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
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
The following iPhoneography photos were taken during my trips to Los Angeles, California.
When encountering the curricular approach for the first time, many staff may wonder why the approach has gained such currency within student affairs and residence life and what research and data backs up and supports its use. When asking these questions, it is important to understand that the curricular approach is a model of how to organize one’s educational activities to ensure the achievement of learning outcomes. It is a planning and organizational tool. The actual execution of these occurs differently on different campuses. Therefore, it is difficult to ascribe success to the model itself. Furthermore, because institutions have not systematically engaged students in these ways before, they may not have prior data with which to compare their newfound practices. Each individual campus’ curriculum needs to be evaluated on its own merits and successes. This is why some of the nascent research on the topic, such as Lichterman’s (2016) doctoral research focused on a one-institution case study approach. Read More
The following iPhoneography photos were taken at Iguazu Falls (on the Argentinian side).