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Central Ohio Technical College

Course Title: Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Contacts:
Amiee Wagner and Margaret Trim

Status: This project originated as part of a collaborative program between NCAT and the Ohio Learning Network, 2004 – 2006. NCAT’s role was to introduce the course redesign methodology to Ohio institutions and assist them in developing a project plan. NCAT was not involved in project implementation, but COTC followed NCAT's methodology through the full implementation stage, the results of which are described below. For more information, contact the project contact listed above.

Project Plan:
Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) will redesign Human Anatomy and Physiology I (HAPI), a required course for all students in the Allied Health programs at COTC. COTC has had to more than double the number of HAPI sections offered, from nine in the 2001-2002 academic year to 20 in the 2003-2004 academic year enrolling 377 students. In the traditional format, students attend four hours of lecture, a one-hour recitation, and a two-hour laboratory each week. The course is currently taught by two full-time and one part-time faculty members.

The growing demand for this course is COTC’s primary motivator for redesigning HAPI. In addition, COTC would like to increase the students’ engagement with the course content. Faculty have also had difficulty responding to different student learning styles. The course includes topics that frequently are challenging to students, which the redesign intends to address.

In COTC’s replacement redesign model, students will spend three hours per week on campus in classes taught by one full-time and two or more part-time faculty members. Students will 1) complete 100% of the lecture component including quizzes and exams online; 2) complete 50% of the laboratory activities--including quizzes and exams--online; and 3) complete 50% of the laboratory activities in-class. Participating in group problem-solving projects will reinforce critical thinking skills on topics students traditionally have difficulty mastering and enhance students’ technical skills. Interactive tutorials, case studies, animations, low-stakes quizzes and practice exams will be made available to allow the student to access the type of learning materials he or she needs to master the course content.

In both the traditional and re-designed formats, students’ content knowledge will first be measured by using a pre-test that will be given at the beginning of the quarter to determine if there are significant differences in the characteristics of students taking the course. Assessment of student learning will be measured through the use of common exams, which will test not only content knowledge but also critical thinking skills. Students in both formats will take the same lecture and laboratory exams.

COTC’s redesign will allow the course to move to off-campus locations in a cost-effective format. The cost-per-student is projected to decline from $170 to $95, a 44% decrease. Rental costs will decline by using the online resources and assessment strategies. The redesign will also eliminate the need for duplicate facilities at the off-campus sites. The need to train personnel will decline, and full-time faculty will be able to monitor course consistency more effectively. Faculty time to commute to campuses will also be reduced.

Final Report (as of 9/1/2006 )

The only alteration to the original redesign plan was the number of hours students spent on campus. The team originally planned that students would come to campus for three hours per week. However, since students completed 50% of the laboratory activities online, the on-campus laboratory time was reduced by 50%. Therefore, students only attended class for two hours per week.

Assessment Results

Pilot

COTC piloted the redesigned HAPI course during the 2005 summer quarter by offering parallel sections based on student choice. Twenty-one students registered for the traditional format; 69 students registered for the redesigned format. A pre-test of content knowledge was given to students in both formats at the beginning of the quarter to determine if there were significant differences in the characteristics of students taking the course. Results showed that there were no significant differences in prior content knowledge among the two groups of students.

Student learning was assessed using common exams developed by faculty content experts, which tested both content knowledge and critical thinking skills. A comparison of student performance showed no significant differences in the average exam scores for the traditional and redesigned sections. When individual test items were compared, however, students in the redesigned section tended to miss more of the level 1 (straight memorization) questions than students in the traditional section. When asked why he/she missed an “easy” question, the students’ average response was “[I thought it was a trick question, the answer couldn’t be that easy]”.

Course completion rates (C or better) for the traditional and redesigned formats were also compared. The course completion rate was 66% for the traditional section and 91% for the redesigned sections, showing that students in the bottom third of the class seemed to benefit the most from the course redesign.

In addition, a survey of student satisfaction was given to the students in the redesigned format. Most students felt the redesigned course was the most challenging course they had taken to date and that they had learned a great deal. They were excited to take the redesigned Human Anatomy and Physiology II course. All of the students that successfully completed the redesigned HAPI are registered for the redesigned HAPII course. In addition, many of the students in the summer traditional section have signed up for the redesigned HAPII course as well.

Full Implementation

COTC fully implemented the redesigned HAPI course during the 2005 fall quarter. A pre-test of content knowledge was given to students at the beginning of the quarter and compared with those from the summer 2005 traditional sections to determine if there were significant differences in the characteristics of students taking the course. Results showed that there were no a significant differences in prior content knowledge among the two groups of students. Student learning was assessed using common exams developed by faculty content experts, which tested both content knowledge and critical thinking skills. A comparison of student performance showed no significant differences in the average exam scores.

Course completion rates (C or better) for the redesigned format in fall 2005 and winter 2006 were 94% and 92% respectively compared to 66% for the traditional format.

Cost Reduction

COTC has reduced the number of faculty teaching the course so that one person can successfully handle all of the students in a particular term, providing significant savings to the institution.

Initially, there were concerns that if students were not given the option to take the course in the traditional format, overall course enrollment would decrease. In fact, the course has enjoyed a 32% increase in student enrollment in the 2005-2006 academic year (523 students) compared to that of the 2004-2005 academic year (396 students).

Sustainability

Due to the overwhelming success of the HAP I redesign, the natural sciences faculty has begun to redesign many other courses: Human Anatomy and Physiology II, Pathophysiology I & II, Microbiology, Nutrition, Introduction to Human Biology and Human Biology. The team looks forward to future redesign projects within the department as well as aiding faculty in other departments.


 

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