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Curriculum Development Initiative (CDI)

The Curriculum Development Initiative (CDI) was developed as part of the University's long term strategic plan in response to a need for a program that would not only assist faculty with the integration of technology into their coursework but would sustain course development going forward. Now in its fourteenth year, CDI grants provide significant support to academic departments to undertake technology-enabled curriculum development projects to enhance teaching and learning. The CDI is funded through the University's student technology fee and is administered by the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC), in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. The faculty will be notified when these grants are available with a Request for Proposals (RPF).


From the program's inception in 1996 through 2001 CDI projects were identified through a Request for Proposals (RFP) open to all faculty and selected by a steering committee composed largely of previous project participants. In 2002, at the recommendation of Provost Mel Shay, the TLT Center adopted the approach of the PEW Large Course Redesign Project and CDI projects through 2006 have focused primarily on the redesign of large enrollment courses and the development of online courses in the undergraduate curriculum. These projects were nominated and approved by a steering committee consisting of representatives from the Provost's Office, the Deans, the Faculty Senate and the TLTC.  

Since 2007, CDI projects have focused on the development of the Core Curriculum, creation of online courses in the undergraduate and continuing education curricula, and assessment of student learning outcomes.

In collaboration with the Provost's Office it has been determined that the 2010-2011 round of CDI projects will focus on three categories; Online Learning, Cross Disciplinary Collaboration and Assessment. Funding for this academic year is $100,000.

CDI Focus Categories

Online Learning
The TLT Center is committed to supporting online learning initiatives and has done so for over 8 years. In the Fall of 2003 that support expanded to include the development of Arts & Sciences (A&S) online courses to allow traditional undergraduates the experience of learning online as well as assist nontraditional students in completing their degree requirements. In 2007 the Quality Matters™ rubric was adopted by the Arts and Science EPC to both help the college EPC assess online courses for quality of delivery and ensure that the development of online courses met a set of criteria based on best practice and research in higher education. Since adoption by the A&S EPC of Quality Matters, the TLT Center has standardized all online course development to the Quality Matters principles. CDI has funded and provided support for the online development and delivery of approximately 40 A&S courses, 4 CORE courses, 6 MBA Pre-Qualifier courses and 6 undergraduate courses at the Stillman School of Business, and 2 certificate programs in the Division of Continuing Education & Professional Studies.

Cross Disciplinary Collaboration
Cross Disciplinary Collaboration projects will support departmental partnerships in order to develop and implement innovative curriculum programs. Technology will act as a catalyst to meet the goals of these projects including, but not limited to (1) the use tools to support collaboration across students and with faculty, (2) increase opportunities for active learning, (3) utilize Blackboard to provide prompt feedback to students and (4) promote exploration of diverse talents and ways of learning.  Projects will include a detailed assessment plan with specific mechanisms in place for measuring student learning outcomes and/or impact of proposed program on the University (i.e. increased enrollment, new student population, innovative partnership).

Outcomes Assessment is both an important initiative academically but is also ingrained in many accrediting bodies' requirements for accreditation. The TLT Center and Academic Affairs has continued to work with departments to create "Collective Assessment" instruments to gauge student learning outcomes in Math, Critical Thinking, Information Fluency and Reading and Writing. Collective Assessments in Math were deployed in March 2011 with several more planned including Modern Languages and English.

2010-2011AY Projects

Online Learning

Online Nonprofit Management Certificate
The Department of Public and Healthcare Administration is developing an online for-credit Nonprofit Management Certificate consisting of 7 courses.  The program has the potential to serve as the foundation for an online Masters in Public Administration. 

Courses include:

  • PSMA 6003/ Public Policy Process, Analysis and Evaluation
  • PSMA 7311/ Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector
  • PSMA 7312/ Leadership and Management in Nonprofit Organization
  • PSMA 7313/ Resources Development (Fundraising)
  • PSMA 8313/ Topics: Nonprofit Legal Issues
  • (2) - Elective courses still to be identified

Cross Disciplinary Collaboration

Improving Learning Outcomes in the MATH 1303 Course
This project represents a collaborative effort involving both the Stillman School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences. The Math/Computer Science and Computing and Decision Sciences (CDS) Departments have been working on a redesign of the MATH 1303 course, with the goal of improving learning outcomes. This redesign will enable both Schools to better serve direct business admits and pre-major students, a group that has traditionally been at risk in terms of retention and time to degree completion. Through analysis of student performance data, faculty have found educational value in the use of web based assignments for student learning and will continue to refine the curriculum based on feedback from both departments.

