Exemplary Curriculum, Teaching & Assessment

Meg Gorzycki, Ed.D.


Exemplary curriculum is characterized by its relevance, high expectations for learning, the way it integrates new knowledge with prior knowledge and synthesizes knowledge from diverse disciplines, fosters independent and critical thinking, and improves students' abilities to articulate their ideas (Fink, 2003). Exemplary curriculum is strictly aligned with professional standards, such as the way a nursing curriculum might incorporate Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) standards (Benner, et. al., 2010). Exemplary curriculum is also highly responsive to students' developmental needs and is thus generous in allocating time for explicit instruction, use of examples, and formative assessments.

Exemplary curriculum fits logically into a sequence of courses in a given program, and explicitly augments prior knowledge. It helps students understand the important difference between general understanding and mastery. Exemplary curriculum is the product of diligent planning which regards students' developmental levels, program needs, and course objectives. It is enhanced by collaboration among colleagues who share a consensus about student expectations and standards of proficiency.

The topics in this segment will address various aspects of course design and lesson planning:


Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., & Day, L. (2010). Educating nurses: A call for a radical transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

California State University. (2015) General Education and Transfer 

Fink, D. (2003). Creating significant learning experiences. An integrated approach to designing college courses. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Weimer, M. (2002). Learner-centered teaching. Five key changes to practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.