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… 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… Read More

What are the Benefits of Moving to a Curricular Approach to Residence Life?

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… Read More

Developing Your Educational Plan(s) and Putting Your Residential Curriculum Into Practice

Once a department or division articulates the goals, outcomes, and objectives it hopes to achieve, and they’ve undergone the work to rubric, map, and sequence these objectives, the final step in the process is the development of an overall educational plan.  Educational plans function much like blueprints. As plans, they outline time-based progression through the curriculum.  They include all major components of the curriculum (from the Educational Priority to Goals, Outcomes, and Rubrics) and include all of the facilitation guides for each individually executed strategy. In short, your educational plan is the… Read More

The Iterative and Reciprocal Process of Developing Rubrics (With Training Video)

An important element of developing residential curriculum involves scaffolding and sequencing learning. Rubrics, or tools developed for the purposes of scoring and rating development along a scale, can be useful in this scaffolding and sequencing process. As discussed earlier, residential curriculum rubrics break down learning outcomes into successive stages of development and mastery. Although coming after the development of an educational priority, goals, and outcomes, rubric development is often an iterative and reciprocal process that requires one to loop back and revise goals and outcomes in light of knowledge gained thorough the… Read More