Time is faculty’s greatest foe. There are only 24 hours in a day, but when the semester rolls around, you need 25. In the pandemic, time has become even more valuable. Days skate by, and before you know it, your five-year continuous improvement report is due, and accreditation renewal is looming. The University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing felt all these pressures before Coursetune.
The school operates on a few timelines: the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation renewal every decade, a continuous improvement report every five years, various yearly reports to the institution itself and state boards, and programmatic studies of the school. All that data is tough to wrangle in documents and spreadsheets that live in different locations.
Robin Harris, associate dean for academic affairs, was introduced to Coursetune during a demo on-campus. She knew it was the tool Sinclair needed. “It gives you that 30,000-foot view of our program instead of just what a faculty member’s doing in their course.”
In a person-centric profession like nursing, you need a deep understanding and broad view of your program that Coursetune offers.
Your students will graduate and engage with the healthcare system one patient at a time, so while students are the priority, their future patients are a consideration, too. “When you know that it’s touching the lives of individuals, or yourself, someday, it puts more weight, or emphasis, into the importance of what we do at the school of nursing,” says Dr. Harris.
From the ER to the UM
One of Dr. Harris’s most significant concerns is designing a robust, forward-looking curriculum that centers students while aligning with the school’s vision. With ten years at the university and a previous decade at Lincoln University under her belt, curriculum design is her old friend. It is a necessary and time-consuming process that involves almost every echelon of the university.
Nursing has a different relationship with the process than other disciplines, however. “People are coming with robust practice experience,” Dr. Harris observes. “They don’t always have academic experience.”
Real-world experience is invaluable in the classroom, but pedagogy can become abstract and some academics spend their careers studying how it works.
Coursetune’s patented visual curriculum mapping software visualizes
the entire arc of your course in an easy-to-revise circle graph. On one side, you’ll see your course objectives–the C-layer–and on the other side, your deliverables–bundles of lessons, activities, and assessments.
So instead of ticking time away standardizing table or spreadsheet formats, the busy-work work is done. For faculty who are less experienced in curriculum design, Coursetune is a simple way to align their learning objectives and assessments, identify gaps, and visualize the instructional design of their courses.
“Even newer faculty have that tool to at least illustrate and demonstrate how the pieces are connected,” says Dr. Harris. “It’s great to do that because then we can talk shop.”
Curriculum is a multi-faceted beast. All those moving parts can become overwhelming, especially when campus-wide collaboration is essential to get them moving. Faculty from a professional background who may lack academic experience know this better than anyone. So many curricular elements have abstract connections, and it’s hard to translate those connections to the classroom. Coursetune’s design eases new faculty into curriculum design. All their data is right there in the circle graph. No Excel necessary.
Let faculty have some fun
What was Harris’s guiding philosophy for helping faculty learn Coursetune? Fun. She encouraged faculty to experiment in the app, try out different connections and alignments, dive into learning scales and activity shading.
Coursetune’s design is modular and intuitive, so it’s easy to test out ideas and visualize new opportunties. Coursetune natively nudges towards this experimental mindset because curriculum design does not have to be a slog.
“As you get more comfortable with the functionality, go and play in Coursetune,” says Dr. Harris. “Invite graduate faculty to watch and see what it can do … It really is a jaw dropper.”
Play and curriculum are rare bedfellows. In fact, wouldn’t playing with curriculum waste time? Why not build it piece-by-piece, stick with the data you have, and worry about gaps later? Who has the time to play when there are reams of curricular information to import into Coursetune?
Leave the data import and entry to our data import team. “It makes it much less daunting once you’re like, ‘No, they put it all in there. Now we have to do some sense-making with it,” Dr. Harris says. “That is time back.” Read more about our data importing services here.
Saving time is the name of the game. The more time faculty spend with a clear, visual representation of their courses, the more their instruction deepens, and the less class time is used up answering the dreaded question, “Will this be on the test?” Led by a faculty member with a Coursetune build under their belt, students will know what’s on the test and why it’s there.
Sinclair is still early in the Coursetune integration process, but
the benefits have been immediate. “It was very enlightening, uplifting, to see all the work that courses put in,” says Dr. Harris. “You could look at it and say, ‘Oh my gosh, we really are doing X, Y, and Z. It just made you feel good to see all that hard work and effort.”
Are you ready to save time on curriculum design?
Coursetune provides one place to design, manage, and plan your curriculum. Our unique, patented, visual curriculum maps equip 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.
Set up some time for a demo or discussion. Or click the help button on the lower-left, and chat with us.