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CAS Curriculum Development

These pages are designed to assist CAS faculty in curriculum development and includes guidance on the proposal submission and review process below. 

The CAS quarterly deadlines for submitting departmentally-approved course change proposals are listed below. CAS departments should establish earlier internal deadlines to ensure adequate time for the vetting of each proposal before the curricular authority flags it as approved for college-level review within CourseLeaf*.  CAS recommends that faculty proposers submit their course changes as much as a year in advance of the intended effective term.

CAS Curriculum Deadlines: 

Fall – September 30 (following departmental review the previous spring and/or summer)

Winter – December 15 (following departmental review the previous summer and/or fall)

Spring – March 15 (following departmental review the previous fall and/or winter )

*CourseLeaf for Courses.  The Course Inventory Management or CIM module of CourseLeaf is designed to elicit all information required by UO curricular review committees. Administrative authorities at the department-, college-, and university-level review proposals on-line for completeness and compliance with university policies.

Faculty Curriculum Coordinators and authorized proposers must read “CAS 2016-17 Instructions for submitting course proposals via Courseleaf” before accessing CourseLeafThe flattened CIM form is provided as a road map.

Contact CAS Curriculum Coordinator, Lexy Wellman, at 541-346-3286 or lwellman@uoregon.edu if curricular authority for your department has changed or if additional faculty need to be provided access to CourseLeaf.

Contents

A word on process

Most curriculum changes, including new and revised courses and degree programs, involve review at the department, CAS, and UO levels. Some changes can be made at departmental discretion, others are eligible for expedited committee and/or CAS Dean’s Office review, and still others require full review. Before developing any new degree program, unit curricular planners should consider the CAS Guidelines for Stages of Small-Scale Programs and consult the Dean’s Office for guidance on construction of a successful proposal and selection of a realistic implementation date.

At the CAS level, the CAS Curriculum Committee (CASCC) reviews new course proposals and advises the CAS Dean’s Office on other curricular matters, including degree program proposals. The CASCC includes two faculty members, typically tenured, from each of the three CAS divisions. The CAS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education acts as ex officio chair of the CASCC, voting only in the case of a tie.

At the UO level, course proposals are reviewed by the UO Committee on Courses (UOCC). Degree program proposals and curricular policy changes are reviewed by the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council, as appropriate, and, in the case of degree program proposals, by the Provost.

Further information can be found at the Academic Affairs website under the “Programs & Curriculum” tab.

Curricular review cycles

The CAS Curriculum Committee (CASCC) accepts departmentally-endorsed course change proposals three times each year (see deadlines above). Departments should set up internal timelines accordingly and establish review structures that include designated curricular personnel who are responsible for ensuring that proposals comply with curricular guidelines. Proposals that do not will be returned for resubmission and are less likely to clear department-, college-, and university-level review committees within three terms.

An authorized faculty member enters details of their new course or course change into CourseLeaf and submits the proposal for departmental review. Once endorsed by the department, the Faculty Curriculum Coordinator flags the proposal as approved, triggering college-level review the following term. Proposals flagged as approved by CASCC at the end of fall term, for instance, will advance to the UOCC for university-level review during winter term. Courses included on the UOCC’s quarterly Curriculum Reports usually take effect the fall following Senate approval.

Writing a syllabus

Before submitting a formal proposal for a new or substantially revised course, the instructor must prepare a comprehensive syllabus.  The CAS Syllabus Checklist, listed on pages 4-6 of the CAS Instructions above, was developed to help instructors meet the expectations of the curricular review committees. Syllabi submitted in support of course change proposals should adhere to the format and guidelines detailed in this checklist. It is CAS policy that all syllabi should include a list of expected learning outcomes.

The Teacher Effectiveness Program website is a good resource of information regarding the development of a course syllabus and the creation and assessment of learning objectives or outcomes.

Proposing a new course

Faculty interested in creating a new permanently numbered course should first consult their departmental curriculum coordinator(s) about internal review procedures before initiating a new course proposal through CourseLeaf.   The 2016-17 CAS Instructions for submitting course proposals via Courseleaf provide guidance and access to the online system.

The syllabus uploaded in support of a proposal should adhere to the guidelines and format described in the CAS Syllabus Checklist (p.4-6 of CAS Instructions above.)

Changing, dropping, or reinstating an existing course

Changing a course 

CourseLeaf provides access to the detail of all previously approved permanent courses listed in the UO Catalog. Changes to these existing courses are made through the “Edit” function in CIM and will appear in red/green mark up.  The system provides a list of all other courses linked to the course being changed (e.g. because they rely on the course as a prerequisite) so that departments can work with colleagues to avoid disruptions.

Significant changes, listed below, require submission of a complete syllabus* and full curricular review:

  • changes in the number of credits for the course
  • major changes to title or description of a course
  • changes to the special status of an undergraduate course (group-satisfying, multicultural, honors, B.A. foreign language, B.S. math/computer science.

*Syllabi submitted in support of substantive course changes should adhere to the guidelines on the “CAS Syllabus Checklist”. 

Smaller changes may be requested by e-mailing Mike Jefferis jefferis@uoregon.edu in the Registrar’s Office, bypassing CourseLeaf.  These include:

  • Requests for minor editorial changes to course title or catalog description.
  • Changes to the expanded course description (ECD) for a group-satisfying General Education course.
  • Requests to change the grading options, repeatability criteria, pre-requisites, or other enrollment conditions for a course.

Changes to the format and/or enrollment size of a course (e.g. lecture with sections, lecture without sections, seminar, online) are at the discretion of individual departments, unless additional GTFs or other instructional resources are needed from CAS.

