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Curriculum Development

Our Philosophy 

At TLI, we believe that intentional, systematic curriculum development, grounded in evidence-based teaching practices, can create a learner-centered classroom where all students have the opportunity to thrive.   

The phrase “curriculum development” is often used to refer to various levels of instruction: an individual course, a set of courses, or entire programs. Whether working with a 1-hour first-year seminar or a department’s entire course sequence, curriculum development should always encompass the entire learning process.  

Thus, TLI begins the curriculum development process with the 3 foundational principles of backwards design:   

  1. What do we need students to know or be able to do?   
  2. How will students show that they have learned what they need to know or be able to do?   
  3. How can we use instructional techniques to help students learn what they need to know or be able to do? (Wiggins & McTighe, 1998)  

An ideal curriculum carefully addresses each of these 3 questions and insists on the inextricable interrelatedness of them.    

At the same time, TLI recognizes that curriculum development is multifaceted, and the ideal process can be complicated or require trade-offs with the realities of individual units, departments, and programs.  

Our role at TLI is to help faculty navigate these realities, while developing a curriculum grounded in best practices to support the mission and vision of the department. As such, we’ve created the following resources and programs below to support faculty and departmental needs.

The Curriculum Refresh Collaborative The Curriculum Development Guide


If you’re not sure where to start, can’t find what you need, or just want to discuss your ideas with a member of our team, please submit a Request for Service, and we’ll set up a time for a consultation. 


References: Wiggins, G. & McTighe J. (1998). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.