Scaling Online Course Design Support with Course Refreshes


  • Pariss Coleman University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Melanie Lewis University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Lynn Wahl University of North Carolina at Charlotte


Course Refresh is a new service being offered by the Course Production Team within the Center for Teaching Learning and School of Professional Studies. Originally created to help keep courses that had previously been through development fresh, the service has expanded in its approach to be a value add all on its own. 

If our full course development process is a home renovation or new building project, Course Refresh is like sprucing up the look and feel inside your house, or upping the curb appeal by refreshing the landscaping. 

Research shows that activating positive emotions through an intentionally aesthetically-pleasing design contributes to a positive learning experience by influencing attitudes and motivation, increasing students’ interest, and strengthening their attention and level of engagement with materials (Malamed, 2015) as well as reducing cognitive load for learning (Um, Plass, Hayward, & Homer, 2012).

Anecdotal evidence from faculty indicates that students rave about the look and feel of courses that undergo the refresh process. Starting in Spring 2023, the Course Production Team will expand the offering and begin gathering data on student satisfaction and impact. 

The primary goal of the refresh is doing all of the work for the faculty, resulting in no additional workload with a large return on investment for student experience.