APR

APR Review List

Academic Program Review

Academic Program Review (APR) is a function of the Colleges in cooperation with the Office of the Deputy Provost and the University Faculty Senate. It is designed to evaluate the quality, productivity, and role of each academic unit and program in the fulfillment of the University’s mission and strategic priorities.

How can CTAL assist you in the Academic Program Review (APR) process?
We can assist in helping you understand the quality of your educational offerings. To accomplish this, we often assist the faculty in create up-to-date curriculum maps for the APR. Conducting a curriculum mapping exercise allows you to acquire many of the elements required in the APR Self-Study Guidelines

Curriculum mapping is a process that supports Institutional Effectiveness by illustrating the integration among your program, courses, and class assignments. A map is a matrix that documents the connection between outcomes (what students will be able to do or demonstrate as a result of their studies) and where the curriculum addresses those outcomes. You can develop maps for any level at the university: course, program, college/school, or institution. When complete, maps become a simple analytic tool for tracking and communicating curriculum content. Linda Neavel Dickens, Ph.D. The University of Texas at Austin Spring 2011.

Why should your department have an updated curriculum map?

You will have an up-to-date listing of courses offered and a graphic representation about how students achieve your desired competencies through the curriculum as it is offered.  This matrix will inform you about gaps in curriculum as well as redundancies.  In particular, the exercise will allow you to provide:

  • Description of curricula and programs
  • Description of the unit’s role in meeting University curricular needs, such as general education initiatives including first-year experience, study abroad, undergraduate research, service learning and other discovery learning programs, capstone course (s), group requirements, multicultural courses, honors courses, and prerequisites for other programs.
  • Description of requirements for strengthening written and oral communication as well as quantitative reasoning.

How else can CTAL assist you in the APR?

We can help you measure what you do and answer these requirements:

  • Information about student quality, diversity and achievements.
  • Description of the undergraduate student learning outcomes (including clear statement of expected student learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge, skills, and competencies), assessment plans, and utilization of assessment results.
  • Evidence of curricular improvements based on student learning outcomes and changes in the discipline or field of study.

A statement of the purposes, development and planning for graduate education.

  • Description of the graduate curriculum.
  • Description of graduate student learning outcomes (including clear statement of expected student learning outcomes in the areas of knowledge, skills, and competencies), assessment plans and utilization of assessment results.
  • Evidence of curricular improvements based on student learning outcomes and changes in the discipline or field of study.

How we help you create your curriculum maps.

  •  In person, we gather those delivering the courses to participate (ideally this works best in person)
  •  Through faculty input, we create a matrix that shows you what data you have embedded in a course or program.
  •  We ask the faculty then to examine the map to decide when and where to evaluate student learning.

Program, department, college/school, and institutional maps can show where it’s possible to use the same assessment method across multiple courses or programs, which strengthens alignment among different areas.  (Kill two birds with one assessment)

Use maps to provide a review of assessment methods.

  •  Look across course and program maps to identify curriculum redundancies, inconsistencies, or gaps.
  •  Use maps to plan where to introduce, reinforce, and test mastery of certain concepts.
  •  Mapping allows programs, departments, and colleges/schools to streamline curriculum planning.
  •  Regularly review the maps in order to refine as necessary and reflect changes in goals.

Course maps reveal how your outcomes are aligned with the class content. This planning tool for faculty and administrators and is a key part of the curriculum development and assessment planning process.

A course map can help faculty:

  •  Identify existing sources of data at multiple levels.
  •  Ensure that all course outcomes are being assessed.
  •  Identify outcomes that may need additional assessment.
  •  Identify unnecessary work that can be eliminated because it doesn’t support outcomes.
  •  Demonstrate the relevance of a course to the program, department, or institution.

A course map can help administrators:

  •  Assist with curriculum planning.
  •  Identify courses that directly support program outcomes.
  •  Inform decisions related to resource allocation.
  •  Demonstrate the relevance of a course to the college/school or institution.

Here’s how to make the most of program maps.

  1. Define program outcomes and list them in the first column.
  2. Create a column for each course in the program, plus columns for program-level assessments.
  3. Identify which courses and assessments support each of the outcomes.
  4. Identify course-level assessments (exams, assignments, presentations) supporting program outcomes.
  5. Rethink the value of offering courses that do not support any of your program outcomes.
  6. If no course provides a direct measure for a program outcome, rethink the value of the outcome or consider:
    1. adding questions to an existing exam
    2. adding a criterion to an existing assignment rubric
    3. revising an existing course or developing a new one

You can create college/school and institutional curriculum maps in a similar manner with a focus on identifying courses that provide opportunities to directly measure student learning. Imagine how quickly you can you review curriculum content across your courses by using curriculum maps.

You might consider building a map for each core topic; or developing one for lower division courses and another for upper division.

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