Based on a review of the research and experience supporting curricular projects at UBC, the following factors are indicators of successful curriculum evaluation and renewal projects:
- The proposal indicates which stage/stages of the curriculum renewal cycle the initiative will address and why. Projects may choose to address one or more stages of the curriculum renewal cycle (i.e. definition, analysis & planning, implementation, program assessment). For each stage that is included, a clear rationale for the inclusion of the stage should be provided.
- The proposal is clear on why the unit is seeking to engage in curriculum evaluation and/or renewal. While it is not necessary to have a clear idea of exactly what the unit will do, it is important to have a clear indicator of why the units seeks to engage in what can be difficult and time-consuming work. If the department has recently engaged in curriculum work upon which the proposed project builds, that should be made clear in the proposal as well.
- The proposal includes a plan for broad engagement both within the department submitting the proposal and with other units that might be impacted by the project. Faculty likely to be impacted by the renewal should be consulted and invited to be engaged and/or provide feedback throughout the process. The proposal should also clearly note whether units outside the proposing department are likely to be impacted and, if so, how they will be involved.
- The proposal includes planned engagement with stakeholders beyond faculty. This generally includes program alumni, but some level of engagement should be sought from other stakeholders such as current students, industry partners, key employers, community partners, graduate programs, preceptors, practicum supervisors, community placements, accreditation bodies, etc. Engagement will ideally be more than confirming decisions made by the department. It should involve both seeking formative feedback from relevant groups and confirmatory engagement.
- The proposal clearly indicates who the main proponents of this work will be and what roles they will serve. Curriculum renewal work requires a commitment from faculty, particularly faculty leaders in tenured or tenure track positions. While advanced graduate students, post docs and sessional lecturers can be extremely valuable contributors to this work, faculty with on-going appointments must be able to commit the time to be actively involved.
- The proposal provides evidence that broad support for this work exists among faculty within the department or indicates how this support will be elicited. It should indicate whether there is willingness or a recognition of the possibility/need for change and how the proponents might address resistance.
- The proposal provides evidence of consultation with Faculty and University units who may be involved in supporting the project. Curricular projects can be complex and benefit from experienced support and an impartial facilitator.
- The time for the project is adequate to achieve the proposed goals. There should be a recognition that curriculum evaluation and renewal is a change process which is often slow when done well. There is an understanding of the importance of building consensus, understanding and shared goals and a commitment to the proposed change.