Prudentia™ is a web-based curriculum management system that imbues logic and order to the complex mix of curriculum data. It provides transparency not only to the multiple educators who teach into a single course, but also to students who are generally very keen to see the big picture of their degree. The system is underpinned by a philosophy of Outcomes Based Education (OBE), and as such, uniquely shows the relationships between different levels of curriculum information, including constructive alignment.
Prudentia originally began in the School of Medicine, Fremantle and the web-based mapping tool developed for the MBBS (now MD) curriculum continues to provide a benchmark for a new iteration of the tool known as the “generic shell”. The SoMF version of Prudentia is complex and highly specific to the clinical and regulatory needs of the Medicine program. The “generic shell” has been the subject of an ongoing project to create a broadly applicable repository so that disciplines outside Medicine can enjoy its benefits. To date, seven Schools/Areas across Notre Dame have joined the “generic shell” project, offering “real time” data to test the capabilities of Prudentia and provide feedback to improve the generic shell. The aim is to have a range of curricula available to students through Prudentia by 2019, beginning in mid-2018 with the “go live” of the GCLTHE program as the first program to be live in the generic shell format.
The Prudentia Repository:
The Prudentia repository is how the curriculum data in Prudentia is arranged, working from the broadest to the most granular outcomes. Each level is mapped to the one directly below such that Levels 5 and below confirm constructive alignment. An additional lowest level, namely Assessment, is under consideration and updates will be available soon as to progress on including this area in the repository and implications for future mapping.
Curriculum in Prudentia:
Once curriculum data is entered and mapped in Prudentia, it is possible to interrogate alignment at any level of relationship, to have conversations about curriculum revision, refinement and design, to approve informed changes, and to understand the context of what is being taught and why. Making Prudentia “live” to staff and students reduces the silo effect common to individual courses, and extends “whole program” ownership of the curriculum to all stakeholders. It also serves to fulfil HESF (2015) requirements that make transparency of curriculum to students mandatory (s. 3), and promotes a sector-wide acknowledgement of the need to involve students in the development of learning programs. The incremental refinement of curricular elements as one drills down into the repository enables educators and learners alike to understand overarching requirements, to plan teaching and learning, and even to create summaries of individual sessions for the benefit of reporting, mentoring sessional staff, or preparation. The most important and unique aspect of Prudentia is its ability to demonstrate relationships between one aspect of learning and others, and to show where those links are potentially broken. Such insight promotes dialogue about curriculum design and delivery, and contributes to robust governance by providing a single source of truth for an entire program.
The user-friendly interface of Prudentia makes it easy to navigate and demonstrates clear mapped relationships between student learning outcomes across all levels from the most broad (graduate standards) to the most granular (session learning outcomes), and each level in between. The highlighted box in any view indicates the starting outcome from which the mapping relationship on screen is being shown. Users can click through the curriculum data, noting hierarchies, relationships, gaps or overlaps as well as assessing design decisions, discussing potential review items, or ensuring that assessment items align to resourcing and course outcomes. Curriculum parcel mapping allows a cluster of courses to be interrogated together. The course outcome ‘word cloud’ offers a simple starting point for thinking through the overt content of course outcomes and initiating discussions, especially with stakeholders new to the intricacies of curriculum design. The following video demonstrates the ease with which Prudentia can be accessed, and the transparency of mapped curriculum information within Prudentia compared to other forms of document management.
Prudentia is an evolving tool and as such its capabilities are still expanding. As feedback is received by the development team, the capabilities of Prudentia are reconsidered. Prudentia is a unique mapping tool and the only known curriculum repository internationally that maps curriculum according to outcomes-based education principles.
Offered by appointment to any interested Notre Dame staff. Contact Professor Carole Steketee (Director, LTO), Dr Ainslie Robinson (Chair, Prudentia Advisory Group), or Nick Arnold (Prudentia Software Engineer) for more details.
To provide a streamlined process and guidelines for those interested in using Prudentia, the Prudentia Advisory Group (PAG) is currently developing a governance Policy, which is scheduled to be available by 2018. As part of this resource, a template for curriculum governance at the School/Area level will also be available.
As of 2018, quarterly reports are being tabled to the Learning and Teaching Committee (LTC), the Prudentia Advisory Group (PAG) and Head of Campus, Fremantle. Links to the reports are located below and any queries about Prudentia can be forwarded to the PAG via Dr Ainslie Robinson (Chair, PAG).