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.

On-The-Ground Assessment of Student Learning Out of the Classroom

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

How to Conduct an Archeological Dig for a Curricular Approach to Student Affairs

Before embarking on a curricular approach, it is important to conduct an audit, or archeological dig, to surface important characteristics and concepts that should be present and accounted for in your curriculum. As Siri Espy states, “Much like an archeological dig, your mission is to start with a set of bones and construct a skin that will fit. Ask yourself what an animal with all of your identified characteristics would look like, then set out to build one” (p. 86). During the audit and discovery phase of your dig, you should seek… Read More

Stay the Course: Reminders for When Assessment Gets Messy [REBLOG]

My friends for the assessment revolution! My office is gearing up to take the next step in our learning outcomes assessment efforts. I’m VERY excited! It’s going to be fun, intellectually and professionally fulfilling, and (most importantly and hopefully) provide meaningful insight into the student experience. But in addition to excitement, I am also a bit nervous, because, as you’ve likely noticed, measuring for learning is messy – which is the largest part of its difficulty, but, also, its beauty. In my research about student learning and assessment over the past few years I’ve come to…

On Grade Inflation and Accountability for Student Learning

There is a lot of fuss about grade inflation at colleges and universities, but are we correctly identifying the problem or just a symptom?  I think that the real question we should be asking ourselves as educators is: What is the best way to measure and assess student learning? So what is grade inflation, exactly?  Hu (2005) defines grade inflation as “the increase of grades over a specified period of time with higher grades being awarded for the same quality of work” (p. 15). Faculty members, who may be under pressure to… Read More