Continuing down the cascade of your curriculum, one becomes more specific in the learning objectives one hopes residents will achieve. In this way, the cascade functions as nested structure includes successively more specific statements as one moves towards the level of practice. One’s educational priority is the broadest statement of learning one hopes students will achieve. It is typically divided in 3-5 learning goals, and these learning goals are in turn divided into 4-6 learning outcomes. It is at this level, the level of learning outcomes, that one begins to see the… Read More
Goals and narratives are perhaps the least appreciated, understood, and often confused components of a residential curriculum. In reviewing the cascade of learning objectives in a curriculum, one starts with an educational priority. An educational priority is a broad summary statement of what students will learn as a result of their participation in the curriculum. This educational priority is then delineated further into a set of (typically 3-4) learning goals and related narratives. Learning goals seek to provide more specific statements of what students will learn in a curriculum. They focus the… Read More
An important concept in developing intentional learning experiences for students is the idea of the “cascade.” Much like the successive steps of a waterfall, as water flows from one plateau to another, learning goals and outcomes in a residential curriculum should flow from more general statements of educational priority down to more specific and measurable student-level outcomes. Cascading goals can also be used for a number of different purposes outside of a curriculum, including staff development and and departmental planning. The key to these processes, however, is to create links to ensure that all… Read More
Residential Curriculum Element #2: Learning Goals and Outcomes Developed and Based in a Defined Educational Priority
One of the important first steps in developing a curriculum is setting and defining an overall educational priority. An educational priority is the basis upon which all other goals and outcomes are derived. Based in the mission, context, and values of your institution, a priority should provide a broad statement about what learning will be occurring within your division or department. In many ways, this serves as a sort of “mission statement” for the curriculum–a short, bite-sized statement (or very brief paragraph) about what the curriculum is about and what students will learn.