A model for a faculty development course redesign summer working group

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Overview: This Evidence-Based Practice Paper describes a professional development opportunity offered to engineering and computer science faculty at Syracuse University in the summer of 2019 that focused on improving delivery and assessment at all grade levels of course instruction. This was a continuation of a project developed by a grant-supported team originating as an opportunity for faculty to modify first year or gateway classes. For this subsequent offering, the opportunity was open for any faculty to participate in a Course Redesign Summer Working Group. Goals: The goals of the working group were to further educate faculty on best practices in teaching and assessment; provide a forum for sharing teaching practices; to help faculty implement best practices, in the form of student-active pedagogies and defining and assessing student learning outcomes; and to encourage faculty to test the success of these changes in their classrooms in the 2019-2020 academic year. Motivation: The motivation for creation of the working group was to enhance prevalence of active learning in engineering classes in order to improve both retention and graduation rates, thus keeping these students in the engineering pipeline. Method: The team created an intensive summer program where faculty had to commit to attend a kick-off meeting, a minimum of four 2-hour working sessions, and a mandatory final presentation. During these sessions faculty benefited from: guest speakers on developing course outcomes, teaching methods, and assessment techniques; access to a forum for faculty to discuss adapting methods to their various subjects, including potential pitfalls and best practices; receiving peer and technical feedback and support for their new ideas; accountability from their peers; dedicated time and space to work on their new ideas. For a course redesign plan faculty had to develop student-learning outcomes, an assessment plan, and an implementation plan for the course changes. In addition, for fully participating, faculty received a summer salary supplement and an additional supplement after implementing the class changes and assessing the success of those changes. Twenty faculty participated in the summer 2019 program with 95% of the workshop participants meeting all of the summer program requirements, including presenting their work/plans at the final summer meeting. During the 2019-2020 academic year, faculty implemented their course changes and were required to submit a final deliverable focusing on assessment of the success of their course change. Assessment: The success of the program was determined by the implementation and assessment of the proposed changes each faculty incorporated into their course. The faculty were surveyed to determine the likelihood that they would have revised their course without the support and accountability that the Redesign Working Group provided. Since this was a continuation of a recently developed program, a comparison was made between project outcomes and faculty attitudes between the first and second offerings. From the survey feedback and the final assessment deliverables it was shown that the program was successful, and we will continue to offer it to faculty. In addition, we plan to share the model and lessons learned with other colleges and universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number59
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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