
    instruction by linking workshops that offer students just-in-time supplemental academic support to core college-level courses.

Spring 2014 Awardees

College of Business and Economics -

ECON 306, Statistics for Economics and Business Part II

  • Dr. James Manley
  • Mr. Jason Palmateer

MKTG 341, Principles of Marketing

  • Dr. Erin Steffes
  • Dr. Veronica Thomas


Fall 2013 Awardees

Fisher College of Science and Mathematics – PHYS 211, Physics for Allied Health Professions

  • Dr. David Schaefer
  • Ms. Kate Oldak

College of Liberal Arts – FMST 201, Family Resources

  • Dr. Diane Hall
  • Dr. Cynthia Vejar
  • Ms. Bethany Willis-Hepp
  • Ms. Melissa Wesner
  • Ms. Courtney Martin


Spring 2013 Awardees

The Office of Academic Innovation would like to congratulate the following faculty on the successful submission and acceptance of their course redesign proposals.

College of Health Professions - DFST 304, American Sign Language V

  • Dr. Jody Cripps
  • Dr. Sheryl Cooper
  • Mr. Ron Fenicle
  • Ms. Elayne Fife
  • Ms. Aimee Sever

College of Business and Economics - FIN 331, Principles of Financial Management

  • Dr. Babu Baradwaj
  • Dr. Michael Dewally

College of Liberal Arts- FMST 101, Introduction to Family Studies

  • Dr. Andrew Quach
  • Dr. Cynthia Vejar
  • Ms. Courtney Martin
  • Ms. Bethany Willis-Hepp

College of Liberal Arts – PSYC 101, Introduction to Psychology

  • Dr. David Earnest
  • Dr. Elizabeth Katz


University System of Maryland Course Redesign Initiative

NCAT Course Redesign Planning Resources

USM-NCAT Course Redesign Initiative (2006 – 2009)

Frostburg State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Dr. Raouf Boules - Course Redesign—Towson Style Presentation Slides (March 2013)


Office of Academic Innovation
Cook Library Room 405
Phone: 410-704-2005


Course redesign applications are due May 5, 2014

Application Form




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