Institute on Curriculum-Centered Strategic Planning & Learner-Centered Curriculum 2015

Eventbrite - Institute for Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability

When: March 16 – 18, 2015

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Claremont, California

The design of the Institute for Curriculum-Centered Strategic Planning & Learner-Centered Curriculum recognizes the centrality of the learner to the curriculum and the primacy of the curriculum to the institutional strategic plan. It also recognizes that planning for education in the learning age is supported by a global digital learning ecosystem. The planning horizon is characterized by increased demands for accountability, increased competition, significant learner and institutional economic challenges, and significant differences of opinion on how the future should be approached.

Diagram-CCSPM

Who Should Attend

The institute is designed for institutional and academic leaders and planners, including chief planning officers, provosts, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, academic governance officers, interested faculty, accreditation team members, institutional planners, and institutional effectiveness professionals.  Our institutes explore critical elements of the academic and enrollment domains and shape new strategic horizons for colleges and universities.

I just completed a 3 day Institute for Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability (December 2014) with Michael and it was tremendously helpful. Not only did my enrollment VP and I gain a better understanding of the impact that the curriculum has on enrollment’s ability to recruit students but we learned many very practical examples of what works and what doesn’t in designing curriculum and attracting students. I think the Program of Study plan is very helpful in helping faculty design narratives that enrollment can use to sell programs. I would recommend Michael and his workshops to anyone who is open-minded enough to believe that higher ed needs to change and we have to get in front of that change if we are to survive and thrive! – Christine Pharr, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NE

Our Institute series recognizes the need for unprecedented collaboration between academic and enrollment domains guided by new visionary strategic plans that forge a cohesive approach to a future full of uncertainty. We continually develop resources to help the journey into the future.

I had the opportunity to attend Michael’s first institute of this series on Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability. As a former Chief Academic Officer who thought she had a pretty reasonable grasp of enrollment management strategies and their critical integration with academic affairs planning – I was astonished about how much I learned not just from MGD in his presentations and discussions, but from those enrollment management leaders in attendance . The institute served to crystallize in just 2 days an approach, a way of thinking and resources that all provide a pathway for the work we need to do for our own institutions. Based upon the postings already offered to us on https://mgdolence.com/, this next institute appears to be a very logical next step – especially for academic leadership – to fully grasp what is involved in a academic planning for meeting our enrollment challenges in this new learning age. – Margaret K. McLaughlin, Ph.D., Carlow University, Pittsburgh, PA

Session Summaries

  • Session I: Vision, Mission, Position Review
    Begins with a review of the vision, mission and strategic position of the institution and establishes a strategy baseline using the SRS method.
  • Session II: Learner Centrality
    Examines the tenets of learner-centerdness using a formal framework detailing seven framing questions.
  • Session III: Curriculum Architecture
    Reviews the basics of curriculum architecture and explores options and implications of choices on the alignment with enrollment markets.
  • Session IV: Master Academic Plan (MAP)
    Examines the fundamental role a MAP plays in the development of an institutional strategic plan. A focus on alignment with the principles of sustainability is maintained while exploring the implications of various curricular scenarios.
  • Session V: The Curriculum-Centered Strategic Planning Model
    Examines the seven basic steps in the Curriculum-Centered Strategic Planning Model.
  • Session VI: The Changing Learning Landscape
    Explores various dimensions of the emerging learning age paradigm powered by a global digital learning ecosystem. The current state of innovation is examined and the implications of several important case examples are explored. Innovative programs of study and the fundamentals of effective program design are explored, as-well-as methods of embedding market value into programs of study.
  • Session VII: Institutional Strategies, Tactics, Goals and Objectives
    Structuring effective institutional strategies, tactics, goals and objectives as a means of optimizing short range (bump), mid range, and long range enrollment and fiscal health.
  • Session VIII: Prototyping a Learning Age Strategic Plan
    Posits four essental strategies and eight supportive tactical plans designed to build a sustainable future.

Institute Agenda

March 16, 2015

  • 10:00 am – Check-in & Registration
  • 1:00 pm – Session I: Vision, Mission, Position Review
  • 3:00 pm – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 3:20 pm – Session II: Learner Centrality
  • 5:00 pm – Sessions Conclude

March 17, 2015

  • 8:00 am – Continental Breakfast (Provided)
  • 8:30 am – Session III: Curriculum Architecture
  • 10:00 am – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 10:20 am – Session IV: Master Academic Plan
  • 12:00 pm Lunch (Provided) Break, Check In & Networking
  • 1:00 pm – Session V: The Curriculum Centered Strategic Planning Model
  • 3:00 pm – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 3:20 pm – Session VI: The Changing Learning Landscape
  • 5:00 pm – Sessions Conclude

March 18, 2015

  • 8:00 am Continental Breakfast (Provided) & Networking
  • 8:30 am – Session VII: Institutional Strategies, Tactics, Goals and Objectives
  • 10:00 am – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 10:20 am – Session VIII: Prototyping a Learning Age Strategic Plan
  • 12:00 pm – Adjourn

Institute Philosophy & Pedagogy

COAS MGDA Cert0001The current paradigm shift to the learning age is powered by a global digital learning ecosystem and requires unprecedented focus on academic strategy to meet the challenges it presents. The institute is built around a philosophy that is both learner and learning centered, focused through a lens that is intensely curriculum-centered. The Institute curriculum frames a strategic plan that is designed to deliver practical strategic solutions for short, medium and long range impact. Institute pedagogy uses a blended seminar style guided by a digital interactive syllabus with readings, self-study and participant dialog. Participants will use their institution as the subject of their case study. Participants will have the opportunity for interaction with institute colleagues long after attending the program as they contribute to the strategic planning community of practice.

About the Faculty

Michael G. DolenceMichael Dolence is President of Michael G. Dolence and Associates, a global research and consulting firm specializing in innovation in education, academic planning, curriculum development and enrollment management. Michael developed the Strategic Decision Engine, a structured strategic planning model published in Working Toward Strategic Change. Continued development lead to the Curriculum-Centered Strategic Planning model and the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework. To facilitate the development of 21st century curricula he synthesized the Proficiency Based Curriculum Architecture Model.

MGDA has developed a comprehensive curriculum planning and prototyping software system used to design academic prototypes for new universities and academic facilities worldwide. The system supports program of study design and development as-well-as academic optimization scenario analysis and innovative curricula design.

Logistics

  • Institute Terms of Payment and Refund Policy
  • Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.
  • Accommodations are NOT included in Institute Registration and are the responsibility of the attendee. A separate link directly to the hotel is provided for convenience.
  • Institute seating is rounds of 6 providing ample space for each participant.
  • Wi-Fi will support access to online resources.
  • We recommend at least two individuals from an institution attend, one from institutional planning and one from academic governance or leadership.
  • Monday afternoon start time permits Saturday air travel and Wednesday departure and is served by five airports (LAX, SNA, BUR, ONT, LGB ).
  • Claremont location is central to Los Angeles area sites and attractions.
  • Participants are on their own for dinner Monday and Tuesday. Options include hotel dining or the numerous restaurants in the village of Claremont.
  • Hotel Shuttle is available for the short ride to the village or take your time and enjoy the walk through the streets of the City of Trees.

