What to Expect

When your department, program, or school receives a grant to work with the CTE on a curriculum (re)design, you will get personalized support throughout the process. The CTE faculty member leading the project will work closely with you, your colleagues, and any other key stakeholders to:

  • Facilitate working sessions to ensure your time and expertise are used most effectively and efficiently,
  • Keep the project on track and moving at an appropriate pace to meet your goals,
  • Build in checkpoints throughout the process to make sure you don’t miss opportunities,
  • Bring in colleagues from the offices of Organizational Excellence and Institutional Research and Analytics to consult at appropriate points in the process, and
  • Guide you at each step to make sure your design is attending to equity, purpose, transparency, learning, and alignment.

 

How does it work?

To ensure success, the department, program, or school needs to have the support and commitment to the design process from leadership (department chair, program director, etc.) as well as a critical mass of the faculty. A group of three to five people, ideally representing different faculty constituents, will need to commit to leading the project from within the department (or other relevant unit). The chair of this curriculum design committee will be the primary liaison between the CTE and the department, though the design committee should all expect to meet regularly with the CTE project lead and colleagues.

The frequency of these meetings will vary according to the pace at which the group wishes to move, as well as the phase of the project. In general, we recommend a standing biweekly meeting during the semester. During some phases of the project, committees will want to include CTE colleagues in all of these meetings and in others, they will find it more helpful to meet on their own or to schedule asynchronous work time instead. The CTE project lead can help a committee decide what will work best for the particular project.

To ensure inclusive participation by all stakeholders, the full unit will contribute to the design work during 2-3 half-day retreats, as well as providing regular, structured feedback throughout the process.

 

How long does it take?

The time required for the curriculum (re)design process can vary depending on many factors, including the scale of the project, the pace at which the group wants to work, the number of faculty in the program, and the level of agreement within the program about the direction the new curriculum should take. In general, a program should expect the process to take between 12-24 months, from beginning the process to implementing the new curriculum.

Although this may seem time-consuming, we find that when units try to revise curricula more quickly, they risk a number of problems, including missing important opportunities, failing to get sufficient input and buy-in from all relevant stakeholders, expending a lot of effort in the service of relatively minor changes, and even giving up the process entirely when it takes longer than expected. By combining your disciplinary content expertise with our process expertise, the CTE can help you get where you want to be with your curriculum—more efficiently and effectively.

These generic sample timelines illustrate possible approaches to the process and the influences of different situational factors:

 

For more on what the process can look like, see this feature on the CTE's blog, ConneCTEd.

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