Course Incubator

The Course Incubator will bring together faculty, instructional designers, and media specialists to explore instructional innovations and redesign courses using technology as a lever.

Large Classroom stock image.

Large Course Redesign

High-enrollment classes are a common experience in undergraduate education at any research institution. These courses bring unique challenges: How do you know students are learning from week to week? What kind of feedback can help them progress? How do you best implement active learning techniques that keep learners engaged in classes of 100+ students?

One goal of the Course Incubator project is to redesign large enrollment classes to enhance student engagement and promote consistent learning outcomes across multiple sections. Strategies might include incorporating online quizzes to monitor student understanding and progress, conducting small group activities in class, or using peer assessments on short writing assignments. Instructors might also consider flipping a portion of the class session by recording short lecture videos to be viewed outside of class and developing new activities that can be used in the free classroom time.

The National Center for Academic Transformation has been involved with multiple course redesign projects. Take a look at their Web site for more information about course redesign.

Instructional Innovation

Large course redesign is one type of Course Incubator project but the Teaching Center can help with smaller scale projects as well. Examples of such micro-innovations might include experimenting with gamification in your classroom, incorporating simulations, or borrowing 360 video cameras to capture and share immersive environments that transcend traditional classroom walls. Or you could explore the use of open educational resources by incorporating a MOOC into one of your classes or adopting an open textbook. Whatever your innovation, we can help you plan, implement, and assess it.

Contact

To learn more about the Course Incubator or to discuss a possible project, please contact Lorna Kearns, Director of Next Generation Learning at lrkearns@pitt.edu.