Selected Topics to be Covered

As we work through the concepts and construct individual pathways to developing a strategic plan there are a hosts of tools, methods, concepts and approaches we will introduce and use. Here are a few examples:

Curriculum Architecture

What is curriculum architecture and why is it important? How is it incorporated into SEM Strategy? How does academic strategy inform SEM strategy via curriculum architecture? How does SEM strategy inform curriculum and how are the insights rendered into implementable initiatives?

SRS Method of Strategy Development & Mission Review

The SRS Method provides a framework for structured dialog that integrates institutional mission and vision with curriculum and enrollment management. How does mission and vision translate to strategy and sustainability?

Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability 2015

Eventbrite - Institute for Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability

When: June 22 – 24, 2015

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Claremont, California

CurriculumDrivesQuote

Strategies for Enrollment and Fiscal Sustainability

The design of the Institute for Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability recognizes that academic leadership and enrollment management professionals must join forces in order to meet the challenges and opportunities of higher education as it is carried into the future by the paradigm shift to a global digital learning ecosystem. Once joined, they form a resilient and effective Academic SEM community of practice capable of forging near, mid, and long term strategies for enrollment and fiscal health.

Session Summaries

  • Session I: Academic SEM Structures
    Reviews the various structures involved in Academic SEM. Participants will assess their institutional structures with the intent of developing collaboration between academics and enrollment managers.
  • Session II: Academic SEM Strategies
    Establishes a strategy baseline using the SRS method. Illustrates examples of Academic SEM strategies and extrapolates to institutional academic and SEM cultures.
  • Session III: Curriculum Architecture
    Reviews the basics of curriculum architecture and assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats emanating from the degree of alignment between architecture and enrollment markets.
  • Session IV: Curriculum Options and Optimization
    Examines the principles of sustainability and applies them to various curricular scenarios.
  • Session V: The SEM Factor
    Examines basic principles of effective enrollment management and the fit and friction points encountered in academic SEM collaboration. Introduces the tyranny or the synergy of the link, or lack thereof, between academic and SEM calendars and cycles.
  • Session VI: Program of Study Strategies
    Programs of Study are the lifeblood of academic institutions. The fundamentals of effective program design, emergent models and methods of embedding marketable value into a program of study are examined and evaluated.
  • Session VII: Campaign Strategies
    Enrollment health is built via sustained campaigns. Campaign design will be presented as a means of optimizing short range (bump), mid range, and long range enrollment and fiscal health.
  • Session VIII: The Academic SEM Plan
    Evaluates and constructs the principles of integrating the Master Academic Plan with the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan.

Agenda

June 22, 2015

  • 10:00 am – Check-in & Registration
  • 1:00 pm – Session I: Academic SEM Structures
  • 3:00 pm – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 3:20 pm – Session II: Academic SEM Strategies
  • 5:00 pm – Sessions Conclude

June 23, 2015

  • 8:00 am – Continental Breakfast (Provided)
  • 8:30 am – Session III: Curriculum Architecture
  • 10:00 am – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 10:20 am – Session IV: Curriculum Options and Optimization
  • 12:00 pm Lunch (Provided) Break, Check In & Networking
  • 1:00 pm – Session V: The SEM Factor
  • 3:00 pm – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 3:20 pm – Session VI: Program of Study Strategies
  • 5:00 pm – Sessions Conclude

June 24, 2015

  • 8:00 am Continental Breakfast (Provided)  & Networking
  • 8:30 am – Session VII: Campaign Strategies
  • 10:00 am – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 10:20 am – Session VIII: The Academic SEM Plan
  • 12:00 pm – Adjourn

Institute Philosophy & Pedagogy

The current paradigm shift requires unprecedented synergy and collaboration between academic and enrollment management. A philosophy that is both learner and learning centered must be focused through a lens that is intensely curriculum-centered. The Institute curriculum delivers practical strategic solutions for short, medium and long range impact. Institute pedagogy uses a blended seminar style guided by a digital interactive syllabus with readings, self-study and participant dialog. Participant’s institution will be the subject of their case study. Participants will have the opportunity for interaction with institute colleagues long after attending the program as they contribute to the emerging Academic SEM community of practice.

About the Faculty

Michael G. DolenceMichael Dolence is President of Michael G. Dolence and Associates, a global research consulting firm specializing in innovation in education,  academic planning, curriculum development and enrollment management. He authored the first Primer on Strategic Enrollment Management and is the originator of the concept of Academic Strategic Enrollment Management. His career includes extensive research and analysis of financial aid efficacy, utilization, and policy impacts for both federal and state aid. He has conducted more than 140 post mortem analysis of colleges and universities that have failed and either closed or were merged with another institution. MGDA has developed a comprehensive curriculum planning and prototyping software system used to design academic prototypes for new universities worldwide. The system also supports program of study design and development as well as academic optimization scenario analysis.

Logistics

  • Institute Terms of Payment and Refund Policy
  • Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.
  • Accommodations are NOT included in Institute Registration and are the responsibility of the attendee. A separate link directly to the hotel is provided for convenience.
  • Institute seating is rounds of 6 providing ample space for each participant.
  • Wi-Fi will support access to online resources.
  • We recommend at least two individuals from an institution attend, one from enrollment management and one from academic leadership.
  • Monday afternoon start time permits Saturday air travel and Wednesday departure and is served by five airports (LAX, SNA, BUR, ONT, LGB ).
  • Claremont location is central to Los Angeles area sites and attractions.
  • Participants are on their own for dinner Monday and Tuesday. Options include hotel dining or the numerous restaurants in the village of Claremont.
  • Hotel Shuttle is available for the short ride to the village or take your time and enjoy the walk through the streets of the city of trees.

Certificate of Advanced Study

COAS MGDA Cert0001

Selected Topics to be Covered

As we work through the concepts and construct individual pathways to addressing enrollment shortfalls, recruitment yield, and developing strategic position in the enrollment marketplace there are a hosts of tools, methods, concepts and approaches we will introduce and use. Here are a few examples:

Curriculum Architecture

What is curriculum architecture and why is it important? How is it incorporated into SEM Strategy? How does academic strategy inform SEM strategy via curriculum architecture? How does SEM strategy inform curriculum and how are the insights rendered into implementable initiatives?

Strategic Enrollment Management Matrix

What is the SEM Matrix and how is it used in planning, decision making and campaign development? What are the seven learner-centered questions that help focus development of sustainable solutions?

SRS Method of Strategy Development & Mission Review

The SRS Method provides a framework for structured dialog that integrates institutional mission and vision with curriculum and enrollment management. How does mission and vision translate to strategy and sustainability?

