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The Ohio State University

University Center for the Advancement of Teaching


Semester ChangeSemester Change FAQ

More Information about the change to semesters can be found

at The Ohio State Office of Academic Affairs.


Semester Conversion: What can UCAT do for you?

The University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (UCAT) is available to help colleges, departments, programs, and individual faculty members redesign their curricula by helping you think through your desired learning outcomes, curricular organization, and course structure and content. We work with different sized groups and at a variety of levels of intensity.

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Are You Planning Research on the Quarter-to-Semester Conversion?

Does your research involve evaluating curriculum, implementing new curriculum, surveys, testing, or accessing identifiable data on students? Are you planning to disseminate results in academic journals or at professional conferences?

If so, federal regulations may require Institutional Review Board (IRB) or exempt review and approval before any research activities begin. For more information, please refer to the policy on Research Involving Human Subjects or consult Cheri Pettey in the Office of Responsible Research Practices for additional guidance.

Course Design Institutes

In June 2009, UCAT began offering an exciting new series called the Course Design Institute (CDI). Due to high attendance and extremely positive participant feedback (some noted on the bottom), we are pleased to announce the new CDI schedule for the 2011-2012 academic year.

The goal of the CDI is to provide you with the tools, the time, and the collegial support to dig in and design or re-design any course. At the end of the institute, you will have created the basic structure of your new course, including plans for a syllabus, assignments, assessment tools, and a course outline. Perhaps even more importantly, you will have had a chance to interact with a diverse group of colleagues from across our university, allowing you to share your own ideas about teaching and gather new ideas from your peers.

We will continue offering the Course Design Institute throughout this coming academic year in two different formats: intensive and extended.

Our intensive version offers participants a focused format for accomplishing course design in five three-hour sessions over one week between quarters. Our participants tell us they enjoy the chance to dedicate a period of time solely to the goal of designing a course. This format also works well for instructors needing to plan a course quickly for an upcoming term.

Our extended version offers the same number of contact hours, but meets once per week for five weeks. This format works well for individuals that have time during the quarter, but may not be able to devote an entire week to the process between quarters. Participants who choose this format tell us they enjoy having time between sessions to further reflect on the assigned work and map out their new course design.

Each participant must commit to attending all five sessions, so please carefully consider your availability before applying. To create a close community environment, we limit registration to 12 participants for each institute and select our participants after reviewing all applications. We look forward to working with you!

Upcoming Course Design Institutes

Period Dates Time
Autumn 2012 Tuesdays, 9/4, 9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2 FULL
Winter Break 2012 12/13, 12/14, 12/17, 12/18, 12/19 FULL
Spring 2013 Wednesdays, 1/16, 1/23, 1/30, 2/6, 2/13 11am–2pm
Spring Break 2013 Monday–Friday, 3/11–3/15 10am–1pm
May 2013 5/9, 5/14, 5/16, 5/21, 5/23 10am–1pm
June 2013 Monday–Friday, 6/3–6/8 12–3pm

Apply for an upcoming Course Design Institute >>>

View a presentation about past Course Design Institute participants >>>

“UCAT is an excellent and welcoming resource for curriculum redesign.”

“I am taking with me a real course, that didn’t exist before, that I actually really want to teach!”

“The logic of the [Institute] structure is incredibly valuable. The content was fantastic; broken down into logical steps.”

“Now I will not get overwhelmed with course design because I know how to break things down into manageable units with course design and assessment and grading rubrics.”

“I will use this same process for every course I teach. Thank you so much!”

“I have learned so much from the expertise and experiences from faculty of other disciplines, and that a course should be developed with structure, not just out of thin air.”

"Having this dedicated time really helped me think deeply about the nature of what I'm teaching. While being structured, I felt like I had the freedom to come to my own conclusions."

"I have a successful, effective go-to approach for revising or creating future courses. Most importantly, I have a plan and thoughtfully-prepared design for the course that I have to teach spring quarter."

Opportunities and Challenges of Calendar Conversion

As The Ohio State University moves through the transition to a semester calendar, we face both many challenges and many opportunities. Perhaps most challenging is the significant amount of intellectual effort required for all of our academic programs to reformulate their curricula to fit into eight semesters, rather than twelve quarters. However, this challenge brings with it the opportunity to rethink programs to better fit our current and future goals and desires.

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