Supported Course Redesign (SCoRe)

As part of Western’s Blended Learning Strategy, the Teaching Support Centre, Western Libraries and Information Technology Services work in collaboration with Western faculty members to transform fully face-to-face large-enrollment, foundational courses into blended offerings. Over the three years of funding (2016-2019), the Supported Course Redesign (SCoRe) Program aims to work with faculty across the institution to transform at least nine courses. It is anticipated that by the end of the program, at least 4300 students per academic year will be enrolled in a SCoRe redesigned course.

Through participation, selected courses and faculty members receive direct support and funding to engage in the course redesign process. Faculty participants are matched with an expert redesign team drawn from Western Libraries, Information Technology Services and Teaching Support Centre librarians and staff. Staff and librarians bring expertise in blended learning, eLearning technologies, course design, and information literacy to the redesign process. Faculty participants, in collaboration with their redesign team, work to develop course-level learning outcomes, assessments, and learning materials appropriate for a blended course. All courses redesigned through the SCoRe program are evaluated to assess, in part, the effectiveness of the redesign on students’ self-regulation in learning, approaches to learning, and engagement in learning.


  • Targets large enrollment, foundational courses
  • Includes a competitive selection process
  • Matches faculty members with a redesign team drawn from Western Libraries, eLearning Technologists, and Teaching Support Centre experts
  • Offers faculty members support throughout the SCoRe project
  • Is evidence-based and includes a pre- and post-assessment of the course redesign to demonstrate efficacy
  • Participation requires support of department and Dean

Participation in SCoRe includes:

  • 8-12 weekly learning community meetings with full cohort of faculty participants during the redesign semester.
  • Bi-weekly meetings with redesign team during the redesign semester.
  • Support to meet project deadlines.

With the completion of the redesign, participating departments receive:

  • Funding to support teaching and learning initiatives

Intended SCoRe Program Outcomes

Faculty will:

  • Reflect on their teaching and learning practice
  • Be able to apply principles to future course design process
  • Learn from colleagues in the learning community
  • Be more satisfied with their teaching

Students will demonstrate:

  • Increased engagement in course
  • Deeper approaches to learning
  • Increased student capacity for self-directed learning (metacognition)
  • Decreased in-class distraction

Course designs will:

  • Be offered in a blended format
  • Increase student-centeredness
  • Demonstrate the alignment between intended learning outcomes and assessment
  • Thoughtfully incorporate technology to achieve learning outcomes

SCoRe Course Redevelopment Timeline

Initial design semester
(Fall, Year 1)

Course redesign
(Winter, Year 1)

Course development
(Summer, Year 1)

Redesign semester
(Year 2)

Major milestone:
-course selected for participation in SCoRe

-initial design assessed by SCoRe staff

Major milestone:
-active work with SCoRe Learning Community and course redesign team on course redesign

-funding provided for 1 semester .5 credit buy-out, graduate student hire, and technology & training fund
- redesign sessions occur

Major milestone:
-faculty independent development of course materials (as needed)

-funding continues for graduate student


Major milestone:
-redesigned blended course launched

-report submitted on actual technology & training spending

-redesign assessed by SCoRe staff

Applying to Participate in SCoRe

To learn more, please attend our SCoRe Information Session on Tuesday May 2nd, 11:30am-12:30pm, TSC 121. Please register if you plan to attend.

If you are interested in participating in the 2017-18 SCoRe program, complete the online SCoRe program application.

The deadline for application submission is Friday, May 26th. We expect to make our selection decision by the end of June.

For more information, contact:

Gavan Watson, PhD
Associate Director, eLearning,
Teaching Support Centre
Room 122, Weldon Library
Phone: +1 (519) 661-2111 x84612

What is a Blended Course?

Blended learning is defined as the thoughtful fusion of face-to face and online learning activities in a purposeful and pedagogically valuable manner (Vaughan et al., 2013; Picciano, 2006).

For the purposes of SCoRe, a blended course design means that at least 30% of meaningful student learning occurs in the online learning environment.

The Evidence

Blended learning as an approach to course design is an emerging trend in higher education. The strategy is increasingly being adopted in the design or redesign of university courses in recognition of the transformative potential such a design can have upon teaching and learning (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004).

Benefits to Students

On average, online learning components produce stronger student learning outcomes than solely face-to-face courses, and blended approaches demonstrate the greatest advantage to this end in comparison to purely online courses (Means et al., 2013). Benefits to students found throughout the literature include:

  • enhanced student engagement (Leger et al., 2013; Adekola et al., 2016)
  • increased flexibility with their learning (Adekola et al., 2016; Murray et al., 2016)
  • improved opportunities for social integration, peer/teacher support, and knowledge sharing (Bower et al., 2015)
  • increased participation, learner satisfaction, and enhanced sense of community (Bower et al., 2015)

While students may initially be skeptical of blended courses, they soon recognize the value of blended approaches and express desire to take other blended courses in the future. Murray et al. (2016) found that, at the end of a blended Engineering course, 85% of students expressed desire to take future blended courses. This was despite the fact that only 5% initially believed they would have a successful learning experience at the outset.

Benefits to Instructors

In general, blended approaches afford instructors the tools to better engage in their teaching with positive implications for course experiences (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004). A study by Napier et al. (2011) found instructors who blended their courses reported:

  • creative management of out-of-class time that benefitted instructors’ schedules
  • improved quality of interaction with students
  • opportunity to play with teaching strengths and technology in creative ways

Redesigning for Blended

Taking a blended approach can put increased time demands and stress on instructors (Graham et al., 2005). Institutional partnerships that offer a supportive framework for course redesign alleviate the pressure of the process by helping instructors to navigate curricular and technical concerns (Brown, 2016).


Adekola, J., Dale, V. H.M., and Gardiner, K. (2016) Student transitions in blended learning. Stirling Learning and Teaching Conference 2016: Changing Places: Student Transitions in Higher Education, Stirling, UK, 20 Apr 2016.

Bower, M., Dalgarno, B., Kennedy, G. E., Lee, M. J. W., & Kenney, J. (2015). Design and implementation factors in blended synchronous learning environments: Outcomes from a cross-case analysis. Computers & Education, 86(C), 1–17. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2015.03.006

Brown, M. G. (2016). Blended instructional practice: A review of the empirical literature on instructors’ adoption and use of online tools in face-to-face teaching. Internet and Higher Education, 31, 1-10. doi:

Garrison, D. R. & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education.The Internet and Higher Education, 7(2), 95-105. doi:

Graham, C. R., Allen, S., & Ure, D. (2005). Benefits and Challenges of Blended Learning Environments. In M. Khosrow-Pour (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, First Edition (pp. 253-259). Hershey, PA. doi: 10.4018/978-1-59140-553-5.ch047

Leger, A., Godlewska, A., Adjei, J., Schaefli, L., Whetstone, S., Finlay, J., et al. (2013). Large First-Year Course Re-Design to Promote Student Engagement and Student Learning. Toronto, ON: Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.

Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Baki, M. (2013). The effectiveness of online and blended learning:  A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Teachers College Record, 115, 1-47.

Napier, N. P., Sonal, D., Smith, S. (2011). Transitioning to blended learning: Understanding student and faculty perceptions. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 15(1), 20-32.

Picciano, A. G. (2006). Blended Learning: Implications for Growth and Access. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 10(3), 95–102.

Vaughan, N. D., Cleveland-Innes, M., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry. Edmonton: AU Press.