Scaled packages of curriculum and faculty development help educators imagine, begin, and sustain effective change. (Note: This page describes packages based on The Ecological Footprint. Packages are also available for other Creative Change programs. In each case, the process is similar, but the content is different.)
Level I packages introduce new ways of thinking about curriculum and instruction with the goal of helping educators envision possibilities for instructional change. A typical package includes:
• 1-2 days of on-site professional development
• Handouts and curriculum samples
• Assessment of faculty interest and needs
• Compilation of evaluation outcomes and meeting with leadership to identify next steps
Example: Stateville College wants to explore sustainability through an Ecological Footprint lens as a theme for reframing courses in multiple departments. In a one-day workshop, Creative Change engages faculty in hands-on Ecological Footprint program activities that explore human-environmental interactions. Environment trends, energy use, "source and sinks," and the links between culture and ecology are among the topics explored. Faculty review model instructional materials and pedagogical practices, and evaluate ways the approaches can be integrated into existing courses to meet academic goals. After collecting data on faculty's impressions and interests, Creative Change meets with the instructional leadership team to develop a plan for moving ahead.
Level II packages provide the training, resources and support needed to create "makeovers" for courses and programs. Spread over a year or more, a typical package includes:
• Needs assessment with staff/leadership team
• 5 days of on-site professional development
• 5 days of follow-up support and planning assistance
• Group subscription to Creative Change's on-line Curriculum and Resource Center
• On-line evaluation; compilation and reporting of outcomes
Example: After the Level I program, Stateville and Creative Change map out a year-long initiative focused on reframing selected undergraduate courses around a theme of sustainable human-environmental interactions.
The initiative unfolds in three steps: A) on-site faculty development, B) instructional redesign, C) evaluation and communication.
A) On-site faculty development
Multi-day, on-site workshops use a learning community approach to immerse faculty in hands-on, interdisciplinary explorations of the Ecological Footprint. Activities model effective instructional approaches that faculty can replicate with their students. Approaches include
• Defining and exploring cultural views on needs vs. wants and "more vs. better."
• Examining interactions of "the Commons" (shared cultural knowledge and ecological systems) that support well being.
• Exploring humans-environmental interactions through the lens of everyday needs.
• Experiencing regeneration and overshoot through simulations.
• Identifying personal and policy-level actions to advance sustainability.
• Exploring the links among poverty, population growth and consumption patterns.
• Researching community partners and opportunities for collaboration.
B) Instructional redesign
The work now shifts to redesigning courses and curriculum. Guided by Creative Change, Stateville faculty identify desired instructional goals, evaluate their existing courses, and develop strategies for reshaping them through a lens of sustainable communities. An earth science professor science integrates energy use and impacts on the atmosphere, while a math teacher uses peer-reviewed global footprint data to teach ratios. Each educator develops ways for students to utilize the campus to assess the school's environmental impacts and make suggestions for reducing the collective footprint.
To support course "makeovers," Creative Change provides extensive resources and a guided process for effective instructional redesign. Multimedia resources from the on-line Curriculum and Resource Center support faculty to
• Align instruction and evaluation around interdisciplinary "Big Ideas."
• Reframe syllabi and assignments to make learning more effective.
• Design and use assessments that link learning with community needs.
As faculty continue their work, Creative Change provides on-going support through phone, email, and in-person meetings. Support strategies include course planning, developing assignments, and evaluation.
C) Evaluation and documentation
By the end of the year, the faculty has evaluated their work and has a foundation of syllabi and course approaches to build upon. Creative Change works with the leadership team to document evaluation outcomes and support communication with the Stateville administration and governing board. Due to the success of the initiative, Stateville, Creative Change and other community partners collaborate on funding proposals to expand the work through a Level III program.
Level III programs enable higher education institutions to deepen and maintain instructional change. Programs focus on building an institution's internal capacity to lead and institutionalize effective initiatives. These packages, spread over two or more years, typically include
• Multiple days of on-site faculty development focused on "training the trainer" (preparing staff to lead internal workshops)
• Strategic planning assistance to set and monitor goals.
• Technical support with evaluation, documentation results, and communication materials
• On-going promotion support
• On-going communication and planning with administration/leadership team.