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Call to participate: Redesign Projects for James Cook University and Australian Catholic University

This program has concluded.

James Cook University (JCU) and the Australian Catholic University (ACU) invite participation in the Redesign Project, a new, university-wide initiative to redesign undergraduate units using technology-supported active learning strategies.

The purpose of the Redesign Project is to improve student learning outcomes while reducing instructional costs, freeing up instructional resources for other departmental purposes.

Both projects will run concurrently during the 2011-2013 period and will see both universities partner the LH Martin Institute, the Australian Learning and Teaching Council and the US National Center for Academic Transformation (NCAT). NCAT is the architect of the successful large-scale national and state-based course redesign programs in the United States. The Australian Redesign Project will build on the successful models and lessons learned from NCAT’s American programs, creating curriculum redesign programs for units at both universities.

Goals of the JCU and ACU redesign projects
  • Adopt new ways to improve student learning outcomes;
  • Demonstrate these improvements through rigorous assessment;
  • Reduce institutional costs;
  • Free up instructional resources to be used for other purposes;
  • Develop the internal capacity of academic and professional staff to continue the redesign process.
Focus of the JCU and ACU redesign projects

The projects will focus specifically on undergraduate units, ideally with large enrolment.

In addition to having an impact on large numbers of students, there are other advantages of such a focus. In many large-enrolment units, the predominant instructional model is the large lecture. While recognising the limitations of the lecture method, many departments continue to organise units in this way because they believe that it represents the most cost-effective way to deal with large numbers of students. The Redesign Project will demonstrate that alternatives that improve quality, and are less costly than lecture-based strategies, are possible.

In addition, many large-enrolment units are introductory. These introductory units are good prospects for technology-enhanced redesign because they have a more or less standardised curriculum and outcomes that can be more easily delineated. They also serve as foundation studies for future majors. Successful learning experiences in these units will influence students to persist in key disciplines, like the sciences. Finally, because these units are feeders to other disciplines, success in them will help students make the transition to more advanced study.

Who should participate?

Participants may be academic staff, professional staff and/or campus administrators of the respective institutions.

How to participate

First download and read the relevant document below. This document contains detailed background information about the project and lists other related documents which must be read prior to further participation.

Document for participants in James Cook University redesign project

Document for participants in the Australian Catholic University redesign project

Second, register and attend the Redesign Project's orientation webinar (details below). This webinar will include presentations and case studies of successful curriculum redesigns across a variety of disciplines, and inform participants of the basic planning steps for implementing curriculum redesign based on the NCAT’s redesign methodology.

Note: participation at the orientation webinar is required in order for a participant to be eligible to submit a project proposal. However, those who participate in the orientation webinar are not required to submit a proposal if they decide not to participate further in the Project.

Orientation webinar

Friday, 26 August 2011, 9.00-11.00am (AEST).

Registration is essential. Please contact Peter Bentley to register. Instructions on how to access the webinar will be e-mailed to you upon registration.

Finally, those who choose to submit a proposal are also required to attend the follow-up Developing the Proposal webinar (details below).

Developing the Proposal webinar

Thursday, 20 October 2011, 9.00-11.00am (AEST).

Financial support

$40,000 in financial support will be provided to each unit selected for redesign. Two units at JCU and ACU will each receive a grant of $20,000 from the LH Martin Institute, plus $20,000 in cash or in-kind from the participating University.

More information

For further information about the projects, the webinar or the NCAT please contact:

Peter Bentley, Research Fellow, LH Martin Institute, phone: 03-8344 0756.

Carolyn Jarmon, NCAT Vice President, phone: (+1) 518-695 5320.

(For JCU project only) Kristen Smith, Personal Assistant to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor,
James Cook University, phone: 07-4781 5451.

(For ACU project only) Anne Cummins, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students, Learning & Teaching), Australian Catholic University, phone: 02-9739 2936.



Support for this project has been provided by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, an initiative of the Australian Government. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council or the Australian Government.

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