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Promoting Flexible Teaching: Implications For Faculty And Administrators

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.818.1 - 6.818.5



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Paper Authors

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Patricia L. Fox

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Stephen Hundley

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2148

Promoting Flexible Teaching: Implications for Faculty and Administrators

Stephen P. Hundley, Patricia L. Fox Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

I. Introduction

Many learners – especially adult and commuter students – often cite time, money, childcare responsibilities, work schedules, and transportation difficulties as barriers to their sustained participation in postsecondary education. Yet many institutions still schedule courses using an outdated, agrarian-based calendar that stretches courses over 15+ weeks. As retention and persistence issues continue to be of paramount importance in higher education, faculty and administrators must work in tandem to create alternative ways for students to take courses that allow them to complete their credentials in a faster manner.

This paper highlights the challenges and rewards of teaching courses in concentrated formats, and answers the following questions: (a) Why teach in concentrated formats? (b) Which courses are candidates for concentrated formats? (c) What strategies ensure quality in concentrated formats? and (d) How can institutions begin offering courses in concentrated formats? Faculty interested in adapting their courses to concentrated formats will find the experiences and insights the paper offers extremely helpful, while administrators will learn how to support faculty in their quest to offer courses in these formats.

II. Why Teach in Concentrated Formats?

The Department of Organizational Leadership and Supervision (OLS) in the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) regularly offers case- and project-based courses in one-week intensive formats. These courses are highly experiential, and require that students prepare in advance for the intense class, usually through pre-work reading assignments. Additionally, several post-class assignments are required, and students submit their work several weeks after the class-meeting period concludes. Therefore, while the contact-hours related to the teaching-learning process is only one week in duration, the entire context of learner involvement – pre-work, class meeting time, and post-work – usually spans over several months.

There are a number of reasons why courses can and should be offered in concentrated formats. First, and perhaps most significantly, is student demand. At our urban, commuter-oriented public institution, the mean age for students is 28. Many are part-time, returning, and/or delayed-entrant students, who must balance the demands of school with work, family, and other outside responsibilities. As a result, our students are interested in taking courses in formats that Proceedings of the 2001 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Fox, P. L., & Hundley, S. (2001, June), Promoting Flexible Teaching: Implications For Faculty And Administrators Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9694

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