Academic Strategies and Master Academic Planning 2015

Eventbrite - Institute for Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability

When: February 16 – 18, 2015

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Claremont, California

The design of the Institute for Academic Strategies and Master Academic Planning recognizes that academic leaders must plan to meet the challenges and opportunities of higher education as it is carried into the future by the paradigm shift to a global digital learning ecosystem. Without a Master Academic Plan, an Institutional Strategic Plan is powerless at forging near, mid, and long term strategies for enrollment and fiscal health.

Master Academic Plan (Graphic)

Who Should Attend

The institute is designed for academic leaders, including provosts, vice presidents, deans, department chairs, academic governance officers, interested faculty, accreditation team members, institutional planners, and institutional effectiveness professionals.

Session Summaries

  • Session I: Academic Structures, Cycles and Workflows 
    Reviews the various structures involved in managing the Academic Enterprise. Participants will assess their institutional structures against the characteristics of the emerging global digital learning ecosystem and the transformations a number of institutions are already doing to serve contemporary learners.
  • Session II: Academic Strategies, Tactics and Capacities 
    Introduces a structured approach to designing, developing and implementing academic strategies and developing new capacities required to meet the challenges of the learning age powered by a global digital learning ecosystem.
  • Session III: Curriculum Architecture and Specifications 
    Reviews the basics of curriculum architecture and assesses the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats emanating from the degree of alignment between architecture, program design, course options, assessment strategies, and curriculum-learner optimization pathways.
  • Session IV: Curriculum Options and Optimization
    Examines the principles of sustainability and applies them to various curricular scenarios. Focuses on innovating from where you are with what you have.
  • Session V: Curriculum Prototyping and Modeling
    Examines basic principles of effective academic management and the fit and friction points encountered in academic collaboration, strategy development and implementation. Developing synergy between academic missions, visions, perspectives, calendars and workflow cycles.
  • Session VI: Program of Study Strategies
    Programs of Study are the lifeblood of academic institutions. The fundamentals of effective program design, emergent models and methods of embedding marketable value into a program of study are examined and evaluated.
  • Session VII: The Master Academic Plan I
    Examines the basic structure and functions of a Master Academic Plan beginning with Curriculum Architecture (Session III) and building to a comprehensive academic vision.
  • Session VIII: The Master Academic Plan II
    Evaluates and constructs the principles of integrating the Master Academic Plan with the institutional planning system and various plans. (e.g. Institutional Strategic Plan, Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, Campus Master Plan, Fiscal Plan, Human Resources Plan…).

Agenda

February 16, 2015

  • 10:00 am – Check-in & Registration
  • 1:00 pm – Session I: Academic Structures, Cycles and Workflows
  • 3:00 pm – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 3:20 pm – Session II: Academic Strategies, Tactics and Capacities
  • 5:00 pm – Sessions Conclude

February 17, 2015

  • 8:00 am – Continental Breakfast (Provided)
  • 8:30 am – Session III: Curriculum Architecture and Specifications
  • 10:00 am – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 10:20 am – Session IV: Curriculum Options and Optimization
  • 12:00 pm Lunch (Provided) Break, Check In & Networking
  • 1:00 pm – Session V: Curriculum Prototyping and Modeling
  • 3:00 pm – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 3:20 pm – Session VI: Program of Study Strategies
  • 5:00 pm – Sessions Conclude

February 18, 2015

  • 8:00 am Continental Breakfast (Provided)  & Networking
  • 8:30 am – Session VII: The Master Academic Plan I
  • 10:00 am – Break, Check In & Networking
  • 10:20 am – Session VIII: The Master Academic Plan II
  • 12:00 pm – Adjourn

Institute Philosophy & Pedagogy

The current paradigm shift to the learning age powered by a  global digital learning ecosystem requires unprecedented focus on academic strategy. Our philosophy is both learner and learning centered, focused through a lens that is intensely curriculum-centered. The Institute curriculum delivers practical strategic solutions for short, medium and long range impact. Institute pedagogy uses a blended seminar style guided by a digital interactive syllabus with readings, self-study and participant dialog. Participants will use their institution as the subject of their case study. Participants will have the opportunity for interaction with institute colleagues long after attending the program as they contribute to the emerging Academic community of practice.

About the Faculty

Michael G. DolenceMichael Dolence is President of Michael G. Dolence and Associates, a global research consulting firm specializing in innovation in education, academic planning, curriculum development and enrollment management. Michael developed the Strategic Decision Engine, a structured strategic planning model published in Working Toward Strategic Change. Continued development lead to the Curriculum-Centered Strategic Planning Model and the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework. To facilitate the development of 21st century curricula, he synthesized the Proficiency Based Curriculum Architecture Model.

MGDA has developed a comprehensive curriculum planning and prototyping software system used to design academic prototypes for new universities and academic facilities worldwide. The system supports program of study design and development, as-well-as, academic optimization scenario analysis and innovative curricula design.

Institute Logistics

  • Institute Terms of Payment and Refund Policy
  • Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.
  • Accommodations are NOT included in Institute Registration and are the responsibility of the attendee. A separate link directly to the hotel is provided for convenience.
  • Institute seating is rounds of 6 providing ample space for each participant.
  • Wi-Fi will support access to online resources.
  • We recommend at least two individuals from an institution attend to provide a wider perspective and deeper insight.
  • Monday afternoon start time permits Saturday air travel and Wednesday departure and is served by five airports (LAX, SNA, BUR, ONT, LGB).
  • Claremont location is central to Los Angeles area sites and attractions.
  • Participants are on their own for dinner Monday and Tuesday. Options include hotel dining or the numerous restaurants in the village of Claremont.
  • Hotel Shuttle is available for the short ride to the village or take your time and enjoy the walk through the streets of the City of Trees.

Proficiency Based Curriculum Model: Part 6

AcademicSEM-Banner

This is the sixth post in the series on Academic Strategic Enrollment Management.

One of the most profound developments in Academic SEM is the emergence of a Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model (PBCAM). Its development and continued evolution are the results of a synthesis by a number of scholars, communities of practice and higher education associations. The Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model is driven by and feeds the continued evolution of the global learning ecosystem. It is built upon a digital learning framework and serves to restructure the basic architecture of higher education’s curriculum. An institution’s curriculum architecture defines the essential components of its curricular system; maps the interrelationships between the components and the environment, and specifies the system’s intended learning and award outcomes. Put simply, the curriculum architecture synthesizes the many institution-specific design and delivery decisions inherent in curriculum management.

An Evolving Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture

The scope of the emerging Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model embraces learning leading to an accredited formal educational credential and extends to include the universe of practice based educational experiences. Practiced based curriculum has historically been considered not for credit in a collegiate program of study. The lines have become blurred as new learning experiences are built and experienced and woven into the for credit curriculum. An example of the implications of the Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model considers the Kahn Academy’s inventory of learning objects and their integration by the learner into their collegiate experience. Until now there was not a structure within a collegiate curriculums architecture to accommodate the experience.

