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Academic Efficiencies: Using MERLOT to Engage Faculty in the Discussion Phil Moss, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Richard Boyd, Rogers State.

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Presentation on theme: "Academic Efficiencies: Using MERLOT to Engage Faculty in the Discussion Phil Moss, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Richard Boyd, Rogers State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Academic Efficiencies: Using MERLOT to Engage Faculty in the Discussion Phil Moss, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Richard Boyd, Rogers State University Kurt Cogswell, South Dakota State University Amy Smith, Northeastern State University

2 The “Double Whammy” System Funding and FTE Enrollment History and Projections 119, , , , ,250 est. $829.1 $767.8 $791.5 $816.2 $ , , , , , , , , ,000 FY00FY01FY02FY03FY04 $767.0 $777.0 $787.0 $797.0 $807.0 $817.0 $827.0 $837.0 $847.0 $857.0 FTE EnrollmentAppropriations

3 INSTRUCTIONAL SPENDING PER FTE, BY STATE Percent Change and Current Position Relative to U.S. Average -50% -40% -30% -20% -10% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% -50%-40%-30%-20%-10%0%10%20%30%40%50% Percent Over/Under the U.S. Average, FY02 Percent Change, FY91 - FY02 high and increasing low and increasing low and decreasing high and decreasing AK MS WV MD KY IL NJ NYTX AL SD TN CO NE FL OK LA MT NM NC HI RI, MA WA SC ND AR VA ID KSMO GA NH MN OH WI IA ME MI PA VT U.S. WY UT CA IN OR NVAZ DE (66%)

4 Institutional Responses

5 Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

6 from the New Chancellor “The premise is that by working together, faculty in specific topical areas can provide higher-quality learning experiences in more cost- effective ways…The product would be a toolkit of teaching processes/ materials that can be used by faculty across Oklahoma colleges and universities.”

7 “The intention of the project to achieve uniformly high-quality teaching at all of our colleges & universities. With time and resources saved by pooling ideas and approaches, faculty would free up time for other uses, such as spending more time with students, developing new teaching material, conducting research or providing public service.” Concluding Observation

8 Some Initial Reactions  Don’t call it efficiency!  Do we have to?  Not if it takes $ away from us!  Go beyond course materials to courses/programs  Don’t call it efficiency!

9 MERLOT Services  Faculty development  Facilitation  Collaborative Tool  Customized Services

10 Academic Efficiencies - Leadership  Council on Instruction (COI) –Represents all Public Higher Education Community Colleges Regional Universities Comprehensive Universities –Members are Chief Academic Officers –Advisory to the Chancellor, State Regents –Meets Monthly (September – June) –Committees Report to the Council

11 Academic Efficiencies - Planning  COI Time-Lines –Discussion at COI through September –Academic Efficiency Committee formed October 2003, 1 st meeting - November –December/January—Workshop Planning –February—Two-day Workshop –April—One day Follow-up –September—Action Plans Developed

12 The 2-by-2-Pronged Plan  Disciplines –A specialized, low-enrollment discipline not currently identified as a MERLOT community Ecology –A general, high-enrollment discipline established as a MERLOT community Mathematics  Granularity –Big (Course Level) –Small (Learning Objects)

13 Goals for Initial Workshop –Ecology and Math (General Education) –Two Faculty from each campus –Nominated by Chief Academic Officer –Funding Assistance from Chancellor’s Office –Keynote Speakers—Set Tone for Project –Faculty Facilitators from Out-Of-State –Build Cooperation/Collaboration

14 Academic Efficiencies Workshop Agenda –Welcome by Chancellor, Chairs of President’s Council and COI –Center for Academic Transformation Carolyn Jarmon, Associate Director Course Redesign in Action—Campus Perspective (Univ. of Idaho, Fairfield Univ.) –MERLOT Gerry Hanley, Executive Director Collaboration-Sharing Resources (SDSU, Thomas Nelson Community College)

15 Academic Efficiencies Workshop Goals  Understand the Concepts of Efficiencies Textbook Selection Internet Materials Classroom/laboratory equipment/facilities Field trips and Projects Placement and testing tools Consulting and Research Sharing, Creating Learning Community Maintaining Academic Quality and Rigor

16 Academic Efficiencies Follow-Up Meeting Working Sessions –Identify Faculty Facilitators –Explore Project Ideas –Discuss Outcomes –Discuss Strategies –Identify MERLOT Resources –Discuss Implementation/Evaluation

17 MERLOT Mathematics at the Oklahoma Academic Efficiencies Conference

18 Oklahoma Academic Efficiencies Conference Day One: Large Scale Course Redesign  Dr. Carolyn Jarmon -- large scale course redesign  Good results backed up by hard data –Student performance does not decrease, often increases –Yearly course operational costs drop  Why not do this for every course? –Redesign requires large initial resource commitment –Need large enrollment and/or multi-section classes to achieve goal of a net cost reduction over time –Small fraction ( ~1% ) of classes qualify  What about all the other classes?

