Taking a Look Back at an Awesome 2021
By Kristin Powers
January 7, 2022
2021 in review

Cheers! With the enthusiastic giddiness of a playful puppy, we welcome you to 2022! Our new year’s resolutions are the same every year: bring more joy to your workday, reduce the challenges in designing aligned curricula, and make instructional design visible. 

In this year’s review, we’re looking back at the stories and articles we shared. We’re especially highlighting the ones that show that how we achieved our goals.

Instructional Designer voices, Course Archetypes, and Course Unboxings

University of Pittsburgh Course Unboxing

We started 2021 with Colleen M. Culley’s Course Unboxing video. Her sense of curiosity and ability to see opportunity in her course graph epitomizes the Alignment Mindset we encourage. Her exclamations of joy (“This is magic!”) are what we hope to hear from every instructor when they see their course for the first time in Coursetune.

In 2020, Maria Andersen developed a framework for understanding course architecture groupings called Course Archetypes. In the Spring of 2021, we ran a series of five webinars on Course Archetypes with guest speakers representing each of the five archetypes.

The speakers shared how their discipline treated learning objectives, course outcomes, and skills differently. Watch the entire series here to learn how this impacts course design. If you are a current partner, send us a note in chat to get Maria’s complete series of Course Archetypes.

Course archetypes series
A scientific approach to curriculum design

In March, we went “behind the screens” to amplify the voices of instructional designers (and instructional technologists, learning experience designers, etc.). Rhiannon Pollard’s piece emphasized the critical role of care that instructional designers provide in “Support for the Supportive.” Erin Czerwinski shared a model of understanding instructional design through the scientific method in “Think Like a Scientist.”

Introducing the Curricunaut, spooky curriculum stories, and recipes for delicious curriculum design

Curricunaut defined

In July, we held our annual virtual community event, “Coursetune Camp- Journey of the Curricunauts.” At this event, we premiered our new term, “Curricunaut” While it’s fun to say, it also emphasizes the innovative and exploratory work our partners are doing. 

Michele Pistone, a Law Professor from Villanova University, shared her journey in “Becoming a Curricunaut- A Faculty Story.” You can watch all the camp videos in our video library from this and prior years.

Coursetune Camp Particiapnts

As the fall leaves started to turn, we asked, what’s hiding in your curriculum?

There may be mysterious gaps, wretched redundancies, or dark data lurking in your courses. Good thing Coursetune nudges you to create balanced courses with diverse assessments. Coursetune can help you “Mind the Gap” and identify places where you can improve your course design. 

Coursetune opens a window

When the holiday season started, we gleefully used food metaphors to describe how to use Coursetune to go from preparation to creation in “Mise en Place makes Curriculum Design Delicious.” And although we jest often, we take curriculum design seriously, especially when it comes to academic rigor. In December, we shared  how Coursetune can help you “Gain Rigor in Your Curriculum With Visual Instructional Design.”

New Features to meet the challenges of a changing educational landscape

Remix your curriculum

We can all agree that education has seen some upheaval in the last two years. Online learning, seeing a student’s journey in a program, and low enrollments were challenge spaces we focused on in 2021. We released many new features to help you address these areas.

We released a new feature called Variations. With it, you can create multiples of a course to account for different modalities or sections while maintaining the course goals. Mapping sets help you visualize alignment from course goals to program-level outcomes. With the addition of Outcome Scales, you can now label outcome alignment with progressive scales that describe students’ depth with each outcome- from the first introduction to proving mastery. We also introduced  a guide for institutions to “Remix Your Curriculum and Rock Higher-Ed Enrollments.”

Our partners share their stories

We also wove in some client success stories and case studies throughout the year. These stories show how Coursteune collaborated with our partners to meet their objectives or drive needed changes from accreditation preparation to aligning culture around student outcomes. For example:

The curriculum alignment adventure continues

It was a fantastic year for us and we’re so grateful to work with such amazing humans who share our passion for quality education, our Curricunauts! 

There’s a lot to be excited about in 2022. We’ll be hosting quarterly community events to bring our partners together and share creative solutions to common challenges. In December, we gathered to discuss using Coursetune for accreditation and saw some unique examples for wowing the accreditors. 

Coursetune Cowering

Say hello in one of our upcoming Community Coworking Hours, every third Wednesday from 11 am PT/2 pm ET. We’ll be on Zoom, ready to answer questions, provide resources, and help you work in Coursetune. Register once for access every month. 

Continuous improvement for Coursetune will also include new features to improve reporting, mapping, and collaboration. Stay Tuned!

We’re singularly focused on helping our partners succeed through beautiful, visual curriculum design. We’re also striving to be a source for our fellow Curricunauts to find the latest thought leadership on all things instructional design.

We had a fantastic journey in 2021. We’re looking forward to learning and growing more along with our partners in 2022. We hope you’ll continue that adventure with us! 

Are you ready to reach for the stars with us?

We are always looking to recruit new Curricunauts to define new frontiers in instructional 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.

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