The Innovation: Missouri Learning Commons
Institutions may consider offering hybrid courses to improve student learning outcomes and to reduce instruction costs of high-enrollment, entry-level courses. However, the required time and resources to develop or redesign such courses may discourage this strategy. The University of Missouri System took another tack, pooling its four-year institutions’ resources to create the Missouri Learning Commons repository of hybrid courses, where 40–60% of instruction occurs online. Each participating campus took the lead in redesigning and piloting a course. Then the course faculty shared their syllabi, course materials, and course techniques with system campuses.
Results Achieved: 12 University of Missouri system institutions fully participated in the project, redesigning 14 courses altogether. Project impacts include:
- Academic: SRI, the project evaluator, completed a student comparison for 10 courses. In 7 out of 10 courses, students in the redesigned course achieved higher scores than students in previous versions of the same courses. In three of these courses, the differences were statistically significant.
- Cost of course delivery: 10 of the 14 courses experienced reduced costs. The largest reported cost savings were in Basic English (32% per student), College Algebra (35% per student), and Intermediate Algebra (13% per student).
- Organizational: The project energized faculty and developed leaders in course redesign, as well as strengthened ties among the system’s four-year institutions.
Long term Goal: To facilitate institutions’ hybrid course redesign of high-enrollment, entry-level courses; to help faculty use the best and the most appropriate tools, technology and techniques; and to share the courses with all 13 of Missouri’s four-year institutions.
The Grant Project:
University of Missouri System/Missouri Department of Higher Education received a Building Blocks for College Completion program grant in April 2011.
NGLC provided the impetus and resources for Missouri’s four-year institutions to collaborate on hybrid course development, to develop best practices, and to share them across the system.
The system sustained at least 10 courses after the project, and several institutions plan to redesign additional courses in the same academic series. Faculty workshops, training, and one-on-one assistance help existing and new faculty adopt the Missouri Commons courses.
- University of Missouri - Columbia
- Harris-Stowe State University
- Lincoln University
- Missouri Southern State University
- Missouri State University
- Missouri University of Science and Technology
- Missouri Western State University
- Northwest Missouri State University
- Southeast Missouri State University
- Truman State University
- University of Central Missouri
- University of Missouri - Kansas City
- University of Missouri - St. Louis