Things to Remember When Embarking on Your Journey to a Residential Curriculum or Curricular Approach
As you embark on developing a curricular approach for your division or your department there are a few key concepts that you should keep in mind. Think of these as a set of reminders and guiding principles. They represent the core of the philosophy behind the curricular approach.
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.
Moving to a curricular approach calls upon us to become better at assessing student learning. Although it may be common on a campus to have students respond to short surveys providing feedback about a program or service, it is often less common to assess student acquisition of knowledge and skills as a result of an engagement. Institutions and departments transitioning to a curricular approach need to be mindful that every touch point with a student is an opportunity for learning and that assessments should be integrated into these moments to check for… Read More
Because developing a residential curriculum entails refocusing your departmental efforts towards student learning, it necessarily follows that you must develop a culture of assessment. A culture of assessment is one in which decisions are data-driven and tested through the design, implementation, and review of assessment measures. As Lakos and Phipps (2004) describe it, a culture of assessment is: An organizational environment in which decisions are based on facts, research, and analysis, and where services are planned and delivered in ways that maximize positive outcomes and impacts for customers and stakeholders. A Culture of… Read More
One of the most important aspects of developing residence hall curriculum is the establishment of assessment practices that measure student learning. The use of Bloom’s Taxonomy and its related verbs can help in this regard by ensuring that the outcomes we seek to achieve are specific and measurable. But how do we actually do the assessment?