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Course Innovation Initiative

Course Innovation Initiative (CI2)

The initiative is in place to direct resources and support to departments and faculty working on development or continuous improvement of courses at UHD that impact a large number of students. Priority target courses are high-enrollment, multi-section courses that are taught by numerous instructors. Grants are typically awarded for approximately four faculty teams during each round of funding, which occurs on a three-year cycle. Renewal will be based on submission of an annual report and completion of stated project and learning goals. Faculty teams receiving a CI2 award will implement a course innovation project which seeks to improve student learning in part through a focus on motivational strategies outline by Self-Determination Theory, namely, to 1) Build Community, 2) Promote Practice, 3) Provide Choice, 4) Challenge/Engage.

These strategies will be implemented collaboratively by Course Design Teams (CDTs) consisting of faculty and university staff with diverse expertise that is relevant to the program or course. A Learning Ecologies approach to course design is encouraged and provides a framework by which faculty form CDTs that integrate discipline-specific expertise along with university services. For example, a single course might integrate innovative pedagogy, instructional technology, academic support services (i.e. Math and Writing centers), library resources, and impactful learning strategies that require the expertise of university staff in corresponding departments. Additionally, CDTs will be provided with training and access to Learning Environment Modeling (LEM), a visual design language designed to facilitate collaborative and flexible instructional design.

Gateway Course Redesign at UHD

The launch of CI2 in 2016 formalized gateway course redesign efforts at UHD that date back to the year 2000. These efforts over the years were facilitated by a nearly continuous series of grant programs and initiatives aimed at improving student success in core courses known to be barriers to degree progression and retention. In 2017, these programs and CI2 were awarded the UHS Board of Regents Academic Excellence Award and the THECB Star Award. To celebrate these awards, the video below was created to highlight the conversion of the General Biology series to a Team-Based Learning (TBL) format, a collaborative effort of a Community of Practice that served as a model for the CI2 framework. Additional information about the program and student success measures in various target courses is also included below: