Discovering Curricular Problems

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Curriculum Design and Implementation

Purdue Global University


You are a senior faculty member in a large department at an urban community college. One of the courses you teach is a required second-year course that students take just before they graduate. You have been noticing for some time that the students coming into your courses do not seem as prepared as they once did. Although your course has several prerequisites, students coming to your class often do not have the skills and knowledge you would expect them to have if they had successfully completed the prerequisites. You have spoken a few times to your colleagues who teach the prerequisite courses to see if they have noticed anything, or started doing anything differently, and they assure you that nothing has changed for them. Any number of possible explanations could exist for what you have observed in your class. Think about curricular design, objectives, and assessment. This is a role play, so you should respond in the voice of a senior faculty member. Please address the following questions:

  1. How will you systematically identify the root problem? Do not simply assume that students are lazy or emotionally immature. You are looking to identify the problem with fact, not just opinion. Do not discuss what the problem is, but what you would do to identify the problem.
  2. What are some strategies you might use to resolve the problem?

How would advise them if the course or program in question was offered online instead of face to face.

  1. What data would you use within an online course to identify the problem with factual data?
  2. How would you use the online course data to develop strategies to improve student prerequisite skills?
  3. What online strategies would you implement to assess and remediate the prerequisite skills?


Textbook: Diamond, R. M. (2008). Designing and assessing courses and curricula: A practical guide (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Chapter 13: "Clarifying Instructional Goals and Learning Outcomes"

Chapter 14: "Designing and Implementing Your Assessment Plan: Overview and Assessing a Curriculum"

Chapter 15: "Designing and Implementing Your Assessment Plan: Assessing a Course" Guiding Questions

You may find the following resources in the Diamond text to be helpful for your work in this unit.

B: "Student Learning, Assessment, and Accreditation"

G: "Questions for Evaluating a College Course"

L: "Examples of Outcome Statements"

O: "Curriculum Review: The Questions to Ask"

S: "Teaching Goals Inventory: Self-Scorable Version"

From the Library:

Dezure, D., Lattuca, L., Dey Huggett, K., Smith, N., & Conrad, C. (n.d.). Higher education curriculum - National reports on the undergraduate curriculum, traditional and contemporary perspectives - innovations in the undergraduate curriculum. Retrieved from

Morris, L. (2006). Integrating new ideas in course design, implementation, and evaluation. Innovative Higher Education, 31(2), 81-82.

Forsyth, D. R. (2016). Guiding: Student-centered approaches to teaching. In College teaching: Practical insights from the science of teaching and learning (pp. 71-104). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/14777-004

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Explanation & Answer

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Discovering Curricular Problems




Discovering Curricular Problems
Developing a curriculum is an important requirement for university tutors to ensure that
students get the right concepts taught in class. For purposes of quality assurance, a
comprehensive curriculum development is essential and mandatory necessity for eliminating
problems compromising ability of the organization to attain a unique competitive edge in
academics. There are a number of challenges that are associated with implementing a curriculum
at the university level and other institutions of higher learning. This is always caused by issues of
technological hiccups, failure by organizational stakeholders to embrace transformational
leadership style and situational leadership strategies among other hiccups (Diamond, 2008).
Despite the fact of the challenges, it is paramount knowing and implementing indomitable
strategies for success to be attained when delivering the content to students.
Systematic Identification of Curriculum Problems
Systematic identification of the root cause of failure of students to grasp concepts in class
does require employing a number of strategies. Fo...

I was struggling with this subject, and this helped me a ton!


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