Transforming Course Design
Request for Proposals in Support of the
Transforming Course Design Initiative
PDF version of RFP, click here (pdf, 139k)
|Date: ||March 15, 2007|
|To: || Presidents|
|From: || Gary W. Reichard|
Executive Vice-Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer
c. Charles B. Reed, Chancellor; Richard P. West, Executive Vice-Chancellor and Chief Financial Officer; Provosts, ITAC, COLD, ATAC, FDC.
RE: Request for Proposals of campus projects in support of the CSU initiative on Transforming Course Design
At the Executive Council retreat in June 2006, we identified support for campus Academic Transformation projects as an area for a new Chancellor's Office initiative. These projects are extending traditional instructional design processes in significant ways, including the following:
- engaging teams of faculty and department leaders to insure sustainable course enhancements, along with team members from academic support units;
- simultaneously addressing student success, quality of learning outcomes, and costs of instruction;
- applying knowledge and resources from scholarly work in teaching and learning;
- emphasizing assessment of student learning outcomes and sharing of exemplary practices.
Following discussions with system wide advisory groups, Executive Vice-Chancellor Gary Reichard announced the launching of the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative March 1. The attached Background Information page outlines the initiative's goals, structure and activities.
In support of the initiative, we are issuing this Request for Proposals for funding and project team time, which will support campus efforts in beginning, adapting and extending campus projects as described below. The intent of this RFP is to support efforts with broad impacts beyond a specific course design instance - either within a campus or across multiple CSU campuses.
In addition to staff time for consultation and training on campuses, we anticipate committing funds for 10-15 projects, with project funding ranging between $5,000 and $25,000. We expect that no more than one proposal per campus will be submitted by the Provost, although we will also encourage joint proposals from collaborating campuses.
Background Information on the Transforming Course Design Initiative
Several CSU campuses have initiated course redesign projects, and others are being planned or in progress. Examples of the goals, structure and timeline for these projects are available on the CSU Transforming Course Design website. There is a growing body of success stories of comprehensive course redesign, to improve student learning while simultaneously addressing the issue of instructional costs, in most cases with the support of academic technologies. Examples of improved student learning include reducing unsuccessful course grades and course repeats. Examples of addressing instructional costs include reducing student and faculty time needed to achieve desired learning outcomes. The most successful projects have addressed instructional challenges in high impact courses by maximizing student engagement, emphasizing active learning and using technology to enable increased amounts of high-quality contact between faculty and students. These exemplars display a high level of commitment from administrators and departments, an effective level of academic technology infrastructure, faculty development support, and appropriate assessment of outcomes.
Goals: The focus of the Transforming Course Design initiative is to support CSU campus efforts in this area, to optimize the impact of those efforts, and to insure that "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts". Within this overall goal to facilitate the design and implementation of CSU campus projects in transforming course design, the initiative has the following subgoals:
- Leverage existing campus and system wide programs for improving student learning, facilitating graduation, and supporting outcomes assessment, faculty development, and academic technologies;
- Enhance communication and information exchange across our CSU campuses, and with internal & external experts and initiatives.
- Support capability development and coordination in the knowledge domains which are critical to successful campus course redesign initiatives.
- Foster collaborations across CSU campuses to share resources and effort, including scholarly communities to engage faculty with their discipline colleagues.
- Identify aspects of our policies, structure and facilities which may have impacts on the success of these transformation initiatives.
Activities: In addition to support for campus projects related to the initiative, the Transforming Course Design team will be engaged in the following activities in the next few months:
- Developing a plan for system wide programs that serve the needs of campuses at various stages of readiness in planning and implementation of related projects.
- Initiating a "CSU community of practice" in Transforming Course Design, through the establishment of an inventory of existing and planned projects, processes and resources on CSU campuses; developing further contacts amongst related CSU campus initiatives; and supporting CSU campus projects through the provision of advice and training, and liaison with internal and external expertise.
- Enhancing the existing CSU Academic Transformation website and developing other web-based resources and facilities to support campus and systemwide course design projects. The websites will provide campuses with information, guidelines and tools for understanding the strategies for transforming course design, implementing exemplary practices in transforming course design, and scaling course design approaches.
Categories for Proposals in Support of the Transforming Course Design initiative
While we expect proposals to support either Demonstration, Capability Development or Collaboration as described below, we will also welcome proposals which cross these categories or address the CSU Transforming Course Design goals in Other ways [see category 4 below]. In all categories, the intent of this RFP is to support efforts with broad impacts beyond a specific course design instance, either within a campus or across multiple CSU campuses. Supported projects will contribute to enhanced campus readiness, capability and partnerships to achieve the goals of individual campus projects in transforming course design - e.g., improved student learning, student success, facilitating graduation.