Dropping a course

A department may drop a course by sending a memorandum explaining the rationale to Mike Jefferis jefferis@uoregon.edu in the Registrar’s Office and copying lwellman@uoregon.edu. First, however, it should consult with any other academic programs whose curricula and/or enrollments may be adversely affected by the change (e.g. if the course being dropped serves as a prerequisite to a critical course in another program). In addition, departments should be aware that once a course has been dropped, its number cannot be used for another topic until a period of seven years has elapsed. 

Courses Not Taught

The Registrar’s Office annual report of “Courses Not Taught” serves as notification to departments of those courses that have languished for three or more years.  A course on this list will be automatically dropped from the catalog unless the department specifically requests that it be maintained and emails the name of the instructor and the term it will be offered within the upcoming year to Mike Jefferis at jefferis@uoregon.edu

Reinstating a course

A course that has been dropped from the catalog, whether by explicit request or automatically by the Registrar due to inactivity, may be reinstated within an additional three years of its being dropped.  Send a brief explanation, along with the name of the instructor and the term they have agreed to teach it, to Mike Jefferis  jefferis@uoregon.edu .  No changes may be requested at this time.  Once a course has lapsed for a full six years, it is no longer eligible for reinstatement.  A new course proposal must be submitted for full curricular review.

Renumbering a course

Course renumbering is not always possible since a seven-year period must elapse before a previously used number can be reused for a new course. In addition, “articulation” agreements with other colleges and universities often prescribe numbers for certain universally offered courses. Interested faculty should contact Mike Jefferis jefferis@uoregon.edu in the Registrar’s Office for guidance.

If renumbering coincides with a substantive course change, a proposal to add a new course must be submitted. (See Proposing a New Course above.)

Adding or changing an undergraduate major, minor, or certificate

Please contact lwellman@uoregon.edu for guidance.

Adding or changing a graduate degree or specialization

Please contact lwellman@uoregon.edu for guidance.

Policies and recommendations: Academic dishonesty

Instructors are referred to the following websites and resources:

Policies and recommendations: Assessment of learning outcomes

Program-level learning outcomes. Each CAS department is required to formulate and post a list of learning outcomes for every degree program it offers (undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates; and graduate M.A. and Ph.D. programs). A current list, still under construction, is available here.

Course-level learning outcomes. It is CAS policy that each course syllabus should include a list of expected learning outcomes for that course. Guidance is available here.

Policies and recommendations: Experimental courses

An experimental course (numbered 199, 399, 410, or 510) may be offered for up to three years without committee review.  If a department decides to offer the course regularly thereafter, it should submit a formal proposal for a new course that carries a permanent number.

Policies and recommendations: Film screenings in class

The CAS curriculum committee has adopted the following recommendation regarding film screenings in class: “Class time devoted to viewing films should be framed within active pedagogical strategies including pre-viewing exercises and follow-up evaluation and critique. Ideally, screenings during class should be limited to excerpts of films that the students have already seen outside of class. If viewings are required almost every week, supplemental meeting times for film screenings outside of regular class times should be arranged and clearly indicated in the course description.”

Policies and recommendations: General Education

General Education courses are those bearing group-satisfying and/or multicultural status. There are three groups (Arts and Letters, Social Science, and Science) and three multicultural categories (American Cultures; Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance; and International Cultures).  See Comprehensive criteria for Gen Ed, an excerpt from the appendix within CAS Instructions for Using CIM.

Courses counting for General Education credit require additional justification and, in the case of group-satisfying courses, more rigorous college- and university-level review. Procedures, criteria, and policies are embedded within the on-line CourseLeaf form.

Policies and recommendations: Grading

Per UO Senate legislation, each department is required to formulate and post discipline-specific grading rationales. Such rationales should articulate the general standards of academic achievement in a given discipline and not be formulated in a way that binds individual instructors. Departments should devote specific attention to A+ grades in their posted rationales. They should also discuss the degree to which grade inflation threatens to compromise their evaluation practices and, if appropriate, develop discipline-specific ways to address this problem.

A list of departmental grading rationales (still under construction) is available at http://gradeculture.uoregon.edu.

Policies and recommendations: Online education

The policies and workload expectations for online courses are the same as for seated (and hybrid) courses. Since the instructional format of any established course is at the discretion of the department, an existing seated course may be offered in an online format without prior approval from the curriculum committees.

CAS, however, is in the process of generating guidelines and recommended best practices for online courses, and some of these may become formal policies in the future. The budgeting and contracting aspects of online courses are also under active scrutiny at this time. Departments should consult the CAS Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education at adue@uoregon.edu with any questions about these issues.

Policies and recommendations: Sale of course notes

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The sale of course notes by students to other students is an ancient practice made more problematic by the advent of dedicated websites, particularly commercial ones, facilitating large-scale dissemination of such materials. Instructors may attempt to assert copyright of lecture notes and slides (e.g. by including a “©” notice on their course materials) but intellectual property rights are difficult to enforce in practice. While no formal rule law otherwise forbids the sale of course notes, it is a violation of UO policy for students to use Blackboard or other University-sponsored electronic media (such as email) for commercial purposes.

IMPORTANT GUIDANCE  DOCUMENTS (Sept 2016)

  1.  CAS Curricular Review Timeframe and Roles
  2.  CAS Instructions for Departmental Curriculum Reviewers
  3.  CIM Quick Steps for Proposers
  4.  CIM Quick Steps for Dept Approvers


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