Why I go to the Institute on the Curricular Approach… And keep coming back every year


I attended my first Institute on the Curricular Approach (then the Residential Curriculum Institute) in 2010. Since that point I have attended 8 of the 12 total Institutes and served on faculty and planning committees for 6 of them. With the most recent Institute wrapping up this past week in Chicago, I left the experience as I always do: with a full brain and a full heart. On the car ride home I reflected on what it is about this experience that has me coming back for more every year and why I find it so fulfilling. Read More

Breaking Down Curricular Learning Goals into Learning Outcomes

Continuing down the cascade of your curriculum, one becomes more specific in the learning objectives one hopes residents will achieve. In this way, the cascade functions as nested structure includes successively more specific statements as one moves towards the level of practice.

One’s educational priority is the broadest statement of learning one hopes students will achieve. It is typically divided in 3-5 learning goals, and these learning goals are in turn divided into 4-6 learning outcomes. It is at this level, the level of learning outcomes, that one begins to see the specificity in language that allows for more discrete measurement to occur. The only level beyond this stage is strategy-level outcomes. This final level is highly measurable and occurs during a planned educational activity or strategy. Read More

A Glossary of Terms for Residential Curriculum and Curricular Approaches Outside of the Classroom

When getting started in developing a curricular approach to student learning outside the classroom, there are a number of different terms and concepts that are used with which one should become familiar. Many of the terms used have been systematized over time, particularly by the faculty of ACPA’s Institute on the Curricular Approach. However, some of the terms may be used differently in practice at various institutions. Regardless of whether you call something a learning goal, a learning outcome, or a learning objective, what is more important than the actual word is that it is used consistently and is universally understood by those who engage with your curriculum. The following glossary can help in establishing a common curricular nomenclature. Read More

Developing a Timeline for a Divisional or Residential Curriculum Implementation on Your Campus

Curricular development is a complex process that involves planning and organizational change. It is a process that takes year, not months. Each institution, or within each division or department, there may be unique contextual factors that may influence the development timeline of a curricular implementation. Although it is difficult to develop a timeline that is institution agnostic, many individuals embarking on this approach have asked for something to guide them.

Below you will find a sample timeline to provide you with a general map of how this process may look. This is merely a guide. Special considerations specific to residence life departments are in bold. Finally, immediately below are some organizational change factors you will need to consider in your planning. Because these can vary widely between institutions, spend time thinking through these and planning your own change process. Read More

Through the Lens of an iPhone: Los Angeles, CA

The following iPhoneography photos were taken during my trips to Los Angeles, California.

Read More