Course ReDesign Academy

 
Applications for our June 2018 CRA are due Friday, April 6, 2018. See more information below, or click directly to our Online CRA Proposal Form!

If you’re hoping to teach in our Active Learning with Technology (ALT) room and are not yet certified, please see the “ALT/TPOD” note below in our FAQs.

 

Join Our Course (Re)Design Academy!

Our Course (Re)Design Academy (CRA) combines a traditional in-person faculty development workshop with self-directed online learning and a Faculty Learning Community to provide guidance, feedback, resources, and ongoing peer collaboration as you design a new course or redesign one that’s been around for a while. Our goal is to provide both initial and ongoing support for your course visions and revisions, adapted to your specific needs and embedded in an engaged peer community.

Course (Re)Design Academy helps faculty build or revise engaging, relevant, manageable courses based on matching the best research-based teaching practices with your goals and needs. Whether you’re designing a course for 20 or 200 students, to take place in a classroom or online, for a STEM program or a capstone experience or an introduction to the major, CRA offers faculty support, feedback, and community to enhance your work.

Course (Re)Design Academy has three stages. Faculty can choose to participate in the Stage 2 Workshop only, or add one or both of the other stages to their Academy experience:

    Stage 1: In our self-paced Online Preparation Modules, you identify key goals for your course (re)design, consider the types and modes of learning you want for your students, and review strategies for planning and assessing course assignments. For summer 2018, Stage 1 is scheduled for May 16 through June 4.
    Stage 2: In our face-to-face Collaborative Workshop meetings, you join 10-15 of your Mason colleagues for a set of hands-on, project-based events to (re)design a cornerstone assignment, explore opportunities and challenges for your course, and create your overall course revision plan in a collaborative, supportive environment. For summer 2018, Stage 2 is scheduled for June 6th and 7th.
    Stage 3: In our CRA Faculty Learning Community, you meet twice a semester during the first year of your course implementation to discuss the successes and challenges of teaching your new or renewed course with your CRA cohort, to receive peer feedback on key elements of your course, and to practice additional strategies for supporting and adapting your course goals.

All CRA participants receive stipends for each stage of their participation.
 

Upcoming Course (Re)Design Academies

(Tentative Schedule)

    Summer 2018: Online Preparation, May 16-June 4; Collaborative Workshop, Wednesday and Thursday, June 6-7, 8:30am – 4:30pm; Faculty Learning Community, four dates TBA; proposals due Friday April 6, 2018.

Past Course (Re)Design Academies

    Summer 2017: Online Preparation, May 15-June 2; Collaborative Workshop, Wednesday and Thursday, June 7-8, 8:30am – 4:30pm; Faculty Learning Community, four 75-minute meetings (October, November, February, April).

Course Redesign Academy FAQs

Show All | Hide All

Who can participate in CRA?

Any full-time, part-time, or graduate faculty member at Mason who is scheduled to design or revise a course they will teach at least once during the upcoming twelve-month period may apply to participate in CRA. Faculty can work individually or with a partner or team as part of the Academy. Preference is given to faculty whose (re)design supports a department, program, or university initiative (such as an online program development or a focus on one or more the goals featured in Mason’s strategic plan.

How does CRA prepare teachers for the ALT (TPOD) classroom?

Mason’s Active Learning with Technology (ALT) classroom in Exploratory Hall L102 is a signature learning space designed to promote team-focused, project-based learning in a 72-person class. Since this classroom not only provides multiple levels of technological enhancement but is carefully designed to support a particular kind of teaching and learning, faculty usually need significant advance preparation in course design as well as technology integration in order to be successful.

Faculty who have completed Course ReDesign Academy with a focus on preparing for the ALT classroom can be added to an ALT-Certified Faculty list to enable them to request this room for their courses. Faculty who would like to be scheduled into the ALT classroom in the future can make a commitment to complete CRA the summer before they are scheduled to teach in the ALT classroom, and be provisionally added to the Certified Faculty list. To check on faculty certification status or to request provisional certification, contact the Stearns Center. (Note that certification enables but doesn’t guarantee access to this popular room.)

What sorts of activities are involved in CRA?

All CRA activities are designed to blend time for individual participants to plan, create, or revise their class materials with time to identify options and receive feedback from their peers and the CRA leaders. To review the schedule for the Summer 2017 CRA, please click here.

How does the Stearns Center support CRA participants?

We will provide up to $900 in direct stipends or professional development funding (to support professional travel or teaching-related supplies) for completion of the Preparation Modules, Collaborative Workshop, and Faculty Learning Community projects. In addition, participants will receive a teaching-related book of their choice from our recommended reading list, as well as lunch and coffee provided for our Collaborative Workshop days.

Participants will receive funding as follows:

    $500 for completing the two-day Collaborative Workshop (lunch included)
    $200 for completing the online Preparation Modules prior to the Workshop (about 5-7 hours of self-paced reading and responding)
    $200 for completing the four Faculty Learning Community Meeting projects that provide follow-up support (90 minutes each, scheduled in September and November for fall and February and April for spring, and/or the equivalent follow-up projects (e.g. class observation report or assessment plan)
How could my department, program, or unit support CRA participants?

We have previously collaborated with units on campus who have specific funding priorities for faculty development or who have a specific course-design need and wish to develop an in-house CRA sequence. CRA timing and focus can be adjusted to meet local needs and accessibility; however, we ask that the three-stage CRA structure remain a baseline for supporting faculty. For this kind of local programming, we ask that units agree on a reasonable stipend or other compensation for participants and designate a local leader/coordinator who can help design and organize the events with a member of the Stearns Center team.

How do I apply to join the CRA?

Complete our online proposal form by April 6, 2018. The proposal asks you to describe the course you will be (re)designing, some of your current plans for that course, and some of your general your approaches to course (re)design. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by the first week in May.