The Curriculum-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
By Diane Weaver
August 21, 2020
Make Room for Innovation

Carefully curated curriculum makes room for innovation and personalization. Dr. Maria Andersen, CourseTune CEO, published a guest article in depth on this topic last fall for WCET. Read the full article here.

Now in 2020, because of COVID-19, the pressure on us to innovate has never been greater.

But here’s the thing about innovation: you have to make space for it. An already-crowded curriculum does not allow for new ideas or new ways of doing things. 

So how do you make room for innovation in your curriculum? You tidy it up. 

Now we’re not talking about “I’ll-organize-my-files-into-new-folders” tidying up. We’re talking about tidying up the way Marie Kondo, the world’s number one organizing expert, tidies things up. Which means by the time you are done, you have clearly aligned the essentials you need to teach—giving you plenty of room for innovation, personalization, and improvement. 

Here are five steps to Kondo your Curriculum Design by tidying up with CourseTune:

  1. Commit to tidying up your curriculum all in one place. You may not have time for a tidying marathon, but continuously adjusting it in CourseTune as you go makes this work manageable, especially for curriculum teams.
  2. Visualize your curriculum plans to help change the thinking around them. (Yours, your students, and a broader curriculum team.) Being able to see how everything comes together and aligns can help answer essential questions around “What are we learning, when, how and why?” Importantly, it helps focus discussion on what to do next when students are struggling
  3. Ask, “Does it align to the main objectives?” with every assignment, handout, worksheet, unit. If the answer is no or sort of, modify it so that it does.
  4. Shed the curriculum bloat before moving on. If it’s not aligning, discard it. Remember, you’re making room for course innovation, clarity and balance in the structure! It’s good to discard for you and for your learners!
  5. Adopt a process for continuous improvement. Make room for reflection and improvement as you go. There will still be times where a complete review is necessary (hello 2020), but noting items you want to revisit (you can do this in CourseTune!) in the moment and setting aside time between terms to address them, will help lower stress levels overall.

Get ready to innovate when you’ve finished tidying. There’s room now for new ideas, new ways of teaching the curriculum. Make what you visualized at the start of the process a reality.

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