Intentional Course and Program Design with Coursetune

Over one weekend, the Nursing faculty and leadership at Millersville University were able to map all MSN and FNP Core courses to their program student learning outcomes, all using Coursetune, an Academic Partnerships tool available for all partners. This intentional mapping of learning outcomes not only meets expanded accreditation standards but also contributes to reducing student melt, the phenomenon of students leaving programs early.

[Before Coursetune], we struggled with pulling all the pieces of mapping together. Just as we decided to embark on a full mapping process, we decided to switch our accreditation from CCNE to CNEA. Our only recommendation from our CNEA accreditation review was to demonstrate a stronger relationship between our program outcomes, program standards, courses, etc. We had our first introduction to CourseTune the week after our CNEA site visit, and the faculty were immediately “sold” on the concept. It is exactly what we need to address our identified areas for improvement!

What is Coursetune?

Coursetune is a unique software solution for the design, visualization, and documentation of aligned curriculum and courses. Using Coursetune, program leaders, instructional designers, and faculty can architect and visualize complex learning maps that clearly document the alignment between curriculum and assessment on the one hand and learning outcomes, standards, and goals on the other. With these data, Coursetune provides seamless reporting in support of quality reviews, redesign, and accreditation reviews. This, in turn, helps programs stay ahead of potential student melt by ensuring that their curriculum is optimally designed and delivered.

Wow! As a nurse with an MSN and PhD in Nursing Education, curriculum mapping, planning, and development are what I love. I find the program very intuitive and easy to use. The heat mapping, etc have allowed us to really see how we are allocating our time and effort!

Tackling Expanded Accreditation Standards

Nursing programs across the country are wrestling with mapping their courses to the expanded accreditation standards of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). Originally requiring mapping to nine general essentials, the new AACN standards now span 10 domains (each for entry and advanced level), along with competencies and sub-competencies, a significant expansion to mapping requirements.

Millersville University, facing these same challenges, turned to Coursetune to streamline and manage their course and program mapping. The intuitive interface and robust reporting capabilities of Coursetune allowed them to easily align their courses with the new AACN standards.

Leveraging Coursetune Reports for Curriculum Insights and Improvement

Coursetune enables program leaders to report on any aspect of their curriculum plan, from assessment alignment to coverage gaps. This helps in identifying areas of potential student melt early on and taking preventive measures.

The most popular report for AP partners is the Program Mapping Report, an elegant and in-depth exploration of how a collection of courses meets an outcome set, such as program outcomes or accreditation standards. Program leaders decide how they want their data visualized, selecting from visuals like:

  • Presence or Absence of Mapping
  • Depth of Coverage
  • Depth of Coverage per Outcome
  • Coverage per Unit
Coursetune heat map

We knew we had a great deal of work to get done and not enough time to do it in small increments. To be the most efficient, we decided to hold a weekend faculty retreat (Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon). I think one of the most exciting things to come out of the weekend was the opportunity to use the Coursetune process to help our clinical faculty (and others with a nursing education focus) to better understand curricular connections.

The Depth of Coverage, for example, enables leaders to have a visual gap analysis in a heat map table, with darker colors representing higher frequencies of coverage. At a glance, program leaders can determine if a given outcome is sufficiently covered, or if they want to make changes to the curriculum. This heat map continues to be the first goal of any Coursetune implementation with AP partners.

How can I start using Coursetune for my programs?

Coursetune is available to all AP programs. Connect with your Managing Director or Subject Matter Expert to begin the process! By being intentional about your curriculum design and using tools like Coursetune to map learning outcomes to curriculum and assessment, you can improve the educational experience for your students, ensure accreditation compliance, and potentially reduce student melt in your programs.

With Coursetune, you’re not just implementing a tool – you’re embracing a methodology that puts student success and retention at the forefront of program design. Coursetune’s sophisticated mapping and visualization capabilities allow you to see how every element of your program contributes to the overall learning outcomes and standards. This, in turn, allows you to make data-driven decisions about where to bolster your program to reduce student melt and increase success.

It’s an incredible tool – having this tool prior to our accreditation would have helped us so much!

Whether you’re facing the challenge of new accreditation standards like Millersville University, or you’re simply looking to improve student retention and success, Coursetune provides a robust, intuitive solution for your course and program mapping needs. Connect with your Managing Director or Subject Matter Expert today to start your journey with Coursetune, and bring the power of intentional design to your programs.