Curriculum architecture is defined by four underlying domains:

  1. Programs of Study
    The taxonomy of degrees, certificates, sequences, courses, modules, and learning objects within a school’s curriculum inventory defines the primary design feature of the school. This domain anchors the architecture, shifts attention to outcomes and program-based design elements, and, thereby, facilitates the alignment of the academic master planning process with other institutional processes.
  2. Authentications
    This domain details accrediting, licensing, and assessment oversight organizations, the units warranted, and related specifications. In doing so, the architecture incorporates the School’s accreditation and outcomes assessment planning processes.
  3. Delivery and Learner Access Strategies
    This domain tracks program term parameters (calendar), schedule model parameters, delivery modes, facilities implications and other delivery specifications.
  4. Business Model Variables
    This domain specifies the human resource specifications, instructional and non-instructional funding, and other resource specifications required to deliver the curriculum.
    Of these domains, the basic structural elements of the programs of study define the learner’s curricular experiences and provide for the primary value assessment of a credential. The POS and the courses that build the cumulative knowledge and skills are essential to positioning an academic offering in the 21st century global learning marketplace. The system that is now in place is structurally two tiers that link the program of study to required course experiences.

The Two Tier Program Architecture

The managed components of curricula consist of the top tier referred to as the Program of Study or POS. The program tier consists of a prescribed number of roughly sequential course experiences designed to culminate in a credential. A typical baccalaureate program of study is five courses per term over 8 consecutive terms summing to 40 courses earning a minimum of 120 credits.

The Program of Study

Figure 1: The Program of Study

The second tier is the Course. Courses are defined in terms of seat time equivalency and calibrated to credits. A three credit course is typical. Courses in this example are delivered over a 15 week term requiring 3 hours of faculty contact per week for a total of 45 contact hours. In addition, students would be expected to spend 6 hours per week reading, preparing, and problem solving, or studying the material for an additional 90 hours of learning the experience. Combined these two basic course elements sum to 135 hours of learning engagement and earn three credit hours. Learning is assessed primarily through summative course assessments in the form of midterm and final exams with further evidence supplied by a term paper, quizzes or a project. A new model has evolved since 1995.

The Seven Tier Curriculum Architecture

The new model begins with the understanding of the emergence of learning objects and their role in constructing curriculum architectures. Learning objects are the smallest component of the curriculum. They form the foundation of a structured curriculum, are integral to learning and are used to build pathways to higher level cognitive awareness and understanding. The content within learning objects has always been integral to the teaching and learning processes. The shift to digital learning environments enables discrete digital lessons that can be created, stored, used and reused, labeled (tagged), mapped in sequence, coupled with specific formative assessments, and integrated into larger cohesive curricular structures.

IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC)

In 1995, IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS GLC) came into existence as a project within the National Learning Infrastructure Initiative of EDUCAUSE. While IMS got its start with a focus on higher education, the specifications published to date as well as ongoing projects address requirements in a wide range of learning contexts, including of course K-12 schools and corporate and government training. The primary focus of the initiative and the work of the consortium involve the establishment of standards for the emerging digital learning environment especially with respect to the formal curriculum.

Learning Objects

On June 25 1999 Cisco System published version 3.0 of their Cisco Systems Reusable Information Object Strategy: Definition, Creation Overview, and Guidelines marking a key milestone in the evolution and development of the use of objects.

The RIO Strategy is built upon the Reusable Information Object (RIO). An RIO is granular, reusable chunk of information that is media independent. An RIO can be developed once and delivered in multiple delivery mediums. Each RIO can stand alone as a collection of content items, practice items and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective. Individual RIOs are then combined to form a larger structure called a Reusable Learning Object (RLO).

Objects are then combined to build modules, and modules are combined to build courses.

The Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model

Figure 2: The Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model

 

The first distinguishing factor in the use of the term ‘Learning Object’ is that it is an element of the Digital Learning Environment. There are a number of learning object models that have emerged. Early on the learning object was defined as “a collection of content items, practice items, and assessment items that are combined based on a single learning objective.” “The term Learning Object, first popularized by Wayne Hodgins in 1994 when he named the CedMA working group ‘Learning Architectures, APIs and Learning Objects’

The second distinguishing factor is determined by the three basic characteristics of an object:

  • Accessibility
    An object must be able to be stored, retrieved, indexed, referenced and used directly by the learner. To achieve this means that it must be labeled with ‘metadata’ or tagged with keywords in order to facilitate the function within a digital archival system.
  • Reusability
    An object once cataloged and warranted for credibility should serve the learner in different instructional and learning contexts.
  • Interoperability
    The object should function independently from the learning management system, curriculum or content management systems, student record and registration system.

Course Curriculum Flow Model

The Course Curriculum Flow Model diagrams a course design into a sequence of related experiences and maps them in a time framework. The model provides a structured means of defining, combining, and developing learning experiences built upon a fine granularity assessable learning engagements building toward proficiency.

The Course Curriculum Flow Model

Figure 3: The Course Curriculum Flow Model

The course then plugs directly into the existing Program of Study diagramed in Figure 1: The Program of Study.

Disciplines and Communities of Practice: The guiding forces of formal curricula

Academic degrees and credentials are much more than just a random assemblage of learning experiences. Two fundamental drivers guide them. See Figure 2: The Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model.

The first driver is the structure, focus, and rigor of academic disciplines. Disciplines historically drive credential development and anchor the credential on a bedrock of scholarship, reason and accumulated research.

The second driver involves the structure, focus, and rigor emanating from trans-disciplinary Communities of Practice (often referred to as CoP) as the framing construct for the overarching scope of the curriculum. Communities of practice are formed by those who engage in collective learning within a shared domain of interest and through that interaction develop shared practice over time (Wenger, 2011). A community of practice curriculum is an emergent learning pathway for practitioners and scholars who share a common interest in or focus upon an area of research or scholarship that crosses disciplinary boundaries.

The Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model recognizes the multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary nature of communities of practice and bridges between Collegiate/Scholarly offerings (arrayed down the right side) and Professional Practice offerings (arrayed down the left side). The feature, thereby, anchors the curriculum in both the scholarly and practitioner realms, forming the foundation for a Scholar/Practitioner curriculum. The discipline layer in the Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Modelrecognizes that community of practice learning needs are translated and organized by discipline or field of study experts into programs of study. In turn the formal curricular structure provides a sequential term/course view of the learning opportunities designed to meet the needs of those wishing to enter or continue learning within a community of practice.

In Closing

I hope this brief sketch provides an evolutionary view of how the foundations of curricular innovation are driving the future of Academic Strategic Enrollment Management. The emerging  Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model permits dramatic expansion and integration of collegiate curriculum into the continuing education and learning requirements of the new millennium.

Stay connected and engage with your colleagues join the ASEM Group in Linked In, and join us in Claremont on December 8th for the Institute for Academic Strategic Enrollment Management and Sustainability where we will discuss the Proficiency-Based Curriculum Architecture Model.

