In 2009, California State University-Chico implemented a unique system of course redesign with the aim of improving student learning, increasing instructional efficiency, and reducing university costs. Inspired by and modeled after the National Center for Academic Transformation, the “Academy e-Learning” program involves a 3-week training covering models of course design, learning theories, assessment methods, and a host of instructional technologies. This paper summarizes data from 40 courses, across five separate cohort groups from 2009–2013, with respect to the efficacy of Academy e-Learning (re)design training. Data show improvements in student learning outcomes in over half of the course redesigns. Benefits of course redesign included increased instructional efficiency, enhanced student learning, and a reduction in university costs by offering some instruction online and increasing enrollment caps. Barriers to a successful course redesign included lack of time, technology malfunction, and workload concerns. This paper outlines the redesign process at California State University-Chico, discusses similar redesign initiatives at other institutions, and offers solutions for measuring effectiveness of a redesigned course.
Josh Trout and Eddie Vela
Josh Trout and Kim C. Graber
The purpose of this investigation was to examine overweight students’ perceptions of and experiences in physical education. Specifically, the applicability of learned helplessness as a framework to understand their experiences was explored. Participants were seven female and five male high school students whose body mass index was at or higher than the gender- and age-specific 85th percentile based on Centers for Disease Control growth charts. Data collection included formal interviews with students and their parents. The primary findings indicate that students have mixed opinions concerning the benefits to be derived from physical education. Despite recognizing the relationship between lack of physical activity and obesity, many participants avoided participation because they had been traumatized to the extent of exhibiting symptoms consistent with learned helplessness. Participants demonstrated greater concern about visibility than they did about their performance, which suggests they might engage in physical activity if shielded from the view of peers.