19 Oklahoma Academic Efficiencies Conference Day Two: MERLOT and Efficiency  Restructuring  small fraction of courses (~1%) –Good efficiency increase is possible in a few courses.  MERLOT  all courses –Typically, smaller increases in efficiency possible per course, but in a much larger number of courses.  Why is MERLOT appropriate for all courses? –Much less resource intensive than redesign –Much more flexible than redesign  Restructuring  Shock and Awe  MERLOT  Guerrilla warfare

20 Structure of MERLOT Mathematics  Objects and the Category Scheme Objects and the Category Scheme  Reviews –A Comparison of Numerical Integration AppletsA Comparison of Numerical Integration Applets –Numerical Integration Applet.Numerical Integration Applet  Assignments –Normal Probability ToolNormal Probability Tool  Personal Collections –Jim Rutledge Personal CollectionsJim Rutledge Personal Collections

21 Using the Structure to Enhance Efficiency  Target a course for MERLOT-based efficiency enhancement  Create a MERLOT identity for the course  Distribute login info to participating faculty  Create Personal Collections to hold categories of objects  What Categories? –Resources –Demonstration Tools –Exploration Tools –Other (topic specific, etc.)  These Personal Collections facilitate continuous course improvement and clearly produce other efficiency gains.  This would be of particular value to adjuncts and new faculty

22 More on Resources  Examples –Matrix FactsMatrix Facts –Fractal GeometryFractal Geometry  Efficiency? Why reinvent the wheel?

23 More on Demonstration Tools  Use frequently (almost daily)  Graphical/Visual component very effective  Assessment? Student Evaluations  Efficiency? Better teaching  improved “product”, reduced failure rate, reduced remediation, increased student retention  Examples –Fractal Dimension Demo ToolsFractal Dimension Demo Tools

24 More on Exploration Tools  Used very selectively.  Focus on major ideas that are known to be ineffectively taught using traditional means, and/or ideas that will be used extensively later in the curriculum.  Find MERLOT object suitable for guided exploration  In a computer lab, student groups discover ideas on their own. Instructor circulates to guide the process.  Assessment? Occurs as instructor circulates.  Efficiency? Improved teaching of key concepts improves teaching effectiveness and efficiency throughout the curriculum.  Example: –Numerical Integration AppletNumerical Integration Applet

25 MERLOT-Based Efficiency Gains  Efficiency measured by Production/Cost  Two ways to increase efficiency: –Increase production MERLOT functions to increase both quality and quantity of “product”, graduates. How to quantify??? Where’s the research??? –Decrease cost MERLOT decreases failure/repetition rate. MERLOT decreases faculty time per course. How to quantify??? Where’s the research???  Challenge for MERLOT: produce hard data that demonstrates MERLOT’s positive impact on academic efficiency.

26 Amy’s Additions

27 Follow-Up Faculty Workshop  Desired outcome –Develop draft plans to implement an efficiency project within ecology including Program development Incorporation Methods for evaluation

28 The process  Facilitated meeting format  Address challenge/issue  Determine faculty’s objective and outcomes  Develop list of potential solutions  Identify strategies to address each category to pursue  Identify next steps to incorporate strategies

29 Development – desired outcomes  Collaborate!  Develop a OK web resource  Identify locations for field trips  Develop and share activities

30 Development – strategies  Collaborate!  Develop a web page –Designed as project in web page development course –Regional web pages linked

31 Development – strategies  Identify locations for field trips –Site information –Local experts –Data bases –Activities

32 Development – strategies  Develop and share activities –Activities by faculty –Links to web-published resources –Specific methods and instrumentation identified –Student directed activities identified

33 Product – main page Map courtesy of The Nature Conservancy

34 Product – example field site CATEGORYEXAMPLE AreaNortheast Oklahoma Site NameSequoyah State Park Contact Person(s)Dr. Amy Smith or Dr. Erik Terdal Site MapMap with GPS coordinates What’s Available and When Fees/Permits/Restrictions Facilities/LodgingCamping Seasons Data CollectedAnnual Deer Drive Proximal InstitutionNortheastern State University Available Support at UniversityPersonnel, Rooms/Labs, Equipment News

35 Product – activities and data sets  Activity – Deer census by Dr. Erik Terdal Background A basic parameter of population biology is the density of a population: how many individuals of a species are there per unit area. Population ecologists have long been interested in how the environment affects density and how the density of one population affects populations of other species (competitors, predators, etc.). Wildlife managers use population ecology theory to manage populations of wild animals for the benefit of humans. Locally, white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginanus) are of interest as game animals, potential crop pests, and as a tourist attraction. The Sequoyah State Park (SSP) near Hulbert on Lake Ft. Gibson has a large population of white-tailed deer. These deer are an important reason why visitors come to the park. As they have not been hunted in many years they are somewhat habituated to humans, permitting close observation. Unfortunately, the high density of deer at SSP has impacted the vegetation of the park. It has also contributed to an abundance of ticks, which affect humans and other animals at the park. For these reasons, former SSP naturalist (and NSU alum)

36 Product – activities and data sets Table 1. Raw data from Spring drive censuses of white-tailed deer in Sequoyah State Park (Cherokee Co., Oklahoma, USA) conducted from 1989 to Total park area is approximately 2500 acres (~1000 ha). Year # participants Acres covered # deer counted (Feb.) (Dec.) (Feb.) (Nov.) (Feb.)  Data set – Deer census by Dr. Erik Terdal

37 Advantages  Faculty driven –More buy-in –More motivation  Assesses faculty needs  Networking

38 Academic Efficiencies Questions?


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