Challenges in Teaching Short Courses by an Academic Department: The University of Florida Experience

By Cornell, John A.; Randles, Ron H. et al. | The American Statistician, May 1995 | Go to article overview

Challenges in Teaching Short Courses by an Academic Department: The University of Florida Experience


Cornell, John A., Randles, Ron H., Vining, G. Geoff, The American Statistician


1. INTRODUCTION AND MOTIVATION

During the past decade many academic departments have faced serious fiscal challenges due to budget cutbacks. The Department of Statistics at the University of Florida (UF) is no exception. Faculty salaries, travel budgets, money for equipment and supplies, as well as support for graduate students have all been victims of reduced state funding for education. During these times it has been necessary to come up with external sources of funding in order to survive.

Five years ago the Department of Statistics at UF recognized that its faculty was a valuable resource that could be tapped to generate much needed additional revenues, not only for the department but for the individual faculty members as well. Through the graduate curriculum courses we recognized that we have a "product" (short courses) that we could market and sell. We further realized that if we were successful in selling our product, we might also benefit by improving the name recognition as well as the prestige of our department in the process.

When a "Week of Short Courses" was conceived in the fall of 1989, our department was in a rather unique position to start this venture. Among the faculty was a core group of individuals who were very experienced in teaching short courses. Several of these individuals were authors of well-known books in their specialty areas, and had taught the material from their books in short courses for the American Statistical Association (ASA), the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC), or other organizations. We felt that the name recognition of the authors of the well-known books would help sell these courses to the public. Quite surprisingly, several of the individual faculty members were better known than the department itself, as we were to discover later.

One other factor in our favor was our location in the south. If we could offer these courses in March, where in mid-Florida March means spring, we might be successful in attracting attendees from the midwest and northern part of the country, where in March, winter is still in force. The early part of March, during our spring break from classes, seemed to be a prime time for us.

2. HISTORY

2.1 First Year

In the spring of 1990 a short course task force was formed consisting of seven faculty members. The task force met to propose questions that needed to be addressed before plans for the week of short courses could be finalized. One of the members, Geoff Vining, who was instrumental in initiating the idea of the short courses, agreed to serve as coordinator for the short courses. Questions proposed by the task force were:

1. What course topics are we prepared to offer? How many such topics should we offer?

2. How many days should a course last? Can certain topics (courses) be offered in sequence?

3. Who are the targeted audiences for our courses?

4. How shall we publicize or advertise our courses?

5. What are the costs associated with offering the courses? Does the department have the necessary funds to cover such costs?

6. Should the courses be presented on campus during spring break or off campus? If off campus, where?

7. Can we utilize the Division of Continuing Education (DOCE) at the University of Florida for handling the registrations and for publicizing the short courses?

8. How much should we charge as a registration fee for each course? Should the fee be the same for all courses?

9. What other risks to the department are there besides the financial risk?

[TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 1 OMITTED]

From our discussions we concluded that we could readily develop four courses within the given time frame: "Categorical Data Analysis" by Alan Agresti; "Experiments With Mixtures" by John Cornell, joined by Greg Piepel; "Analysis of Unbalanced Data" by Ramon Littell and Dennis Wackerly; and "Industrial Experimentation" by John Cornell, Andre Khuri, and Geoff Vining (see Table 1). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Challenges in Teaching Short Courses by an Academic Department: The University of Florida Experience
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.