Manage curriculum and educational change

AscMe (Academic Structure & Content Management Environment) is a product that focuses on optimizing the process of determining and inquiring the curriculum. 

The process-based and related application support ensures more control over the process, simplifies the process, makes optimum use of the knowledge of the stakeholders in the organization and provides automatic input to the quality assurance cycle regarding the changes and their justification. AscMe provides support with the following subjects:

  • Status overview and progress of the curriculum adoption process
  • User-friendly interface, which makes the program transparent and accessible for all stakeholders
  • Integrated module for changing (with drag & drop) the curriculum
  • Active involvement of teachers through the integrated module for managing the study guide information
  • Module to inquire the schedule, based on the determined curriculum to support the educational logistical scheduling process
  • Module for the funding of the offered study program
  • Module for simulating the curriculum (including funding) to research the effects of changes before implementing them
  • Audit trail of changes and argumentation, including reporting

The emphasis is on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the educational logistics process of determining and inquiring the study program, its components, like module group, module and assessment, and on involving the right stakeholders at the right time in the process. AscMe is developed in close cooperation with 42 as a development and functional management partner.

Define and manage your curriculum management processes

AscMe provides process support in managing the curriculum and related supporting phases and processes. The stages and processes that are caught with MCP are:

  1. > Phase 1a: simulate curriculum
  2. > Phase 1b: determine curriculum
  3. > Phase 2a: customize content and validate curriculum
  4. > Phase 2b: inquire scheduling information
  5. > Phase 3: report for the purpose of quality assurance

Simulating and funding the curriculum

The simulation module offers the educational director the ability to simulate adjustments to an existing curriculum (or a simulation). The effects of the adjustments related to the finances (funding) and lectures are immediately visible. The simulation provides the ability to measure the effects of changes and to debate these effects before they are implemented in the curriculum.

Determining the curriculum

The process begins in the establishing phase. The stakeholders involved in drafting and determining the education program use the AscMe to configure the structure of programs and determine the (financial) impact of changes. The primary role in this cycle is reserved for the educational director, who receives proposals and comments from program and course coordinators, program committees, etc. Adjustments are worked on collectively and the final curriculum is determined (approved) by the educational director.

Customizing content and validating the curriculum

After the curriculum of a study program is determined the ‘content’ phase starts. At this stage there are no more changes taking place in the curriculum, instead course coordinators and teachers are invited to make the necessary changes (such as study guide texts) to the courses. Every change is provided with an argumentation and based on this argumentation and the available comparison between the new and old situation changes are approved or rejected by the appropriate person (role).

Inquiring schedule and planning information

After the curriculum is determined it is possible to start with the inquiry of the schedule information. This process can take place in parallel with changing the study guide texts. The relevant course coordinators and teachers will be prompted to enter the schedule information (availability, structure of the education, contact hours, …). The results of the inquiry are then used in the scheduling process.

Reporting

AscMe offers reports in a number of areas, such as automatically generating the Education and Examination Regulations on the basis of the established curriculum or dynamic reports to report on the status of e.g. program, course or minor features. Reporting on the fully completed cycle, from proposal, via comments to determination of the changes is also available.

Manage the course life-cycle

The planning board
The educational director is responsible for determining the curriculum. By means of a planning board an overview is given of the structure of the study program. The director may modify the structure of the study program via drag-and-drop and provide the proposed alteration with commentary. The other stakeholders can provide feedback on the suggested changes, or in the context of an advisory role emit a positive or negative opinion. Based on this feedback the director may decide to approve or reject the proposed changes, after which the data are processed in the SRS.

Detailed program of study (course) information
In addition to the planning board the educational director has access to the fixed characteristics of the course and may modify these. Again, changes are classified as proposals and feedback will be sought from other stakeholders. Stakeholders and the director always have insight in the changes through the feedback module with its delta viewer.

Insight in curriculum costs
The funding module provides a continuous insight into the cost of courses, specializations, minors, majors and study programs. Changes in the supply or the structure of the curriculum are immediately calculated and compared with the available budget. In addition to the financial account the calculation of the teaching load is also supported on the basis of contact hours.

Simulation of change
The simulation module offers the educational director the ability to simulate adjustments to an existing curriculum (or a simulation). The effects of the adjustments related to the finances (funding) and lectures are immediately visible. The simulation provides the ability to measure the effects of changes and to debate these effects before they are implemented in the curriculum.

Manage the module life-cycle

Module information and approval

The course coordinator has next to the rights and opportunities of the teacher to propose alterations to the study guide information also the role to validate and approve the proposed changes by teachers. Each party has continuous insight in the proposed amendments and the feedback. Approved changes by the course coordinator are presented to the educational director for final approval. After final approval, the data is processed in the SIS.

Inquiring scheduling information
The module coordinator has the responsibility to collect the data necessary for the scheduling process. AscMe supports the coordinator with a dynamic inquiry form that is built on the basis of the information set out in the curriculum. In addition, each teacher has the option to specify his or her personal preference for availability, which both the course coordinator and the scheduler can take into account..

Cooperate, have insight and get direction

All stakeholders are involved in the process and are invited to leave comments and request feedback on the proposed changes. A lecturer is for instance actively involved in the submission of amendments related to the study guide information. Instead of collecting emails and retyping them the teacher can directly type the proposals into AscMe. Each change is accompanied with a reason and other stakeholders have a complete apprehension of the modification and can provide feedback on the alteration. Based on the feedback, the course coordinator may decide to approve or reject the proposed changes, and it can offer the final approval to the educational director. After final approval, the data is processed to the systems requiring the information such as the SRS, study guide and LMS.

Eric Meijer

Marcel Noordzij

Steven Losekoot

Jeroen van Schagen