Achieving Strategic Position in the
Global Learning Marketplace: Part 7

Programs of Study: Part 5

Master Academic Plan: Part 5

Prototype-Banner

The Academic Plan must be the center of any Strategic Plan for an Institution of Higher Education. It serves as the ‘Master’ Academic Plan because “Curriculum drives enrollment, enrollment drives revenue, revenues drive everything else!” It can also be termed the Academic Master Plan because it translates institutional mission and vision into action and establishes the strategic terms and conditions for the development of all things academic. An Academic Master Plan by its nature is dynamic and in a constant state of evolution. If it is not constantly being nurtured, developed, and aligned with emerging changes in the global learning ecosystem then it is in decline. If it is in decline then, the institution is either in decline or not far behind. There are many moving parts, and they must work together.

Master Academic Plan (Graphic)

The Master Academic Plan is essential to the process of fostering institutional vitality and fiscal health. Enabling the future requires that the conceptual framework of the MAP be future focused evolving changes in the learning ecosystem into academic strategies. The future focus is established in the institutional strategic plan. The first four posts in this series addressed this requirement by highlighting four pivotal strategies:

  • Change the Paradigm
  • Focus on Value
  • Develop Capacity, and
  • Make Everything Count.

The Master Academic Plan must enable the academic enterprise to lead on the pathway to institutional vitality and fiscal health. The Master Academic Plan establishes the foundation for the future by guiding and enabling development of the institutions supporting tactical plans, such as:

  • Enrollment Management Plan,
  • Digital Learning Environment Plan
  • Systems and Technology Plan
  • Human Resources Plan
  • Assessment Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Campus Master Plan

Conversely, each of these plans supports, nurture, and are essential to the success of the master academic plan and the institutions strategic plan.

The Master Academic Plan (MAP)

The concept of a Master Academic Plan can appear daunting at first. Remember all of the elements are currently and in some way already in play and underway. The first step is collecting all of the various pieces, aligning them and reviewing their intent and impact based upon assumptions about the future and the strategic direction desired. The MAP more than any other planning effort establishes the foundation for fiscal sustainability.  “Curriculum drives enrollment, enrollment drives revenue, revenues drive everything else!”

Fiscal stability starts with first determining the critical mass required to support the facilities and basic human capital required to operate a college. Critical mass is the minimum enrollment the institution requires to sustain operations (Hint: it is larger than you think).  The MAP guides enrollment goal setting when synthesized with the financial plan and the enrollment management plan.

The second step requires understanding the theory and practice of managing the margin (see “Curriculum drives enrollment, enrollment drives revenue, revenues drive everything else!” post).

The third step is key to fiscal stability is also outlined in that post, curriculum drives enrollment, the MAP drives curriculum.

About the Master Academic Plan

The Master Academic Plan provides a cohesive central point of reference for all things academic. The Master Academic Plan serves several primary functions:

  • it unambiguously establishes a basic framework for the academic enterprise, and defines structures, relationships and terms;
  • it clearly articulates academic philosophies and their relationship to and with curriculum, learners, scholarship, research, and public service;
  • it defines the academic enterprise including organizational structures, such as management and governance; academic cycles, calendars, and major events;
  • it establishes the curricular architecture and the evolutionary path it will take to optimize the emerging global digital learning environment;
  • it provides specific academic contexts for the institution at large to align (hence designation “master”) their plans, processes, and initiatives;
  • it translates the institutional strategic plan into academic language and concepts and translates academic realities into broad institutional contexts providing the foundation for the institutional strategic plan.

Institutional Mission, Vision & Strategic Position

The institutional mission informs and establishes a foundation for the Master Academic Plan. The reverse is also true the MAP serves as a foundation to review and reflect upon the mission and how it is written and conveyed by institutional planning and operations. The mission should address the purpose, scope and focus of the institution. The MAP fills in the details and translates the mission into an academic entity.

Academic Missions, Visions and Strategies

The institutional mission, while preeminent, is not the only mission in an academic institution. Schools, colleges, departments, institutes, and programs have missions as well. A Vision establishes the trajectory of the academic enterprise. In other words where is it headed comparatively and competitively with respect to the education sphere. The vision also provides a point of reference to evaluate strategies, goals, objectives, initiatives, policies, processes, and procedures. The vision provides an interpretive framework for processing assessments.

Academic Philosophies

Making academic philosophies explicit helps clarify the intent and overall culture of the institution. Academic philosophies help make the enterprise more understandable and decisions more interpretable by academics,  administrators, learners, constituents and evaluators. Academic philosophies are not mutually exclusive, but rather a collage of foundational belief’s that nurture the academic enclaves that sustain them. Articulating the range of academic philosophies makes it clear that their are more than one at work in an institution and the MAP provides the means for them to blend and cooperate.

Examples of Academic Philosophies

(philosophies ultimately drive the design of the academic enterprise)

Academic Scope and Focus

The array of schools or colleges, programs of study, institutes, and learning communities define an institution’s scope and focus. The strategic position an institution will achieve in a global learning marketplace is to a large degree established by and dependent upon the scope of the academic programs and the scholarship and research portfolios they nurture.

The academic scope and focus exist in dynamic equilibrium with the global learning marketplace.

The MAP aligns the academic scope and focus with a global learning marketplace and maintains a dynamic equilibrium. When the alignment process is broken or failing the institution is in dire trouble. Curriculum architecture is the primary means of alignment.

Curriculum Architecture

An institution’s curriculum architecture defines the essential components of its curricular system; maps the interrelationships between the components and the environment, and specifies the system’s intended learning and award outcomes.  Put simply, the curriculum architecture synthesizes the many institution-specific design and delivery decisions inherent in curriculum management. Curriculum architecture is defined by four underlying components:

  • Programs of Study (POS):  Consists of the taxonomy of degrees, certificates, sequences, courses, modules, and learning objects within a curriculum inventory. The inventory of programs defines the primary design feature of the institution.  The inventory of programs of study anchors the architecture, focuses attention on outcomes and program-based design elements, and, thereby, facilitates the alignment of the academic master planning process with other institutional processes.
  • Authentications:  This domain details accrediting, licensing, and assessment oversight organizations, the units warranted, and related specifications.  In doing so, the architecture incorporates the institutions effectiveness, accreditation and outcomes assessment planning, monitoring, and improvement processes.
  • Delivery and Learner Access Strategies:  This domain tracks program term parameters, schedule model parameters, delivery modes, facilities implications and other delivery specifications.
  • Business Model Variables:  This domain specifies the human resource specifications, instructional and non-instructional funding, and other resource specifications required to deliver the curriculum.

