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Objective 2:  Responsive Curricula
All partner campuses will design and implement complete, four-year responsive curricula that reflect the core competencies of the Foundation Coalition.

As part of our strategic planning exercise, we established seven core competencies that are reflected in the design and implementation of responsive curricula:

  • Curriculum Integration
  • Cooperative and Active Learning
  • Technology-enabled Learning
  • Assessment-driven Continuous Improvement
  • Recruitment, Retention, and Graduation of Women and Underrepresented Ethnic Minorities
  • Teamwork and Collaboration
  • Management of Change

By "responsive" we mean that the curricula are capable of identifying flaws/shortcomings within their current state, as well as providing mechanisms for the resolution of these inadequacies. Curricula are no longer sets of static courses but rather are dynamic entities that change as demanded by the needs of their stakeholders. Each institution in the Foundation Coalition (FC) will design and implement the processes by which this will occur on their campus. These processes will be in place by the end of Year 10 on all campuses.

Objectives One and Two, Inclusive Learning Communities and Responsive Curricula, both represent a shift in emphasis away from the development of individual curriculum modules toward the overall operating environment in which these modules are utilized. They work in two distinct, yet complementary, manners. Objective 1, the building of inclusive learning communities, focuses on ensuring that the benefits of these modules are accessible to all participants and that these modules promote a sense of cohesiveness and community among the participants. Objective 2, the building of responsive curricula, focuses on the adaptability of these modules over time.

Before developing responsive curricula, a number of process steps must be taken.

  • First, the stakeholders and their needs must be identified.
  • Second, decisions must be made regarding how feedback from these stakeholders will be obtained and how these data will be utilized in augmenting the curriculum.
  • Third, general guidelines for the flexibility/adaptability of the curriculum must be established. While the curriculum must be capable of reacting to stakeholder needs, it must do so in a systematic manner.
  • Finally, formal ties must be made with the assessment/evaluation process associated with the curriculum. Faculty should feel a sense of ownership for the assessment process and make sure that desired curricular changes are occurring as a direct result of documented issues and concerns.

In addition to the Coalition-wide deliverable mentioned above, individual campuses will be focusing on specific activities related to the development of responsive curricula during Years 6 through 10. Some planned focus areas include the following.

  • University of Alabama and Texas A&M University Kingsville will explore the relationship between responsive curricula and various aspects of technology, such as how to best incorporate active and cooperative learning into a distance education environment and how the FC thrusts impact and are impacted by the "virtual classroom."
  • Texas A&M University will focus on the responsiveness of curricula with respect to relatively large groups of students that do not fit into known cohort groups and on the responsiveness of the upper division to industry needs.
  • Arizona State University will benchmark existing curricula and develop case studies on how to establish responsive curricula.
  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth will explore the relationship between inclusive learning communities and a responsive curriculum, with a special emphasis on improving ways to work with less-prepared students.
  • University of Wisconsin will work with the LEAD center in the development and implementation of assessment and evaluation mechanisms related to responsive curricula.
Last updated: October 24, 1998.

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