Change takes time: Understanding and responding to culture change in course redesign.


Challenges in higher education have led to demands for evidence-based teaching and improved student outcomes delivered in a cost-effective format. Course redesign, or modifying a traditional seated course into an alternative format that incorporates technology, has been a popular approach to address the challenges faced. Although course redesign can be an effective method of improving learning, several barriers exist that may impact the efficacy of the program or morale of the faculty involved. The current study reviews the course redesign of introductory psychology, a high-enrollment, general education course. The course was transformed from a traditional course, to a blended and flipped course with a significant online component. Course outcomes and student perceptions were measured over a number of years. While initial assessments demonstrated improved learning, other results indicated early student resistance to the change, as evidenced by lower student evaluations and increased withdrawals following the redesign. However, both student perceptions and withdrawal rates improved over time. After 5 semesters of the redesigned format, learning outcomes, student perceptions, and course completion rates have all demonstrated significant improvements compared to the traditional course. Course redesign involves a component of cultural change that includes the students' acceptance of the format and requirements of the new course. This shift appears to take several semesters to occur. It is recommended that course redesign teams be aware of the time that may be necessary to detect change, be diligent in assessing course changes, and use the collected data to inform decisions regarding revisions to their courses.



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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology