Collaborative Curriculum Design and Assessment: Piloting a Hybrid First-Year Writing Course
We needed to provide options and to create space for first-year writing courses at a growing tier-one, four-year, public university. Therefore, three faculty members-the program director, the associate director, and a full-time teaching fellow-collaborated to create, pilot, and assess a hybrid version of our writing course. The teaching fellow taught four face-to-face sections of the course and then shifted her curriculum design to teach four hybrid sections the following semester. After both semesters, she provided blinded data to the other two faculty for collaborative assessment of three data sets: the student performances per assignment-specific and final grades, the instructor's journal, and the students' survey responses. Students in the face-to-face and hybrid sections performed equally, with mean final grades differing by only 10.74 points on a 1000-point scale (means of 815.54 points in face-to-face and 804.80 in hybrid-a difference of 1.07%, which is not statistically significant). We discovered the value of journaling for the instructor to reflect, note questions, revisit design decisions, and document solutions for future courses. We identified issues in the course design and found that inconsistencies in assignment-specific grades were paralleled with concerns in the instructor's journal and students' survey responses. We also noted that collaborative design and assessment benefits our students, our faculty, our program, and our university. ©2018 Journal of Interactive Online Learning.