Recognizing the need for a clear and efficient system to support curriculum development, the Office of Academic Affairs has invested in CourseLeaf, a software tool that will streamline the course and curriculum proposal process for faculty, review committees, and the administrative staff who support them. In addition, a catalog module will integrate processes for curricular change with those for catalog updates.
On our campus, several hundred new or revised courses are proposed annually, along with as many as two dozen new or significantly changed programs and a host of minor revisions to program curricula. Current course and program proposals follow an often lengthy, multi-step review and approval process that lacks adequate documentation or tracking. In addition, approved changes must be documented and communicated, in part through updates to the catalog, Banner, and the degree audit system. Faculty and staff have long advocated for a more coherent solution that utilizes available technology and supports the entire life-cycle of the process.
The adoption of CourseLeaf responds to this need while moving the university toward the effective use of electronic management systems for efficiency, ease of use, clarity, and archiving. This system is expected to add coherence and transparency to the process; reduce the time required; minimize unnecessary duplication of effort; translate approved changes to the catalog; and allow those involved to focus their time, efforts, and discussion on substantive matters rather than process details.
CourseLeaf was selected, in part, because it can be customized to reflect our own forms, processes and academic policies, but with far better mechanisms for managing and communicating those. The adoption of the CourseLeaf software does not change or create academic policy; it is simply a better tool to manage the process.
The timeline for planning, preparatory work, and implementation is still taking shape. The goal is to have CourseLeaf available for course approvals by fall 2015, and for program/curricula approvals fall 2016, if not sooner. A core team of representatives from numerous academic and administrative units has been assembled to provide advice as we work through all phases of the adoption.
Once the CourseLeaf system is live and ready for use, Academic Affairs will provide links to the system and begin to setup trainings and documentation.
For questions about CourseLeaf, please contact Ron Bramhall (firstname.lastname@example.org).