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

Utilizing Peer and External Review Processes for Continuous Curricular Improvement

Developing a culture of continuous improvement within your housing and residence life department requires one to put structures in place to gather assessment data and utilize that data to make change. Furthermore, it requires the identification and standards against which a department can compare their progress and determine and prioritize goals. Within the area of housing operations, one will find numerous resources to aid departments in the development of these processes. Student learning and curriculum should also undergo a review process as well, although the resources in this area are still developing.

The Missing Eleventh Element of a Residential Curriculum: Customized Student Learning

The Residential Curriculum Institute outlines 10 “Essential Elements” that make up a curriculum and yet little to no research has been conducted specifically on these Elements. While that is not to say that the Elements are unsupported by research, they borrow from proven concepts and sound principles of instructional design, but there is currently no body of research that  supports why an Element should be  a part of a residential curriculum specifically or why these elements are all “essential.” This begs the question, are there additional Elements that should be included? If additional elements are to be… Read More