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.
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… Read More
Although each residential curriculum or curricular approach to student life should be contextualized to an institution, there are a number of non-profits and standards bodies within higher education and student affairs that can be useful in the development of learning goals and outcomes. Many of these associations provide sample statements, rubrics and other materials that can not only help guide and shape the development of your own objectives, but also provide potentially useful tools for benchmarking and other forms of assessment. Furthermore, as nationally developed standards, they provide justification for your curriculum… Read More
Student Affairs offices, particularly those within residence life and education, typically see a steady turn over of professionals year-to-year. When building and maintaining a curriculum, it can sometimes be a challenge to onboard new staff members who (1) may not be familiar with the model at all or (2) are not familiar with your institution’s specific implementation of the curricular approach. There are a number of strategies you can employ to ensure greater traction and continuity for your curricular efforts while maintaining progress over time. The following are five strategies you can… Read More
One of the hallmarks of curricular approaches to student learning outside the classroom is that learning is scaffolded and sequenced to follow a student’s journey through their time in college. After educators identify their learning objectives (cascading from Educational Priority, to Learning Goals, Narratives, Rubrics, and Outcomes), the next step in the process is to map out objectives and sequence them to allow for cumulative learning. Rather than being a lock-step process, mapping and sequencing learning objectives allows curricular planners the ability to test their objectives and identify gaps in learning. This… Read More