South Central College Implements

Planning Instruction

How is learning different using a performance based approach? SCC has always believed in quality course design, namely how courses fit into a program, how competencies and scoring guides are connected, and how learning activities tie to competencies. Clear outcomes and performance standards drive the instruction, not textbooks.

The value of this approach--most notably--is less guesswork for instructors and learners. Adult learners especially find value in clearly stated expectations and road maps. Alignment of outcomes, activities, and assessment tasks promote learning—and misalignment of what is taught and assessed can be the cause of students’ lack of learning (Cohen).

Nursing Department Perspective

Faculty members from the SCC Nursing Department, for example, had been using WIDS for syllabus development, and recently transitioned to the new WIDS for developing "big picture" curriculum, such as program design, outcome mapping, and common course outline dissemination. They like how WIDS can be accessed anywhere, even from home, since it is web-based.

Specifically, the Associate Science of Nursing Degree program identified its mission and philosophy statement, target population, accreditation information, external and entry requirements, and related outcomes. At SCC, program information is edited only by Program Developers; faculty members view approved program information.

Institutional Competencies

SCC’s goal to infuse institutional outcomes across the college is supported by WIDS, as individual programs, like nursing, map college outcomes to program outcomes. The nursing division also chose to link Career Cluster™ statements to their program.

Program Competencies

The nursing program outcomes were linked to institutional competencies and external standards. This correlation is managed in WIDS easily with customized libraries.

Program Courses

Finally, SCC "locks down" common course outlines so they appear in the Course List of each program. (The approved courses were uploaded from the previous version of WIDS in their case, but easy data import allows new clients to convert existing data.) SCC also took advantage of seamless data transfer to pull out common course outline data and feed it into their e-course catalog and website; everything is consistent and current. 

Cohen, S. A. (1987). Instructional alignment: Searching for a magic bullet. Educational Researcher, 16(8), 16-19.