Curriculum Architecture is where the structural elements of the curriculum are documented, and further developed that enable achieving the institutional and academic missions and visions. The curriculum architecture includes (but not limited to):

  • Programs of Study by Credential
  • Content Design Models
  • Content Delivery Models
  • Calendar Models
  • Schedule Models
  • Business Models
  • Assessment Models
  • …as a blog post this is intended to be illustrative

 Academic Program Plans

Programs of study derive from and are nurtured and sustained by the curriculum architecture and the infrastructure and capacities it provides. Faculty capacity is essential, and an active faculty development process provides the energy and seeds of innovation to keep the portfolio vibrant and aligned with market realities. Academic programs require planning, and the MAP establishes the process. Successful academic program identification, development, and innovation requires a significant amount of global market awareness, demographic acumen, intuition, and creativity. In the end the Program of Study, such as the schematic below, drives enrollment.

POS-Map-Banded V3

Caution,  looking for a program that appears successful then constructing one that looks like it from the a la cart resources of the master course list is a process to be used with great care. It is a difficult challenge to nurture healthy curriculum to market. Market aversion, strong opinion, defensive behavior, and lack of awareness all conspire to make it difficult. A well developed MAP process can help get an initiative underway quickly and avoid roadblocks that inhibit the realization of academic goals. Alignment and integration with the strategic realities of the learning marketplace is essential. The SEM Matrix below, helps align curriculum with market realities.

SEM Matrix

Institutional Effectiveness, Learning and Learner Assessment

Intensive focus on Institutional Effectiveness (IE) is required by virtually every academic accreditation process. Increasingly this mean a comprehensive process that integrates learning and learner assessment, required if an institution is going to improve its performance and effectiveness continually. To be effective, IE must be comprehensive, cohesive and drive decision making.

Academic Strategies

Academic strategies are a topic of legend. We are repeatedly asked for the illusive little trick that harvests ample enrollments, with little or no investment, and secures the financial future forever. Well, hate to say it, but, it doesn’t work that way, and we all know it. Contrary to proclamations we have seen a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis is neither a Strategic Plan nor a strategy.  I watched a Board of Trustees applaud at the announcement that a course was going online. The problem is that ‘online’ is not an academic strategy, either is a MOOC or a SOOC. They are tactics and when guided by a strategy can be very effective.

Strategy development is messy. To prove the point examine the whiteboard notes taken during an initial MAP development meeting that began a successful curriculum development process. It resulted in several new programs being launched, critical improvements in the SEM Plan and significant (≈20%) enrollment growth.

Session Notes: Failure is not an option

  • Strategy 1: An institution’s MAP is the basis for a significant strategic advantage
  • Strategy 2: Three options for the trajectory of the MAP
    • Option 1: Remain primarily focused on the way it is now.
    • Option 2: Evolve to optimize the emerging global digital learning ecosystem
    • Option 3: Recognize both options and seek synergy through the transition period and beyond
  • Strategy 3: Entity Strategies (choose all that apply)
    This is where the academic organizational strategies are developed and various academic entities articulate their specific strategies, plans and …

    • Academic Organization
      • Organizational Structures Strategy create vibrant synergy and innovation
      • Strategic Position Strategies align programs with markets
        • Globalization/Quality/Growth
        • University Press (Amazon Publishing Utility)
        • Faculty Scholarship
        • Staff Scholarship
        • Student Scholarship
    • Faculty Development Strategies create future focused capacity
      • Orientation
      • Faculty Information Environment
      • Faculty Training
      • Orientation to IE
    • Curriculum Architecture Strategies create the foundations of academic innovation and creativity
    • Curriculum Development Strategies create healthy competitive curricula they can come from
      • School
      • College
      • Division
      • Department
      • Program of Study
      • Campus School
    • Academic Policies must be addressed
      • Admissions
      • Student Handbook
      • Faculty Handbook
      • Financial Planning and Budgeting

In closing

The Master Academic Plan is the pivotal fulcrum of any institutions future. Every institution has one, whether it is articulated as such or it exists as an ad-hoc collection of decisions, policies, deliberations and opinions. Unless it is aligned and integrated with a holistic planning portfolio, it looses its potency.

Academic Strategic Enrollment Management (ASEM) Professional Group Launched

ASEM-Hero-LogoMGDA announced today the formation of the Academic Strategic Enrollment Management Group as a professional community of practice established on the LinkedIn social networking platform.

The Academic Strategic Enrollment Management (A-SEM) Group is dedicated to the concept of sustainability by nurturing synergy between Academic Leaders and Enrollment Planning and Management Professionals. The group is a forum for the  emerging community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to exploring and developing the foundations of academic strategic enrollment management.  The group is a community of higher education professionals serving  in such roles as academic leaders, faculty, enrollment managers, curriculum designers, marketing, institutional research and assessment engaged in efforts to build the highest quality, fiscally sustainable academic programs.

SEM MatrixTo get a deeper view please visit the Academic SEM Series to explore the Primacy of the Curriculum, the use of the SEM Matrix, the concept and power of a Curriculum Architecture, and the insight embedded in a Learner-Centered Curriculum.

You are invited to connect with Michael G. Dolence on LinkedIn and look forward to you joining our group.

 

Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework: Part 3

AcademicSEM-Banner

This is the third post in the series on Academic Strategic Enrollment Management.

What is the Learner Centered Curriculum Framework?

“There’s this idea that if we just tell the story better, we will get more students,” he says. That thinking, he argues, misunderstands enrollment management and the plight of small colleges in the postrecession economy. Creating a new branding campaign might seem easier than assessing whether academic programs are meeting students’ needs. But one isn’t a substitute for the other. “It’s not what we say on our website, or how many hands we shake, or how many applications we get,” Mr. Kieffer says. “No, it’s, What are we offering?” He sees enrollment as a two-part puzzle: getting prospective students to want what a college offers, and offering what they want. “A lot of schools right now are desperate,” he says, “focusing solely on getting people to want what they offer.” — Roger Kieffer former senior vice president for enrollment at Trinity International University, Chronicle of Higher Education, September 19, 2014, Vol LXI, Number 3, Page A-18

The Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework (LCCF) provides a conceptual structure to guide dialog and inquiry about curriculum. It frames curriculum in its broadest strategic context and provides a framework for the design, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum. When employing the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework, the complexities of translating mission, vision, and strategic position into effective curriculum are mapped across seven interlocking constructs:

  1. Learner Populations;
  2. Learner Objectives;
  3. Learning Provider Models;
  4. Learning Theory and Methods;
  5. Curriculum Architecture;
  6. Curriculum Configurations; and
  7. Learner Support Services

These constructs are, in turn, decoded or operationalized through seven learner-centered questions. When asked and answered, the questions are ideal for building, improving, and sustaining design integrity across curricular elements and guiding a wide array of institutional internal and external alignments.

The Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework is a tool that helps frame strategic dialog and analysis around the principles and practices of the concept learner-centered academic environments. This article describes the seven learner-centered questions that emanate from the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework and  help frame a basic enrollment management perspective useful for strategic enrollment management professionals when they dialog with academics. The table below can be printed and guide deeper insight into the options revealed through each question.  The elements under the questions are not to be used as a check list but rather a list of prompts and possibilities. We invite constructive comments and suggestions as-well-as any case examples of its use.