Principle Investigators:

  • Joan Guetti, Interim Dean College of Arts and Sciences
  • John Saccoman, Chair, Math/Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • David A. Rosenthal, Chair, Computing and Decision Sciences, Stillman School of Business
  • Joyce A. Strawser, Dean's Office, Stillman School of Business

Additional Participants:

  • Daniel Gross, Math/Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Sheldon Epstein, Chair, Computing and Decision Sciences, Stillman School of Business

Interdisciplinary Certificates in Information Visualization and Analysis
This interdisciplinary collaboration between the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and the Department of Psychology seeks to create undergraduate and graduate certificates in Information Visualization and Analysis. It addresses the challenge faced by today's society to gain profound insights into overwhelming amounts of disparate, conflicting and dynamic information (e.g. healthcare administration, national security, marketing and financial analysis). The proposed certificates cover the entire process of gaining insights into complex data: collecting, analyzing, visualizing data, and communicating finds. The certificate will consist of already available courses in communication, computing, design and statistics as well as three to-be-developed courses. This CDI grant will fund the development of these three new courses:

  • Perception and Cognition for Visualization
  • Visualization Production
  • Data Mining

Principle Investigators:

  • Kelly Goedert, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Joan Guetti, Interim Dean College of Arts and Sciences 
  • Manfred Minimair, Assistant Professor, Math/Computer Science, College of Arts & Sciences
  • Susan Nolan, Chair, Department of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences


Tracking Information Retrieval Behavior in Undergraduate Students
This research project aims to determine if the environment in which undergraduate-level students conduct research affects the quality of resources used and cited in their research papers. The study will track four cohorts of students (approximately 40) from different disciplines through the course of the 2010-2011 academic year. Specifically, this project attempts to answer the following questions:

  1. What kinds of information resources are students currently accessing in doing research-intensive projects at Seton Hall?
  2. What are the criteria they are using for selection? 
  3. Do students conduct more effective research when working alone or in collaboration with other students?
  4. To what extent does the intervention of an information science professional or course instructor affect students' abilities to access relevant information?

Findings will help investigators inform the education of students in the use of electronic resources for academic purposes by continually improving the information literacy curriculum infused into the undergraduate experience at Seton Hall University.  In addition, the CDI team has been awarded a prestigious Google research grant of $15,000 to track undergraduate students' information-seeking behavior at Seton Hall University.

Principle Investigators:

  • Beth Bloom, Associate Professor/Librarian II; University Libraries
  • Marta Deyrup, Professor/ Librarian I; University Libraries

Additional Participants:

  • Sean Lake, Assistant Professor, Classical Studies
  • Fredline M'Cormack-Hale, Assistant Professor, Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Collective Assessment
The Collective Assessment project involves the delivery of a very small number of knowledge or skill questions to a very large number of potential respondents. The approach on this project postulates that the performance of a large response population on a small number of test items can be equally diagnostic as a small number of respondents answering a large number of test items. For example, if 50 knowledge questions about Math are presented to the student body and 400 students answer an average of two questions each, as many answers are available for analysis as if 16 students answered every question on a comprehensive 50-item test.  

The Math Collective Assessment has been administered four times, Psychology twice and a combined instrument for Critical Thinking, Information Fluency and Reading/Writing once.

This Academic Year we plan to focus on foreign language instruments, working with the department of Languages, Literature and Culture to create and administer several instruments to assess the proficiency of students who have majored in a particular language.

Core Curriculum Assessment
The TLT Center has worked with the Core Curriculum committee to pilot assessments for Oral Communication, Reading & Writing, Information Fluency, and Numeracy. Utilizing the Blackboard Outcomes Systems the TLT Center has deployed artifact collections to students in 4 of the 5 proficiencies to collect and score assignments by a group of experts in each area to assess the level of proficiency of the student. The assessment of these artifacts is in progress.

Contact Us

Department of Information Technology
(973) 275-2222
Corrigan Hall

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