Customer Story: How a Nursing Program Shifted to a Student-Focused Instructional Design Culture
By Kristin Powers
February 22, 2021
georgetown university

Customer Story: Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health StudiesYour nursing department is preparing for an accreditation review. You have a ton of spreadsheets and other curriculum artifacts. The problem? You don’t have real visibility into your curriculum. You can sense some bloat in your courses, but you can’t really see the outcomes and the overlaps.

What’s more, you don’t have a common “language” or tool to review, discuss, and streamline your curriculum. It would help if you had something to break through and change the culture of your department. What do you do?

This problem faced the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies’ Advanced Nursing Practice Department. Debora M. Dole, Ph.D., CNM, FACNM, Associate Professor and, the department’s Vice-Chair, needed a tool to help the department map a curriculum for the accreditors. That’s where the team at Coursetune, Inc. and their flagship product, Coursetune, came in. 

Preparing for an accreditation agency review.

There was always someone on the other endThe Advanced Nursing Practice Department was at a crossroads. They were using multiple spreadsheets, documents, and artifacts to manage their curriculum. The pieces just didn’t fit together. Debora Dole was hunting for a tool that could help with curricular mapping. She needed something that could help with accreditors as well. 

“We had to do a substantive task,” Debora recalls, “we’re getting ready to do a massive accreditation visit from one of our major accreditors.” 

When the team found Coursetune, things clicked. “The interface was visually easy to understand,” Debora says, “The backend and what you could do with it – the ways you could map things – was equally appealing.” 

In fact, the backend is what helped Debora build her faculty team’s interest in Coursetune. “It was an easier sell to faculty that we were not asking them to create yet another complex spreadsheet,” she says.

The crucial piece, however, was the partnership between the Coursetune team and Debora and her team. “When I was playing and building, and trying to figure it out, there was always somebody on the other end of the chat literally ready to answer your questions, [or] jump on a Zoom call,” she says.

Debora’s team and her Coursetune partners worked together to present the data from Coursetune in the way the accreditation agency needed to see it. As Debora points out, “[Coursetune has] so many more report options now that you can actually produce a report, print it off, turn it into a PDF, or whatever they need to do. It’s all there for them to review.”

Changing the curriculum design culture and adopting a student outcome focus.

engaged in a way I hadn't seen beforeBesides helping with accreditation reviews, Debora has also noticed a cultural change within the department’s culture. The Advanced Nursing Practice Department uses a team-based course build approach to design its curriculum. “The team was engaged in the building process in a way that I hadn’t seen before,” Debora says, “I really feel like it was because they were so involved with Coursetune.”

Coursetune provided Debora’s team with a means to “have in-depth discussions about what do we really need in this course.” The team compared a new version of a course to a previous version. Debora points out that the old version was “heavy with assignments and content that it really didn’t need.” 

By building an updated version of the course in Coursetune, the team streamlined the curriculum. They shifted the entire focus of curriculum delivery from teacher-focused to student-outcome-focused. 

How Coursetune made it work.

everything fits togetherCoursetune’s beautiful visual interface was the first thing that attracted Debora to the tool. “I love being able to really look at how your curriculum fits together,” Debora says. The interface is essential to Debora because, as Vice-Chair, she often must look at things from a “10,000-foot view.” 

The flexibility of the tool is helping faculty incorporate it into their course coordinator meetings. It’s becoming the go-to tool for mapping curriculum. It’s starting to catch on across the department. After piloting Coursetune in their advanced practice programs, Debora is beginning to talk with professional nursing practice. She’s starting to show them how they can use it with their undergraduate curricular development.

Again, the key to it all is that Coursetune has been more than a software implementation for the Advanced Nursing Practice Department. The partnership with the Coursetune team has been a difference-maker. It goes beyond the Coursetune team’s availability to work through the “nuts and bolts.” It’s the attention to showing “how” to use Coursetune and get the most out of it. That partnership laid the foundation for success. 

“We’re beginning to use Coursetune the way I envisioned it,” Debora says, “Which was, here’s your tool. Here’s your curriculum. If you’re going to update an assignment, you want to make sure that you’re mapping it across three or four specialty courses. That you are scaffolding it the right way. You’re evaluating It the right way. That’s beginning to happen now.”

Ready to use Coursetune for your culture shift?

Coursetune delivers one place to design, manage, and plan your curriculum. Our unique visual curriculum maps equip you with a common platform to help faculty, staff, and leadership focus on the big picture while revealing how learning objectives, competencies, and accreditation criteria impact student outcomes. Coursetune supplies you with the communication and workflow tools that promote collaboration and unlock innovation across your institution. 

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