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Section 3: Course Designs

An illustration of course designs that facilitate preserving TCU’s high-quality, personalized curricular experiences across virtual domains.

Many instructors may not have previously considered how course learning elements can be delivered online.  It’s important to discuss Course Design Models that provide examples of how course learning elements such as the lecture, lab and class discussion can be maintained with minimal disruption, during delivery mode transitions.

Course learning elements include, lectures, guest speakers, panel discussions, class discussions, readings, others assignments, team work, class presentations, class breakout groups, hands-on project work, one-on-one performance lessons, and off-campus activities, such as internships, student teaching, clinicals and community-based service learning. Instructors experienced with online learning may be expert at delivering course learning elements online.  However, likely few of us have thought deeply about how we might seamlessly transition easily between on campus and virtual domains or teach dually in on campus and virtual domains – that is, until onset of the COVID-19 pandemic required a switch to remote course delivery.

The Course Design Models described herein are not complete and do not address all of the complexities for learning in various disciplines.  Rather, these models are meant to spark your creative thinking as you consider redesigning your fall course in a way that facilitates transitioning between delivery modes. To facilitate redesign of all fall courses over the summer, College Connect Teams will generate one or more Course Design Models that address common course learning elements, and challenges, for disciplines within the college.  College Connect Team members will then work with college Instructors, over the summer, to help faculty redesign of their individual courses.



Fall 2020 courses will be redesigned to incorporate a college-approved Course Design Model that supports the four delivery modes of On Campus, Modified On Campus, Dual and Online. Example Course Design Models are illustrated in Appendix B.  In this section, we talk through “example 1”, the course model shown in Table B1 of Appendix B.

This exemplar model illustrates a 3-credit course design that includes synchronous components to maintain personalized interaction among instructors and students throughout the semester, and it incorporates flexibility for moving among delivery modes. For example, when the course is a lecture or discussion-based course in On Campus mode, course delivery moves to Online mode by offering the same lecture or discussion using Zoom.

Let us now consider Modified On Campus and Dual modes:

The Modified On Campus mode means there may be limits to the number of students who can gather in a classroom at one time. For this example, a class of 40 students must be divided into two groups of 20. The class meets two days a week. Group 1 meets in person on one day (Tuesday) for in-class instruction; Group 2 meets for the other day (Thursday) for in-class instruction. Each group receives the same lecture. The second lecture for the week is done for all students through an asynchronous threaded discussion on TCU Online (D2L) .

Dual mode means we deliver to most students on campus. However, there may be situations that prevent some students from attending class, they would then join the class virtually. For the example above, let’s say 35 students are able to attend classes on campus and  five are not able to be on campus.  On Tuesday, the instructor would meet in person for in-class instruction with Group A, that is the 35 students. On Thursday, the instructor will Zoom with Group B, the five off-campus students, at the normally scheduled class time. All students would then participate in an asynchronous threaded discussion on TCU Online.

Lastly, and very importantly, Instructors should articulate in the syllabus any course components that may be substantially modified, replaced or deferred due to inability to support those components in all four delivery modes.

For example, a music performance course might change to focus on composition during Online mode.  A one-on-one performance lesson or hands-on lab work may have to be deferred to a different semester.  A community-based service-learning course may need to shift focus away from placing students in community organizations to researching challenges faced by those organizations.  Instructors are asked to think creatively to enable students to complete course requirements under varying conditions.  Most importantly, instructors are asked to articulate these variations in the course model so that students are not surprised if and when expectations change.



College courses will be redesigned according to the timeline shown in Table 4.  Stipends and compensation provided is illustrated in Table 5.

Table 4. Scheduled Fall 2020 Courses: Course Redesign Timeline

June 3Deans submit first draft of College Connect Plan to provost. Draft includes examples of College Course Design Models created by College Connect Teams.
May 1 to Aug. 1 (Schedule TBD by colleges)All TCU instructors of record for the fall 2020 will redesign their courses as needed to incorporate the elements of TCU Connected Campus as described herein. Variations of the example shown are expected. The key criteria is that instructors clearly articulate how, where and when course content will be delivered across the four delivery modes.

College Connect Teams work closely with instructors to facilitate course redesign, including to help identify replacements or deferrals of course components that cannot be delivered across all modalities.

College Connect Teams assess and approve course design and syllabi for courses offered by college instructors.
Aug. 1Instructors will have completed Koehler Center Hybrid Course professional development. Koehler Center confirms that instructors scheduled to teach courses in the fall semester have been verified as having mastered the Hybrid Course learning. List of exceptions submitted to the provost. Instructors will have completed training in cohorts as follows:
• Instructors teaching courses starting in May, trained by May 7
• Instructors teaching courses starting in June, trained by May 28
• Instructors teaching courses starting in July, trained by June 18
• Instructors teaching courses starting in Aug. 17 trained by Aug. 1
Aug. 16Instructors have posted approved course syllabi with course designs to TCU Online for courses offered during fall 2020.

Table 5. Stipends and Compensation

$2,000 summer stipend
$2,000 fall stipend
College eTrainers selected by the deans. Employees completing Koehler Center Train-the-Trainer; delivering Koehler Center Hybrid Training; assisting colleges with development of course redesign models and assisting instructors with redesign of fall courses
$300 summer stipendsKoehler Center Hybrid course completion stipend. Instructors who are verified by the Koehler Center as having completed the Hybrid Course 12-hour course or having demonstrated the skills to opt out of all or some of the course content.
Up to $1,600 fall stipendsInstructors teaching fall 2020 courses who complete course design, gain college approval for the course design, and include their course design in their course syllabus posted on TCU Online before August 17, 2020: 
• $400 – redesigned course 1
• $400 – redesigned course 2
• $400 – redesigned course 3
• $400 – redesigned course 4