Title

'In Search of Curricular Coherence'

December 4, 2018
 
 

“How can faculty work together to create a more coherent and intentional curriculum whose goals, pathways and outcomes are clear to students and other constituencies with a stake in the future of higher education?” With that question, the Teagle Foundation began its Curricular Coherence initiative in 2014. A new report based on four early grants in that initiative, involving 12 institutions, found -- among other things -- that “shared recognition of the existence of a problem and agreement on its nature constituted a crucial first step in the reform process.”

Academic reform is a “learning process for faculty,” Teagle also found. Starting with willing faculty members and then expanding the group of participants is advised. Other tips are “identify and address structural barriers,” “collaboration is difficult work” and “many paths can lead to the same outcome.” Strategies adopted by institutions were curriculum redesign, of general education and the major, along with curriculum mapping, identifying clusters of related courses around an issue or topic, using pedagogy -- especially high-impact practices -- to drive greater coherence in the curriculum, and using advising to help students "see connections within the curriculum and among various learning opportunities."

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