Following up on examples of hybrid learning from Ontario, I am focusing here on UT Austin’s Course Transformation Program (CTP).

The CTP is a five year, $3 million project with the goal of deeply redesigning large, lower division gateway courses serving 1,000 students or more.  Launched in January of 2011, the CTP has now finished a year of work with its first cohort of participants, and will be adding two more cohorts in the next two years. A transformative course redesign involves the identification, development, and adoption of appropriate evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning. The course redesign projects started  in Biology, Chemistry, and Statistics. Year 2 will cover programs in Economics, English and Psychology.

UT Austin has also partnered with the Mazur Group of Harvard University to work on interactive teaching strategies and educational technologies that help faculty and students make more effective use of class time.

The courses in the program are using online materials to help teach the class. All the courses have moved some materials previously taught in lectures to online assessments and readings. Using technology to enhance introductory courses has helped students earn better grades, according to representatives of the Course Transformation Program. The attendance rate for Statistics 302 has gone up from previous years to 92 percent after starting the program. The percentage of Ds and Fs on the final exam also fell from 33 to 15 percent but the final exam itself was essentially the same from those prior to the class’s redesign.

UT is committed to a face-to-face learning experience, so the university will not move to a primarily online-only set of courses, but the university is headed much more in the direction of a hybrid model where it is trying to make the classroom experience more engaged.

Thanks to George Veletsianos for directing me to this.


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