Meredith Blache

Student Driven Curriculum

Are any of you using Student Driven Curriculum where the students help build or direct the outcome of the assignment? (an example would be the Adobe Youth Voices projects). 

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Terry Marsh

Posted on 7/30/13 5:33:34 AM Permalink

I work in higher education where the curriculum is guided towards departmental learning objectives. However, I believe that the syllabus should serve only as a road map to achieving such objectives and that students should participate (or at the very least, have some input) in the direction we take to getting where we need to go. I like the idea of student driven/directed curriculum. Some instructors have been teaching the same material in the same manner for years, while disregarding the fact that 21st Century students learn differently and have access to technological resources that that make chalkboards obsolete. Many students need to be actively engaged in the classroom, and what better way to encourage their engagement than to allow them to participate in how the course is taught.

Meredith Blache

Posted on 7/30/13 5:46:20 PM Permalink

I work in both Higher Ed and k-12. In Higher Ed my syllabus is very structured and has little room for student led curriculum. I do find that I can give them a design concept with many freedoms (and rubric) and see many results. In the K12 setting I like to all the class to brainstorm topics for a project then allow teams to decide how to document the project, giving them several tools to chose from. I would love to figure out how to take that same model and bring it into the Higher Ed classroom.

Aaron Roberts

Posted on 7/30/13 1:02:32 AM Permalink

In my classes, we have particular goals for each unit. However, how to execute those goals are up to the students. For instance, the first unit in my Digital Image Design 2 class is centered around 1) idea generation and 2) reviewing Illustrator. So, after doing a review exercise, we get into their actual art project. They must create a drawing, scan it and finalize it in Illustrator. It all takes about 2 weeks.

The student driven part comes when they make their choices. They can make a landscape, a "cute monster," or an illustration of a book passage. To bring those concepts all together, we look at The Monster in my Back Pack (I love occasionally using children's books with teenagers!). So, really the project is extremely open. However, all students are working at idea generation and upping their Illustrator skills. Make sense? Maybe it's one foot into the student-driven arena. I like giving varied prompts so I can look at a better variety of artwork. I get some really cool results!