Seven Learner-Centered Questions

Diagram-LLCF

Learner Populations

A deep understanding of the populations to be served is required for effective curriculum design and delivery. For this reason, the very first question to be addressed is: Who are the learners? The answer flows from and can inform an entity’s strategic decisions regarding mission, vision, and strategic position (see Developing Institutional Strategy). Several questions cascade to give deep meaning to this basic question. Who are the learners of the 21st century? What learner populations does the institution currently serve? Who could or should the institution be serving? And, so on. Understanding who the learners are is an essential and often overlooked component of shaping curriculum for a changing society. The foundation of a learner-centered approach is to fully understand learning demand as segmented by salient learner population characteristics. Once understood, academic planners can identify gaps between the learner populations present in society, those the institution desires to serve, and those it currently serves. A learner-centered approach, guided by the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework, is most fruitful when supported by open inquiry and discourse regarding the learner populations found within an institution’s target market areas and those within the global learning marketplace.

Learner Objectives

A related set of questions emanates from the second learner-centered question within the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework: What objectives do the learners seek? Related questions include: What do the learners of the 21st century seek? What are their learning and credential objectives? How do objectives change in the course of a person’s life? Learners seek a vast array of learning objectives and these objectives vary over time and the course of one’s life (see 5 Bold Predictions For The Future Of Higher Education). Knowledge of learner objectives is a prerequisite for understanding motivation and, therefore, should guide the sequencing of learning experiences as well as inform marketing, recruitment, and retention efforts. Learner objectives should be a fundamental design element for the overall structure and intent of a curriculum and, therefore, incorporated early in program and curriculum design and review processes.

Learning Provider Models

A third area of inquiry flows from asking: What learning provider models are available to the learners? Corollary questions include: What options are open to 21st century learners as they seek their objectives? What curricular models, business models, and assessment models are in play? What choices do various learner populations make and why? What evidence exists on the effectiveness of the various provider models? The digital knowledge age is an age in which learning opportunities can be made available to learners anytime, anywhere. As a result, a complex network of learning resources and provider models is emerging to meet the demand for learning across multiple venues. Models range from traditional collegiate models to open-term models, online, and a host of other variations. Faculty, academic leaders, strategic planners, and curriculum designers are well advised to fully explore, describe, and understand various provider models in order to adequately assess the emerging learning landscape. Such an assessment builds understanding of emerging best practice as well as deep understanding of the competitive enrollment context of higher education. Furthermore, examining provider models and the learner populations for whom they have value builds deep insight into the learner-centered approach. Strategic curricular decisions will emerge from a synthesis of an institution’s knowledge of the populations, objectives, and models present in today’s global learning space.

Learning Theories and Methods

The fourth set of questions revolves around the learning process. Indeed, the learning process is extremely important in learner-centered curriculum design. The most effective designs reflect a comprehensive integration of learning theory and methods appropriate to successful learning. Therefore, the fourth learner-centered question within the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework is: What learning theories and methods are appropriate for specific learners and the objectives they seek? What learning methods help inform us of the appropriate curricular approach to take with specific learner populations? How do we focus the curriculum on the individual learner? The American Psychological Association developed a 14 point learner-centered framework that provides an effective baseline for discussion and design. There are more than 50 major learning theories, each focused on a different aspect of learning or learner population. Synthesizing effective curriculum requires the matching of theory and practice to learner population characteristics and objectives. The point, in short, is to systematically build curriculum to incorporate effective learning methods.

Learner-Centered Curriculum Architecture

The fifth area of inquiry emanating from the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework results from a complex, yet straightforward question: What is the existing curriculum architecture of the institution or educational entity? Does the architecture provide an alignment between the learner, the curriculum, and society? Curriculum Architecture refers to the design, structure, and relationships within and across an institution’s published curricular offerings. A curriculum’s architecture is foundationally defined by the formal programs of study authorized by a governing body that directly controls the rules of curriculum design and delivery. Thus, the architecture formalizes the curricular attributes an institution is committed to support and develop. It establishes alignment points with specific segments of the learner markets prescribed within an institution’s mission. Ideally, curriculum is both learner and learning centered. The curriculum architecture can also be used to synthesize an institution’s comprehensive academic master plan. The architecture of a curriculum describes the style, method of design, basic construction, key components, and underlying philosophies used to build the modules, courses, and programs that make up the entire diverse curricula.

Learner-Centered Curriculum Configuration

The sixth area of inquiry and discourse keenly focuses on meeting the specific and particular learning needs of the learners an institution has selected or been charged to serve. The sixth learner-centered question is: What specific curriculum can be configured to meet the learning needs of the learner population(s) an institution has chosen or been charged to serve? Will the configurations achieve intended outcomes? How will that be assessed? A particular curriculum configuration is drawn from an institution’s available (current or planned) architectural options. The configuration constructs a specific curriculum from all the elements of the architecture for a specific population seeking specific objectives using specific teaching, learning, and assessment methods. Across an institution, a wide variety of curriculum configurations are deployed.

Learner-Centered Support Services

The seventh area of inquiry within the Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework addresses the design and delivery of the array of services required by learners to meet their objectives. What support services are necessary to enable specific learner population(s) to successfully complete the curriculum and meet their objectives? Services are as important within a learner-centered curriculum as is the design and configuration of learning experiences. The curriculum alone is insufficient to deliver effective and efficient learning. Advising, counseling, and assessment are among the most important processes to be integrated into curriculum design. Too often they are add-ons. Other services are required to be sure learners are available to access the curriculum and learn. For example, assessment and placement, advising, counseling, financial aid, and a host of other services are extremely important to the process of creating learner success. As each learner population is understood, services must be fused to curriculum design so that pathways can be efficiently navigated and successfully completed.

Alternate Names

You may find the concepts outlines here referred to differently, some common alternate names are:

  • Subject Centered
  • Student Centered

SEM Matrix: Part 4

Curriculum Architecture: Part 2

Curriculum Architecture: Part 2

Academic Strategic Enrollment Management Series

This is the second post in the series on Academic Strategic Enrollment Management.

An institution’s curriculum architecture defines the essential components of its curricular system; maps the interrelationships between the components and the environment, and specifies the system’s intended learning and award outcomes. Put simply, the curriculum architecture synthesizes the many institution-specific design and delivery decisions inherent in curriculum management.

Academic Strategic Enrollment Management Principle 3: Strategic Curriculum Architecture

The objective of the concept of strategic architecture is to align curriculum with the realities of the emerging global learning marketplace. It must have a deep digital footprints and strong social connectivity to ensure that it drives the academic portfolios strategic position in the learning marketplace. A full articulation and discussion of strategic curriculum architecture is beyond the scope of a blog post. We will focus in this post on establishing a foundation understanding of what the architecture is and how it underpins enrollment management.

