Foundational Course Initiative

Foundational Course Initiative

Foundational Course Initiative
Vision: University of Michigan’s Foundational Courses will play an important role in recruiting a diverse student body, supporting them all equitably, and creating the inclusive community we aspire to for our third century. These Foundational Courses will be nationally recognized as a leading model for teaching and learning at scale.

Job Opening

The Foundational Course Initiative is now hiring instructional consultants who will contribute expertise in pedagogy, instructional design, assessment, analytics, and/or instructional technology to our team. For details and to apply, visit the posting on the U-M jobs site.

The Task

The Task

Only about 1% of the University of Michigan’s 9,200 courses enroll more than 200 students, but these courses are incredibly important. They account for one third of all credit hours, for which students pay about $150 million in tuition every term. They play an outsize role in student’s lives, providing essential gateways to majors and careers. Such courses are difficult to teach, enrolling students from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, and goals, endeavoring to prepare them all well for subsequent study across a range of fields. Every one of these courses should have access to the support the Foundational Course Initiative can provide.

The Reward

The Reward

During the first five years of this initiative, we will transform more than 30 courses, significantly impacting the lives of 80% of Michigan undergraduates. By doing this, we expect both the image and the reality of large introductory courses at Michigan to be transformed. Students will come to Michigan eager to participate in well-designed and carefully delivered foundational courses. These courses will enhance student success, ensure that students can complete the degrees they desire, and enrich their experience with topics outside their major.

 

The Process

The Process

A collaborative course design team, consisting of a departmental instructional team and educational professionals from CRLT, will be convened for each course that joins the initiative. The group will include multi-generational instructional teams - faculty, GSIs, undergraduates, and postdocs - and experts in assessment, technology, pedagogy, and student support. In a process that will typically last three years, the team will explore the existing course and design a revised version, deliver the revised course while measuring outcomes, and iterate on the design to deliver a "final" revised course. In the third year, the team will prepare a report detailing the course's successes and its ongoing support needs.

Learn more about the FCI.

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