Demonstration: Demonstration projects are intended to enable campuses to support initial course design projects which address both student success and instructional costs. For example, requests could include time from the CSU Transforming Course Design team or other experts to advise on campus projects and supplement campus capabilities, or financial support to match campus funds to allow Demonstration project participants to learn from other CSU campus projects or through external workshops and conferences. A request could also focus on scaling up a promising initial campus project to become a compelling demonstration of transforming course design.
Capability Development: Capability Development projects are intended to extend initial and ongoing campus projects by augmenting the knowledge and processes available for the campus. For example, requests could include support for training or resources to establish campus processes or to upgrade capabilities in assessment, faculty development or academic technology, in order to meet clearly defined needs arising from campus projects related to the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative.
Collaboration: Collaboration projects are intended to support shared developments across CSU campuses. For example, requests could include financial support to augment existing campus projects in order to provide resources of value across the CSU, and support for inter-campus collaboration to extend the impacts of individual campus efforts.
Other: Proposals which fall outside these categories are also welcome, provided they address the goals of the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative as outlined on the attached Background Information page. For example, requests could include
- collection and dissemination of exemplary policy resources to address intellectual property and copyright issues;
- approaches to extend existing methods in cost-effective ways to upper level or smaller enrolment courses;
- integration of transforming course design projects with other initiatives in accessibility, information literacy, etc.;
- model projects to engage campus Academic Senates, student groups, etc. with CSU Transforming Course Design efforts.
Criteria for Selection
Within each category listed above, preference will be given to proposals which have the greatest potential for contributing to the goals of the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative, as listed in the Background Information page.
All proposals are expected to consider the Factors Contributing to Successful Projects in Transforming Course Design on the CSU Transforming Course Design website. In particular, proposals related to campus course design projects will demonstrate strong leadership from the set of instructors teaching the course, a high level of commitment from academic administrators and departments, clarity on the specific problem area to be addressed and the improvements to be sought, willingness to share exemplary practices and to apply the results of scholarly research in teaching and learning, and effective partnerships amongst the support units involved: faculty and professional development, assessment, academic technology, etc.
Consideration will also be given to the following factors:
- Clarity and significance of the proposal's objectives, outcomes and assessment;
- Potential to be completed successfully within the timeline and resources proposed;
- Valued added to projects and plans on individual campuses and across the CSU;
- Opportunity to add value and to serve as a model for other campus projects.
A wiki for Questions and Answers on this RFP is available.
- Campuses preparing proposals are encouraged to contact Interim Team Leader Tom Carey to discuss their plans, firstname.lastname@example.org. During the evaluation of proposals, further discussion may take place to clarify and enhance individual proposals, optimize efforts in complementary proposals and suggest collaborations to meet campus needs.
- As part of the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative we will be developing web-based resources and facilities to support system wide training, idea exchange, demonstration and dissemination, and community engagement. All project teams supported as part of the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative will be expected to contribute to these resources. We do not anticipate funding web-based resources and facilities for project support on individual campuses as part of this Request for Proposals.
Suggested Proposal Format
Project title, category, project leader and team members.
Current campus projects and plans related to CSU Transforming Course Design. (If the proposal is for a Demonstration project, include a summary of alignment with the Factors Contributing to Successful Projects in Transforming Course Design on the Transforming Course Design website)
Description of the need or issue addressed by the proposal.
Description of project objectives and milestones.
An outline of the methods and activities for the project, including assessment of outcomes.
A time-line for planned activities, including the final report on the project.
Expected results and how these results will be used on the campus and/or within the CSU.
Resources requested, and a description of other campus resources committed to the project.
(Collaborative projects involving more than on campus will specify the role of each campus and the resources requested/committed by each campus.)
- Proposals may include a preliminary phase to establish collaborations or to explore an issue in depth. Preliminary plans may lack the details expected of a mature proposal, with corresponding limits on the expectations for financial support.
|March 15||Distribution of Request for Proposals|
|April 30||Last date for submission of proposals.|
CSU campuses with ongoing projects related to this initiative may request accelerated consideration of proposals in Tracks 2-4, to align with their existing schedules.
|May 15||Announcement of RFP results|
Please consult the CSU Transforming Course Design RFP wiki for Questions and Answers on this RFP and/or direct inquiries and submissions for the CSU Transforming Course Design initiative to Tom Carey, Interim Team Leader, email@example.com. We welcome the opportunity for dialog on the initiative, and will work with campuses to develop excellent proposals, including helping to identify partners for collaborative projects.
PDF version of RFP, click here (pdf, 156k)