Undergraduate Master Course Inventory Policy
University Faculty Council
Stage 1 (substantial completion by August 2003) During 2002-03 units on different campuses that currently offer sections of identically numbered IU courses will be asked to arrive at a mutually agreed upon “model framework” for the course, that will apply systemwide. This model framework should specify through a brief but informative description the content of the course, the nature of prerequisite qualifications for enrollment, the anticipated learning outcomes, and any other agreed upon features essential to assure the comparability of course offerings. The degree of detail may reflect the degree of concern with variability of learning outcomes for specific courses. The model framework will be linked to the MCI web listing for each course. That listing will also specify basic data such as course number and title, credit hours, specific course prerequisites agreed on in the review process, and a listing of IU campuses on which the course is offered, which will be kept current. Units should initially request the assistance of the campus Registrar to identify courses historically most frequent on the transcripts of ICT students, and make revised MCI listings for such courses the highest priority. It unlikely that time will allow such treatment of all multiple campus100/200 level course offerings during 2002-03, and the process will continue in subsequent years until all such 100/200 level courses have been covered. At the completion of 2002-03, this body of reviewed courses will constitute the first portion of what this plan will refer to as the “Examined Course Inventory” (ECI). The ECI will be the form of the reformed Master Course Inventory. The process described here will largely convert the entire current MCI to the ECI over a period of time. The portion of the MCI that has not yet been converted through a review process will be referred to as the “Unexamined Course Inventory” (UCI). “ECI” and “UCI” are meant as conceptual terms for the purposes of this plan only. By September 2003, the MCI should substantially have the following form:
The three subcategories of the UCI, as of 9/03, represent, a) all 300/400 level courses, which will not have gone through this form of comparability review, b) courses at all levels currently offered on only one campus, c) courses that have not been offered in recent years and are no longer listed in Bulletins on any IU campus, but which remain on the MCI, and remain eligible for adoption on any IU campus. There will initially be no easy way to distinguish between UCI categories b) and c). Stage 2 (substantial completion by August 2004) During 2003-04, campuses will be asked to do a substantive review of 300/400 level courses in order to allow them to move onto the ECI, under the same principles as Stage 1. At the completion of Stage 2, the MCI structure will substantially be:
Stage 3 (substantial completion by August 2005) The Office of Vice-President for Academic Affairs will, during the period 2002-05, survey the UCI for courses in category b, and as these are identified, request that the single campus offering the course develop a model framework, moving the course to the ECI. Although it may not be possible to complete this work fully, the goal would be that by August 2005, the UCI should consist only of courses in category c, which will become a bank of titles that may be adopted in the future through MCI course-adoption procedures.
Revisions of MCI information Once information of the nature of the ECI is posted on the MCI, it is the responsibility of units on campuses offering the course periodically to review the information to assure that it is current and represents a standard for comparability. Substantial changes in course content, method, or requirements that may affect comparability should not be initiated on any campus, except in an experimental way, without communication with relevant units on other campuses. If course improvements have changed comparability measures, relevant departments should determine whether to alter the model framework for the course to reflect these improvements and make them systemwide, or to alter course numbering to reflect the fact that different campus offerings are no longer comparable for degree requirement purposes.
Currently, the IU Master Course Inventory (MCI) includes about 20,000 undergraduate courses. The information provided includes course number and title, credit hours, whether an S/F option exists, information about format (lecture/non-lecture), and other data of minimal usefulness to faculty. The goal of this plan is to outline a process whereby the web-based list can be converted to a useful and updated tool that will ensure that identically numbered/titled courses on multiple IU campuses are comparable enough that their full inter-campus transferability for all degree requirements poses no problems to students and instructors. (A web-based version of the current MCI is located at: http://reg.iupui.edu/mci-all/default.html). The outcome of MCI reform should be the production of a more useful MCI resource base and of clear procedures for adding new courses to the MCI and for adopting an existing MCI course on a campus where it has not previously been taught.
Adding new courses to the MCI Beginning in Fall 2002, the Course Review and Remonstrance Process will require the department processing a new IU course to submit the course number, course title, credit hours, prerequisites, and other basic course information, along with a model framework of the course to assure compatibility across campuses. The new course proposal will be reviewed on the originating campus using the review process on that campus. During the remonstrance period, departments on other campuses will review the submission solely for clarity, to determine if sufficient information is provided to enable the reviewing department to offer the course if the department should chose to do so in the future.
Adopting existing courses from the MCI Campuses that adopt existing IU courses from the MCI have a responsibility to ensure adequate comparability with existing offerings on other campuses. Campuses wishing to adopt an MCI course will follow the UFC Policy on Interim Reform of the Master Course Inventory, adopted in March, 2002, which reads:
Units planning to initiate new campus offerings through the adoption of course listings from the Master Course Inventory must request that the Office of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs report which, if any, IU campuses currently offer the course in question, and that the VPAA collect and forward examples of syllabi and other pertinent information about recent offerings of the course on relevant IU campuses. The initiating unit will formulate a proposed syllabus in awareness of practices on other campuses, to be circulated for remonstrance among campuses currently offering the course. Disagreements as to whether the proposed offering is adequately comparable to existing offerings to be designated with an identical number will be adjudicated by the UFC Committee on Course Comparability (formerly known as the UFC ICT Committee).
As MCI reform proceeds, information concerning campuses offering MCI courses and model frameworks will increasingly be provided directly by the MCI. Where such information is available, the VPAA office may be bypassed, and the interim policy will be interpreted to imply the following procedures: Units planning to initiate new campus offerings through the adoption of course listings from the Master Course Inventory (MCI) must consult the MCI to determine which, if any, IU campuses currently offer the course in question, and to consult the model framework indicated on the MCI. The initiating unit will formulate a proposed syllabus in awareness of practices on other campuses, to be circulated for remonstrance among campuses currently offering the course. Disagreements as to whether the proposed offering is adequately comparable to existing offerings to be designated with an identical number will be adjudicated by the UFC Committee on Course Comparability. Once MCI reform is complete, this shall replace the interim procedure as UFC policy.
Monitoring ongoing comparability
If data concerning student performance in sequence courses indicate a divergence in ICT and non-ICT student performance, such that ICT students who apply specific courses equivalently appear to be placed at a disadvantage, the units involved shall report this divergence to the Vice President for Academic Affairs and notify the UFC Agenda Committee that this report has been made.
Wherever the future MCI is referred to as a “web-based document,” it should be understood that some or all components of the future MCI may be located within the PeopleSoft course inventory. It is not yet clear in what respects the MCI will employ the PeopleSoft course inventory to accomplish the goals of this policy.