The first year curriculum is critical to our students in a number of ways. First, it needs to provide a broad introduction to the discipline of Architecture. The students need to understand what Architecture is and understand how they could apply their architectural education to a professional career. Next, our first year curriculum must provide the students with the knowledge, tools, and skills that are necessary to continue forward in the degree program. These include discipline specific skills as well as General Education skills. Finally, the first year curriculum must develop a dedication to Life Long Learning, manifested through intellectual curiosity and disciplined study.
As part of our departmental development of the curriculum to meet these requirements, the First Year Curriculum Sub-Committee is developing a knowledge organization for each course. Below are examples from ARCH 1130 and ARCH 1230. These diagrams will be integrated into syllabi as part of the general description and outline of the course.
Knowledge Organization diagrams have been shown to improve student learning (Ambrose, et al., 2010). These diagrams show the major topics of the course, their relationships and links, and the flow of the topics throughout the semester. They also indicate a hierarchy between topics, with clearly distinguished major topics branching into minor topics. The diagram provides an important visualization to help the students “see” how the course presents the topics, but also how these topics are organized within the discipline. It helps them keep their new knowledge in context and clearly organized. The diagrams are equally useful to faculty, clarifying the structure and topical flow of the course.
Sub-Committee Email Correspondance: