”4-VA funding made this course possible by providing the space and resources needed to produce the prototype solutions and by generating interest and engagement through promoting our work and the work of our students.”
– Dr. Erica Lewis, Assistant Professor, Nursing, JMU
4-VA’s Course Redesign Improves Student Access and Performance through Innovative Classroom Practices
Students experience the value of higher education when classes are accessible, engaging and inspiring. Through course redesign, 4-VA improves student performance and enhances the classroom experience through active learning, flipped classes, and the integration of public data sets. 4-VA supports redesigning classes for online use, developing classes that can be shared across 4-VA universities, and integrating new technology and methods of teaching and learning in the following areas:
1. Faculty Development
Select faculty development workshops at 4-VA universities are open to all 4-VA faculty. 4-VA also supports teaching and learning conferences on campuses to promote the dissemination of best practices and innovative pedagogy.
2. Large-Scale STEM Course Redesign
Introductory science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses offered in a sequence are redesigned for increased student performance and technology-enhanced classroom activities. Redesign on this scale positively impacts student retention, time to degree, and program curriculum.
3. Specialized Course Redesign
New courses are created or existing courses are redesigned with 4-VA support. Courses are redesigned to incorporate video-recorded lessons, problem-based learning activities, public data sets for research, applied math problems, etc.
4. Course Redesign for Open Educational Resources (OERs)
Multidisciplinary courses are redesigned to incorporate existing, openly accessible materials or activities which can dramatically reduce the cost of textbooks and supplemental course materials. Additionally, 4-VA faculty are creating OERs that are used and assessed in their courses.
“The [4-VA] funding allowed us to offer a half-day workshop for faculty from JMU and surrounding colleges on how to design a college science course based on what we know from the learning research about how students best learn.”
– Kerry Cresawn, Assistant Professor, Biology, JMU