Setting up for success: A redesign readiness checklist

A journey toward greater student success

Institutions explore changes to curriculum or course formats because they are committed to improving student success. At Pearson, we share that commitment, and a hallmark of this shared mission is the pursuit of improved learner outcomes. We believe the only way to achieve this is through an unwavering commitment to efficacy.

Efficacy is a deceptively simple term for a complex idea. Efficacy is about elevating our focus from the inputs of an education system to the outcomes of a learning process to ensure that the products and services we deliver have a positive impact on learner outcomes. And it’s our company’s core value: when you use one of our products, we want you to know that it is based on robust research and has been shown to deliver meaningful, measurable outcomes.

The key to effective implementation of a new course format, curriculum, or elearning resource is thoughtful planning that starts with the end—the learner outcomes you’re trying to achieve—in mind. This checklist will help you work through the initial steps of preparing to redesign courses or programs and begin your journey with an eye toward efficacy.

Starting with the end in mind: Things to consider during the initial planning process

Your motivations and goals

It might sound simple, but identifying why your department or campus wants to take on a redesign is a critical first step in setting your redesign up for success.

Most institutions take on redesign initiatives in an effort to improve student success, retention, and pass rates. In some cases, a redesign may be taken on in response to a legislative mandate. Regardless of the impetus—whether legislatively mandated or organically determined—clear articulation of what you want to accomplish and how you will measure your success will help you build your redesign with an eye toward efficacy.


  • Have you clearly identified the problem or issue you want to solve? Do you have data to support the extent of it? Do others on campus also acknowledge it?
  • Have you identified the quantifiable goals you want your redesign to achieve?
  • Can you identify specific learner outcomes that will enable you to reach these goals?
  • Have expected learning outcomes and a system for measuring them been identified?
  • Will you partner with Pearson to help analyze data anddocument learning gains?

Your redesign team

Once you’ve identified and clearly articulated the what of your redesign, you’ll need to identify the who. The nature of your goals and the scope of your redesign can both have an impact on determining who needs to be a part of your redesign team. With your goals clearly articulated, form a committee of faculty members, technology and advising staff, and departmental, campus, or even systemic leadership who have a stake and a role to play in your redesign.


  • Have you formed a redesign team that includes faculty, administrators, technology professionals, and assessment experts? Does the team understand the scope of the task?
  • Have you established specific assignments for team members and involved parties to complete during the planning period?
  • Are you open to incentivizing redesign committee members?
  • If your campus is unionized, has the redesign plan been discussed with union leadership? Have you shared common assessments, syllabi, assignments, essays, and so forth?

Managing change

Successful redesign strategies typically consider institutional readiness in addition to student and faculty support and ongoing tracking to outcomes and goals. Especially when a redesign is being taken on at the campus, systemic, or state level, the element of change management needs to be considered in order to pave the way for a smooth and effective execution.

Consider how much your redesign will require various stakeholders to “do things differently,” and what kind of change management support may be needed to help individual stakeholders understand these changes.


  • Have you devised a plan to handle negative feedback from your redesign committee?
  • Have you determined how you will handle redesign fatigue and verbal dissenters?
  • Have you isolated change management issues from redesign issues?
  • How open are team members to partnering with Pearson for change management support? This could include wraparound professional development services, Faculty Advisor consultations, and other services that could support the team and increase member confidence.
  • Is the team open to consulting with external parties (e.g., Pearson, experienced redesign educators from other campuses, etc.)? At what stage in your redesign would you do this?

A realistic timeline

Institutions often feel pressure to move quickly to execute a redesign initiative, but thoughtful planning and explicit agreement from key stakeholders on a realistic timeline is key. Below is a sample redesign timeline showing key milestones and approximate time frames. This will give you a starting point for discussing realistic timelines with your redesign team at the outset of your planning process.

Gauge your redesign readiness

Before beginning a redesign and implementing any new elearning tools or strategies, most institutions find it useful to assess their readiness. A successful redesign requires that both institutional support and needed resources be in place before the redesign begins. Use the checklist to identify gaps in planning and areas that need to be discussed or explored further.


  • Have you chosen a redesign model to deliver content and implement technology?
  • Have you outlined and agreed upon your “must-haves” for elearning technology and text that will help you achieve your redesign goals?
  • Will you conduct a pilot implementation before embarking on a full-scale rollout?
  • Do you have the resources to support a redesign? Have you identified sources of external/internal funds?
  • Do the parties who schedule classroom space understand the needs of the redesign? Do they have sufficient information to make appropriate decisions?

Taking the next steps

This website offers a variety of resources and information to help you begin filling the gaps you may have identified using this checklist. This includes full redesign toolkits for math and English. We encourage you to explore the site and to contact us for any additional support you may need as you embark on your redesign journey.