Spreadsheets might look rigorous, but the truth is they’re inefficient, hard to maintain, and offer little insight into the course and curriculum data they contain. The problem with using them is two-fold: the documentation piles up quickly and, with all your courses and alignments in a big list, the data becomes static and hard-to-follow instead of clear and actionable. Keeping that data straight should not be faculty’s greatest challenge.
Audrey Perry, DNP, the Curriculum and Course Design Coach at Frontier Nursing University, sees these gaps every semester.
“We had been doing all of our curriculum mappings on spreadsheets. And as you’ve probably heard from many people, this doesn’t work well. They’re pretty inefficient. By the time you finally get them done, you have to go back and update them. That is cumbersome to do.”
Between classroom time, committee meetings, service, and research, faculty and educators don’t have time to worry through data and trace program learning outcomes across dozens of spreadsheets or binders. Coursetune is easier on the eyes. Our patented visual modeling technology arranges course information into two layers: the deliverables (weeks, modules, units) and the course goals (competencies, core objectives). Learning objectives (LO) orbit each module and can be aligned with learning activities. You can categorize learning activities in numerous ways, from tests and formative assessments to videos, presentations, and peer reviews.
Building Bridges with Data
Displayed clearly in our app, redundant data, inexplicable alignment gaps, and underutilized course objectives don’t require excavation. Instead, they’re obvious and easy to rectify.
Andrew Feldstein, Assistant Provost for Teaching Innovation and Learning Technologies, Fort Hays State University, uses Coursetune to see course-level and program-level gaps like this.
“One of the most important pieces of this is because you can now see beyond one specific objective in one specific instance, and you can not only look at how course modules go together, but you can look at how entire courses go together … Normally, it’s difficult to make those connections.”
Seeing these connections builds coherence across your program, providing students not only with engaging activities but program-level objectives those activities meet. Students need to know the reasons they’re learning what they’re learning, and if those reasons encompass your whole program, your students receive an education with a narrative behind it.
However, it takes a village. Collaboration is the name of the curriculum design game, and each faculty member has a place in telling your program’s story.
The Coursetune Campfire
“Being able in a collaborative, synchronous environment to take a moment and get feedback from your colleagues. To have conversations and ‘tune’ your course when you need to. Our faculty have embraced that. They say it’s a painless experience, which we want as a department,” says Audrey Perry.
What if you’re a few steps behind Dr. Perry, however, and answers are harder to find? Or you’re not sure what questions to even ask?
Reporting for Duty
The “Reports” function in Coursetune asks the right questions and offers insight at each stage of the development cycle, and no cycle is perfect. Building courses means getting lost in the LOs and inevitably, the exhausted educator’s mantra becomes, wait, am I missing something? Trust that instinct and run a report.
Reports aggregate your course, program, and division information into data-driven summaries that discern alignments and gaps between your bundles and c-layer, your active or passive activities, or the design of your course and how it meets or falls short of your objectives.
Really, any alignments you can think of have a report waiting to reveal them. Not sure how and when your course is meeting its goals? Run a Bundle to C-layer Report. Concerned about repeated or missing content in your bundles? Run a Course Plan for Bundle Report. Drowning in feedback and unsure what suggestions are done and implemented? Run a Course Tuning Report. You know your course best, and Coursetune’s premade reports might not cut it. In our latest release, we introduced custom reports for just that reason. Name your report, briefly describe its goals, and choose components such as activities, learning design, and modules that meet those goals.
Many courses need a tune-up like this, and with your data consolidated and ready to synthesize, animating your data is easy.
Ready to see what your data’s up to?
Coursetune provides one place to design, manage, and plan your curriculum. Our unique, patented, visual curriculum mapping software equips you with a common platform. One that helps faculty, staff, and leadership focus on the big picture while revealing how learning objectives, competencies, and standards impact student outcomes. Coursetune supplies you with the communication and workflow tools that promote collaboration and unlock innovation across your institution.