Course Redesign

What is a Course Redesign?

What is a Course Redesign?

Course Redesign is changing instructional methods and implementing technology in order to make entire courses - not just single classes - more effective and improve student results.

Course Redesign is NOT simply making a course available online, it is implementing technology to make a course more successful!

Features of a Course Redesign

  • Active learning for students
  • Students do options but not optional
  • Differentiated roles for teaching faculty
  • Learning happens inside and outside the classroom
  • Improve student learning while reducing costs

Technology is implemented in order to accomplish the goal of making courses more effective and increasing student results. The courseware allows instructors and the department to constantly monitor student learning in an effort to use best practices in assisting students in completing the course.

Why start a Course Redesign?

  • Improve quality of student learning
  • Reduce drop/fail/withdrawal rates
  • Effective use of teaching resources and materials
  • Increase student success
  • Students are held accountable for their learning
  • To ensure consistency in courses
  • Increase the quality of the contract time between students and instructors
  • Keep full, part-time, and adjunct faculty fully informed and prepared
  • Prepare students for non-math courses (e.g. Chemistry, Physics, etc.) with applicational knowledge

Goal of a Redesign

Improve grades, student learning, and retention. Technology is implemented in order to accomplish the goal of making courses more effective and increasing student results.

How To Start a Course Redesign

Economical Considerations


  • How much will the cost of the courseware affect the student?
  • Will the student need unlimited access to the courseware?


  • Does the instructor want to be in a contract with a product or have the ability to choose?


  • Is the school willing to pay fees to use a product or would like a product that is free to the school with no contract?
  • Are there any costs for additional training?
Technological Considerations


  • Do students have access to a computer?
  • Do students have internet access at home, away from school, or on-the-go?
  • What are the technological skills of the students?
  • How important is it for the interface of the software to be easy to use?


  • What are the technological skills of the instructors?
  • Will the instructor have access to a computer?
  • How much time does the instructor want to save with the software program that is used?


  • Does the school server have enough bandwidth to accommodate programs that require constant internet connection with multiple users at a time?
  • Is there a designated computer lab or space to use as a lab?
Additional Considerations


  • Are there students that also work full-time?
  • Do part-time or non-traditional students take the course?
  • What are the different levels of knowledge for the students in the course?


  • Does the instructor have support from the administrators and other faculty?


  • What resources are already available (Math Learning Centers, tutors, graduate assistants, etc.)?
  • How responsive will the software provider be to your needs?
  • Improve grades, student learning and retention
  • Reduction in cost to the school and student
  • Consistency of material and courses

Determine what course type works best for your school's needs. Different types may work for different schools/courses. Below are a few options:

  • Lecture with lab component
  • Computer-Assisted
  • Online Course
  • Modular Approach
  • Self-Paced Course
  • Hybrid Course
  • 6 Models For Course Redesign Defined by NCAT [.pdf]
Benefits of using software
  • Error-specific and immediate feedback
  • No grading - since the software scores the students responses automatically and allows for partial credit
  • Motivates students to master the material with a non-penalty approach that encourages students to keep working on an assignment until knowledge of the material is demonstrated
  • Specific problems can be chosen to assign
  • Quick and easy creation of assessments
  • Online administration and storage of quizzes/tests/homework
  • Single or multiple attempts for assessments
  • Individual tests and assignments for each student
  • Flexibility in dates, times and time limits for individual students
  • Reports and statistics are available quickly
  • More time to assess students and activities and TEACH!
Things to look for in the courseware

Click here for a printable checklist!

  • Proven results: increased grades, retention, and other measures of success
  • Mastery-based homework assignments - To ensure the student learns the material before moving on.
  • Diagnoses student errors and provides specific feedback.
  • User-friendly for instructors and students
  • Free training and support for instructors and students
  • GOOD technical support
  • LOW cost to students and NO cost to schools
  • Ability to work offline
  • Lifetime student access
  • Algorithmically generated problems
  • Consistency in answer format
  • Free response questions
  • Easy-to-use course management system
  • Comprehensive test generator
  • Homework and assessment editing capabilities
  • Product maturity
  • Effective tutorial system

TIP: Decide on your "must-haves," "would like to haves," and "do not wants."

Click here to sign up for a demonstration of the Hawkes courseware.

Decide on the course set-up and map out all the details before implementing the redesign. Consider implementing a pilot program in order to work out the details. This may also help garner support. Remember to keep good records!

Train all individuals involved in the redesign including faculty, staff, graduate assistants, tutors, and the students.

Make sure students know and understand what to expect and what is expected of them.

Keep good communication among the department, with faculty and with students.

Things to consider
  • Better quality of student learning
  • Reduced drop/fail/withdrawal rates
  • Use of teaching resources
  • Assess the student success as well as assess the effect of the software on the students
  • Improved homework grades
  • Improved test grades
  • Improved pass rates
  • Correlation of time in the courseware to final grade
  • Success in follow-up course
  • Retention rate

Be on the look out for software programs that have:

  • Patterns in the homework
  • A system that allows the student to guess through answers
  • Too many buttons and links
  • Too many plug-ins which make it difficult to install
  • Expiration of student access
  • Expensive for students and school to adopt

Successful Course Redesigns

Spoon River Community College

SRCC redesigned their developmental math courses across three campuses. This soon resulted in instructors experiencing pass rates as high as 93%.

View the Case Study (College Algebra)
View the Case Study (Basic Mathematics, Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra)

Texas State Technical College

The goal of the Developmental Math Department at TSTC was to implement innovative ways to effectively address students' needs, accelerate progress in college, and increase career readiness while improving overall student outcomes.

View the Case Study
Read the news article and watch a clip that was covered on News8-Austin

Morehead State University

In order to increase student success in follow-up courses, Morehead redesigned their Developmental Math courses. The results showed drastic improvements after the redesign and implementation of Hawkes courseware.

View the Case Study
Read an Article Published by KADE

Kaua'i Community College

Prealgebra, Introductory Algebra, Intermediate Algebra and College Algebra courses were all redesigned at Kaua'i Community College. Hawkes Learning Systems' courseware was implemented to help increase student learning and accountability.

View the Case Study
View the Redesign Presentation on the 3 R's of Math Retention

University of Mississippi

A study was completed at the University of Mississippi comparing 3 sections of College Algebra students. All sections had the same lecture course and used different supplements to complete the homework. One section used the textbook alone, the second section used a software program, and the third section used Hawkes Learning Systems' courseware. Students who used the Hawkes courseware scored two letter grades higher than students who used the other software program.

Read the full article that was published in the AMATYC Review
Listen to the Redesign Workshop

Tools and Resources

Keys to Success

  • Good communication
  • Dedicated faculty
  • Support from administration
  • Consistency and fairness for every student
  • Competent oversight and evaluation
  • Consistent improvement
  • Track records of decisions and progress
  • View a list of Redesign Experts

Grant Help

There are many opportunities for grants. Below are just a few options. If you need help with a grant proposal, feel free to call us for support at 1.800.426.9538 or email

Need help writing a grant? Click here.

Presentations on Course Redesign



Many of our customers have completed successful course redesigns of varying degrees and types. If you would like to speak to an instructor, feel free to call us at 1.800.426.9538 or email us and we will connect you to instructors that are willing to share their ideas and answer any questions you may have.

Questions about starting your Course Redesign?

Email or call 1.800.426.9538