As one of the essential elements of a curricular approach, assessment should occur at all levels of your curriculum. This includes on-the-ground assessment of individual learning activities, but also broader based assessment of overall curriculum effectiveness. One way of achieving this broader-based assessment is to utilize data collection instruments you may already be using and assessment data you may already be collecting. Read More
Because a curricular approach is revolutionary as opposed to evolutionary, it is necessary that you think about organizational culture and organizational change processes before undertaking this journey. For many, this shift in approach requires the development of a learning-centric organization. An organization that moves beyond “exposure” through program attendance, and towards “learning” (Kerr & Tweedy, 2006).
This is also a shift from a “doing”-focused culture towards one with greater intentionality. Therefore, how “residence life staff learn and perceive their efforts within an organization while creating learning-enhancing experiences for students” is just as important as what learning-enhancing experiences are created (Lichterman, 2016, p. 49). In short, the process is just as important as the product. Read More
The following iPhoneography photos were taken during my trip to Maui, Hawaii. Read More
Transitioning to a curricular approach represents a cultural shift. A department can have well-articulated goals, outcomes, and educational plans, but a residential curriculum will never be successful without the necessary cultural and organizational change that comes along with it. For residence life departments, in particular, this means preparing your student staff members for this shift, involving them in the process, and helping them through the process of change. This is also true of other departments that may employ large numbers of student staff programmers or for those that work with student leaders involved in peer education work.
One of the questions I frequently get asked when consulting with campuses on transitioning to a curricular approach is how to gain buy-in from student staff members and students leaders. Shifting to a curriculum necessarily means that the role of these students will change in some ways. Hiring practices must change and training practices must change. Read More