What is course renewal and what are the benefits?
Course renewal is the process of reviewing and making small tweaks to a course to improve learning and teaching. This process is usually informed by the students’ feedback from the course SET report, the course analytics from Canvas, or the teachers’ personal reflections on what could be improved for the next course offering.
There are a number of benefits that come with engaging in the course renewal process. A significant one is generating improvements to the efficiency of your course delivery; that is, improving the effectiveness of learning and teaching using tools that can save you time and effort. Another key benefit of course renewal is that small tweaks can significantly improve students’ satisfaction ratings for the course and/or the teacher. Pass rates can also be improved! For example, a course we recently worked with, which received a low satisfaction rate several semesters in a row, succeeded in achieving a satisfaction rate beyond the benchmark of 70%. To achieve this, we implemented small changes to improve alignment between assessment and learning resources and activities. We also improved the course structure in Canvas. Another course, which had a low test pass rate for several semesters managed to improve the pass rate significantly as a result of some specific tweaks around the test design and teaching.
How long will a course renewal undertaking take?
This will depend on the complexity of the intended tweaks and the resources you have for such a task. However, with support from the Innovative Learning and Teaching (ILT) team and advances in learning and teaching technologies, course renewal is an increasingly realistic option, even for busy academics.
There are numerous online tools and platforms that teaching staff can utilise in the delivery of their courses. These allow students to do things like collaborate with one another, engage with the course content, and assess their own learning. These platforms require modest amounts of administration to set up and run, meaning that adopting and engaging with current tools and resources is an efficient way to increase student learning and improve students’ experience of a course without taking time from other teaching and research tasks.
Where can I get support for course renewal?
Whether you decide to integrate a specific tool or adopt a new pedagogical approach (e.g., flipped, blended, or online learning), support can save time and streamline the renewal process. The ILT team at the Business School should be your first point of contact. We are an innovative group dedicated to enhancing learning and teaching through blending pedagogy with technology. Our team has diverse expertise including learning designers, learning technology specialists, academic skills specialists, and multi-media production support. ILT has a successful history of supporting teaching staff in their course redesigns.
Some of the academic staff in the Business School have this to say:
“ILT helped us develop a structure in Canvas that enables students to find information easily and consistently. They have also helped us to redesign our content and pedagogies around student learning outcomes to ensure better effectiveness in our course delivery.” – Professor Paul Rouse, Accounting and Finance
“My aim was to try to improve the student experience for Comlaw 201 by providing a clear pathway for the course. One of the ways to do was to redesign the Canvas page by including a ‘getting started’ module with the important course information. I worked with Nabeel who was very knowledgeable, professional and had some great ideas. I would definitely recommend to anyone who is thinking about improving their courses to work with ILT, they have a wealth of knowledge and are always willing to help.” – Nadia Dabee, Commercial Law
Please feel free to contact ILT for a conversation about your next course renewal plans. We will be delighted to listen and share with you our thoughts and expertise.