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CNM Presidential Fellow Delves into Curriculum Development

September 14, 2016 -- CNM Presidential Fellow Robin Ramsey is spending the 2016-17 academic year focusing on curriculum development.
CNM Presidential Fellow Delves into Curriculum Development

Sep 14, 2016

The School of Adult & General Education (SAGE) instructor is not teaching this year. Instead, she is devoting her time to researching and working with the different schools and disciplines to help them create better curriculum and assessment methods.

“Curriculum development is crucial to CNM because the curriculum of the program coursework determines what students are able to do when they leave class and go into the labor force and the world,” Ramsey said. “Creating relevant, rigorous curriculum standards makes for better prepared citizens, workers and neighbors. And it’s fun.”

Ramsey spent the last seven years as the chair of the College Curriculum Committee, which gave her valuable insights into the many programs at CNM. Since she was named a Presidential Fellow at Convocation on Aug. 26, she has met with faculty from the Optical Dispensing program and the Intensive English program, and she will meet with faculty from the Nursing Assistant program and the HVAC program in the coming weeks. She plans to work with faculty in each of the six schools to create and improve curriculum.

“Curriculum development begins with determining what students should be able to do by the end of a course or a program,” Ramsey said. “Once those Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are identified, the instructor can design lessons and assessments so students can practice and demonstrate their learning.”

Ramsey noted that she wants to focus on Competency Based Education (CBE), but not exclusively in the career technical schools. “I also want to work with faculty to create and improve SLOs and tie those SLOs to both formative and summative assessments,” she said.

Competency Based Education is different from traditional learning because it changes the core requirements for earning credit from the amount of time spent in a classroom to the level of knowledge the student can demonstrate. In competency-based curriculum, a student can move on to the next level of learning or coursework when they have mastered the necessary knowledge and skills, regardless of how long it takes. This approach allows the student to move much faster through the curriculum if they demonstrate the necessary competencies.

Ramsey has worked at CNM since 1992. She attended college at Indiana University and the University of New Mexico, and finished at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education.