While Spring is often the time of year many people sweep out their organizational cobwebs, we see each new term as an opportunity to make sure our courses are in excellent shape. We look at student feedback throughout the year and our regular review process is quietly chugging along in the background. But each new term gives us a chance to present that work to our partners and students in the form of new and updated courses.
For Spring 2022, we are excited to share a couple updates that we’ve been working on.
Quantitative Analysis has been our foundational math course for several terms. It introduces students to basic applied math concepts in Algebra and Geometry, as well as probability and financial literacy.
As our catalog continued to grow, there was an increased demand for courses with clear real-world applications. So we started building our first business courses, Microeconomics and Introduction to Business & Entrepreneurship. Through building these courses, we saw a need for a foundation in analytical thinking to support these business concepts. With a few changes, we were able to transition the Quantitative Analysis course to a traditional Analytics I course while still providing students with an introductory math course at the college level.
The Analytics I course that will launch in January includes a new module on probability in the real world. The module includes lessons on using spreadsheets for analytics, creating a measurement plan, risk analysis, probability, and decision-making using analytics. We’ve also added a few lessons throughout the course on clustering, polynomials, predictive analysis, and forecasting. Our team updated the quizzes and assignments throughout the course to reflect these new topics.
At TEL, we focus on helping students build the skills and competencies that they need to be successful. It’s more than content knowledge. It’s being able to apply what they learn outside of the course. We’re excited about these updates and the foundation that Analytics I creates.
Also in the realm of applicable skills, we are in the process of building our first programming course. In order to create a clearer first step for that course, and to remove some overlap, our Introduction to Information Technology course got some updates.
- systems analysis and design
- data networks and cybersecurity
- database management systems
- enterprise systems
- project management
- building enterprise architecture
- application development
- business systems.
Previously, Language & Composition and Literature & Composition served as our Comp I and Comp II courses, helping students learn how to convey their ideas through writing. After hearing from partners that they wanted a more research-focused course for their Comp II equivalent, we launched Research & Composition in 2021. That gave us the opportunity to build out a true literature course that fell squarely in our Humanities discipline.
We removed the module on Writing a Research Paper and replaced it with a module on Literary Theories and Schools of Thought. This new module includes lessons on an introduction to literary theory, new criticism, reader-response theory, psychoanalytic theory, and gender and race. Mastery Assignment 5 will be updated since the students will no longer be writing a research paper. Instead, they will be analyzing the work they chose to read throughout the course using literary lenses.
Traditionally, we’ve allowed students to take their science lecture and lab separately. A student could take the Biology I lecture one semester and the lab component the following semester. While perhaps more convenient for some learners, this scheduling caused confusion and ultimately led to poorer student performance than students who took the two sections together.
Starting in January 2022, we will no longer be making the lab portion of our science courses available separately from the lecture. Students can enroll in the stand-alone lecture component if the lab is not required, but if they need the lab, it will be bundled with the lecture. The main difference with this update is that the midterms and exams will be updated to reflect both lab and lecture content.
If the student wants to take the lecture by itself, that course will remain the same structure it currently is.
With a full catalog of 26 courses plus three science labs, our focus has changed. It’s no longer, “What courses are we missing?” Instead, we’re focusing on, “How can our courses better prepare our students?” The changes we are making this term to Quantitative Analysis, Introduction to Information Technology, and Literature & Composition provide a better foundation for students to build from to be successful in today’s world.
Watch for these updates to be reflected on our websites in early 2022.