Arts and Science: Call for Proposals for Course Redesign Project (24 January 2013)

Emailed to departments as a pdf document, Call for Proposals3 Jan 2013, 24 January 2013.  Italics and boldface are in the original.  See also Associate Dean Ravenscroft’s earlier mailings of February and May 2011 and February 2012.  Note that the present memo does not cite the “research study” invoked in paragraph 6, and thus offers no evidence for the “statistically significant increase,” etc.  When asked about this, the Dean’s Office responded that the results have yet to be reviewed and the report has yet to be compiled.

Faculty of Arts and Science
Call for Proposals for Course Redesign Project
January 2013

We are pleased to announce the third phase of the Arts and Science course redesign project. The project currently includes BIOL 102, CHEM 112, CLST 205, DRAM 205, GNDS 120, GNDS 125, MATH 121, SOCY 122, and we are seeking proposals for new courses.

Each course redesign involves developing an existing large, introductory course into a blended version for on-campus delivery, as well as developing the same course into a fully online version.

Blended Course
Blended courses integrate face-to-face learning with online learning in a purposeful and complementary way.

Project Goal: to redesign a large on-campus course (usually100 level) in a blended format in order to enhance student engagement and improve student learning by providing students with an active learning experience in the classroom.

In general, blended courses focus on in-class activities that promote active and collaborative learning through evidence-based learning strategies. Interactive online materials and activities replace lecture-style delivery of the fundamental content. (At this stage we are not seeking blended models that emphasize lecture capture for the online component.) Blended courses may retain lectures, but they usually play a different role, and, in order to ensure the number of student learning hours remain within the normal range, blended courses have fewer contact hours than traditional lecture courses.

  • Each blended course will need to be approved as a course revision following the Faculty’s curriculum processes
  • Each blended course is expected to accommodate an enrolment increase of between 10 – 15%

The blended initiative is being assessed through a research study. Initial analysis of data from 3 courses shows a statistically significant increase in student engagement in the blended learning format in comparison to the traditional format in areas such as active learning in class, activities that promote higher order thinking skills and student-faculty interactions.

Fully Online Course
Project Goal: to expand our roster of high quality, well designed, fully online courses in order to attract new distance students to Queen’s.

The fully online version of the same course is developed in parallel to the blended course. The two versions of the course share the same learning outcomes and design, and use the same online materials; the face-to-face learning activities in the blended course are replaced by equivalent active learning components in the fully online course.


  • Information session – Monday 11 February 2013, 10:30 am–12 pm (Centre for Teaching and Learning B176, Mackintosh-Corry Hall)
  • Proposal submission – Friday 29 March 2013
  • Course development – 2013/14
  • First blended on-campus offering – Fall 2014
  • First fully online offering – timing to be discussed (Summer 2014 or 2015, or as an online section of the blended course in Fall 2014)

The Faculty will support the course redesign by providing:

  • A development stipend of up to $10,000 per 3-unit course;
  • Course development and online pedagogical expertise in the form of an assigned instructional designer who will work with the faculty member(s);
  • Assistance with assessment and analysis of the student learning experience in the redesigned course using a variety of assessment tools;
  • An opportunity to be involved in scholarship in teaching and learning based on the data gathered in the assessments. We have ethics approval for the project, and new course developers (faculty members) will be added as co-investigators;
  • Professional development support in the form of regular gatherings to share information and experiences and to benefit from guest talks.

Your proposal should explain how you plan to redesign your large, introductory course to fit the parameters described above, focusing on how active learning will be incorporated. While the proposal does not need to include a lot of detail at this stage, it will serve as a statement of commitment from the department to develop and deliver both an on-campus blended course and a fully online course. The departmental commitment will be to redesigning the course to meet the project goals, and to sustaining the model by continuing to offer the course in the new blended and online formats in the future, regardless of the instructor.

The Arts and Science website offers information about the project, as well as resources to consult as you prepare a proposal. You may find the resource sections on course redesign and active learning particularly helpful.

Please submit a one-page proposal to Brenda Ravenscroft, Associate Dean (Studies), Faculty of Arts and Science by Friday 29 March. Questions can be directed to me at ext. 77181 or to Bev King, Manager, Continuing and Distance Studies, at ext. 78492.

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1 Response to Arts and Science: Call for Proposals for Course Redesign Project (24 January 2013)

  1. Elizabeth Hanson says:

    I recommend that everyone who submits a proposal for a blended course simply refuse to accept a 15% enrollment increase and the development of a fully on-line version of the course. If this initiative is actually about improving “learning outcomes” via “blended learning” then such proposals will be acceptable. If it is actually about accelerating the deterioration in faculty student ratios then they will not be and the irrelevance of these pedagogical claims revealed.

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