Central Florida Absorbs Course Redesign Organization

February 20, 2019
 

The National Center for Academic Transformation for nearly 20 years earned praise from advocates of learning innovation for its technology-enabled approach to redesigning courses, applied to more than 250 courses across 200 institutions. But it quietly shut down late last year; the organization's founder, Carol Twigg, decided to retire, and the organization failed to identify a successor, according to Twigg. (A previous version of this article inaccurately described Twigg's decision to resign from the center.) 

The University of Central Florida announced last week that it will maintain the center's online resources through its Center for Distributed Learning, which provides digital learning support to the university's schools. In the late 1990s, the organization secured the Florida university as one of its first partners, helping transform its American National Government course from a lecture format to two-thirds online, according to last week's announcement.

Among the resources is contact information for "redesign scholars" -- university employees who underwent the center's training and have successfully led at least one course redesign project.

“I am extremely pleased to partner with the University of Central Florida to ensure that NCAT’s resources will continue to be available to the higher education community,” Twigg said in a news release. “I’ve admired all the work UCF has done in online learning and the steps it has taken to advance their programs. It was a combination of feeling like UCF was a right fit with NCAT’s mission, our long-term relationship and the university’s stability in leadership that led this decision.”

The organization was begun in 1999 as a "virtual university center" at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in New York. In 2003, it became an independent nonprofit organization.

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