A curriculum architecture is defined by four underlying domains:

  1. Programs of Study
    The taxonomy of degrees, certificates, sequences, courses, modules, and learning objects within a school’s curriculum inventory defines the primary design feature of the school. This domain anchors the architecture, shifts attention to outcomes and program-based design elements, and, thereby, facilitates the alignment of the academic master planning process with other institutional processes.
  2. Authentications
    This domain details accrediting, licensing, and assessment oversight organizations, the units warranted, and related specifications. In doing so, the architecture incorporates the School’s accreditation and outcomes assessment planning processes.
  3. Delivery and Learner Access Strategies
    This domain tracks program term parameters, schedule model parameters, delivery modes, facilities implications and other delivery specifications.
  4. Business Model Variables
    This domain specifies the human resource specifications, instructional and non-instructional funding, and other resource specifications required to deliver the curriculum.

The fundamentals of allocating a series of learning experiences by building and delivering the curriculum is achieved through the structure of the curriculums architecture. An institution’s curriculum architecture defines the essential components of its curricular system; maps the interrelationships between the components and the environment, and specifies the system’s intended learning and award outcomes. Put simply, the curriculum architecture synthesizes the many institution-specific design and delivery decisions inherent in curriculum management. The architecture defines the curriculum system used by the institution.

A Systems View

Any curriculum system facilitates learning content being conceptualized, designed, assessed, packaged, managed and delivered to the learner. All curricular systems have certain characteristics. For example:

  1. All curricula reside within an institutional or organizational context defined by the mission of the organization in which it resides, the stakeholders who shape that mission, and their vision of where the institution is going and how it is to evolve.
  2. All curricula result in outcomes, in other words, they have a tangible and often intangible impact upon those that engage it. The outcomes may be expected or unexpected; they may be intended or unintended; they may be measurable or difficult to ascertain.
  3. All curricula reside within an economic reality that defines opportunities and constraints. It may be a stable, adequate, inadequate, growing, shrinking, or in a state of flux. The economic realities shape a great deal of what the curriculum is and how it is delivered.
  4. All curricula have an architecture either both well-defined and articulated or defacto having evolved over time. By architecture, we mean that all curricula have a defined structure that fits many parts together. Each identified part exists within the defined structure of the system and plays a specific role in the overall function of the system.
  5. The sum of these characteristics helps define a curriculum’s system architecture.

Defining a Curriculums Architecture

A curriculum architecture has an inherent structure. The first task is to identify and describe common structural elements that contribute to or make up a curriculums architecture.

Curriculum Architecture

Mission

Includes the influence of various institutional, school, college department, and discipline missions on the structure and content of the curriculum. These provide the context of the fundamental purpose of the institution. Mission (and vision for that matter) is translated into curriculum by focusing upon seven interrelated questions.

  1. What is the demographics of the learners an institution seeks to serve?
  2. What objectives do those learners seek to achieve?
  3. What learning opportunities are available from the global learning environment?
  4. What teaching and learning methods are available to help specific learners, seeking specific objectives, within a competitive learning marketplace achieve their intended learning outcomes.
  5. What is the overall curriculum architecture of the institution being evaluated?
  6. What is the configuration of a specific curriculum being selected?
  7. What learner services are necessary to enable the learner to complete the selected curriculum successfully?

These seven structured questions provide a framework for helping to translate an institutions mission into curriculum. And conversely they provide a framework with which to evaluate institutional mission through the curriculum lens. They are also a very effective framework to form Strategic enrollment Management Strategies.

Vision Influence

The influence of various institutional, school, college, department, discipline visions on the structure and content of the curriculum. From an entities (school, college, department, discipline) vision emerges its trajectory (where it is plotting to go) in the near, mid, and long term future. The curriculums architecture must enable sustaining a trajectory.

Academic Philosophy

The influence of various academic philosophies such as liberal arts licensed professional, scholar/practitioner, and accreditation aligned, on the structure and content of the curriculum. A philosophy provides the root of the values structure held by the academic community. Multiple philosophies are common in an institution. Discretely identifying and defining them helps enormously in developing and implementing conflict resolution strategies.

Scope

The scope of the curriculum establishes the various levels, credential categories, discipline array, credit and non-credit mix, and such intellectual elements as the role of research. Attention to scope is important because the opportunistic nature of the curriculum often induces scope creep (the slow expansion of the scope without questioning ‘do we really want to go there’). A curriculums scope provides both focus and boundaries that are important as other non-academic entities align with the academic enterprise. Online is an excellent example of an initiative emanating from deployment strategies that can seriously induce scope creep.

Academic Organizational Design

Organizational design includes but means more than just the academic organizations structure. The design also includes the functional components of the curriculum itself such as the hierarchy of the curriculum as reflected in the relationships between University ↔ College ↔ Department ↔ Program ↔ Course ↔ Module ↔ Reusable Learning Object. Such academic structures require a deep look for how they align and support the overall curriculums architecture. Failure to identify and formally define the basic elements of the academic organization leads to deep and damaging confusion to how effectively the curriculum functions.

Programs of Study

The architecture is shaped by the influence of specific content, curricular sequences, program and course outcomes and learning objectives on the design and configuration of individual programs. The program of study provides a crisp learner-centered view of the learning pathways taken to achieve specific credentials and outcomes. A common method of developing, displaying and reviewing programs of study is helpful in conveying the specific management criteria for the curriculum as a whole.

Teaching and Learning Methods and Strategies

The influence of various teaching and learning methods and strategies on the structure and content of the curriculum cannot be over emphasized. As curriculum is designed, developed, and implemented they are either enabled or inhibited by the curriculums architecture. Formally considering their influence is imperative as we look to the future.

Accreditations, Authentications, and Assessment Strategies

The influence that various accreditation standards, licensing requirements, assessment requirements, federal and state curricular regulations has on the structure and content of the curriculum must be accommodated in the architecture.

Configuration and Deployment Strategies

The influence of various deployment strategies such as the face-to-face, online, satellite facility, laptop university, (host of others) on the structure and content of the curriculum is important. Basic structures like scheduling model, academic calendar configurations, pricing and packaging strategies are essential to establishing a curriculum architecture that meets the needs of the learners to be served.

Business Models Strategies

The influence of the various ways curricula is packaged, marketed, delivered and consumed on the structure and content of the curriculum must be considered in the design of the overall structure. The business interface is as important as the learning interface in the overall design. Strategies such as pricing, content access and control, assessment integrity, learner transcripts, and a host of others must be aligned and accommodated within the business models used.

In Closing

We have mapped within this post the basics of what curriculum architecture includes. Before developing or applying any tools or methods it is important to frame the entire concept of Academic Strategic Enrollment Management. Next we will explore some of the concepts around Learner-Centered approaches to curriculum.

Learner-Centered Curriculum Framework: Part 3

“Its the Curriculum Stupid”: Part 1