The Differences Between Block Curriculum and Traditional Curriculum Delivery

Higher education is the time when many students decide on their career paths and work towards mastery in their particular fields. Ideally, doing so results in a degree and the ability to find employment doing what they love. While the traditional college experience requires that students take multiple classes during a quarter or semester, some universities are choosing to implement a block curriculum method in order to promote true mastery of subjects and reinforce the learning that takes place during a course.

Traditional Curriculum Delivery

On a traditional university track, students sign up for as many credits as possible in order to get closer to graduation. This often results in a student having four to five classes at a time that meet multiple times throughout the week. Rather than focusing on really learning and understanding the topics presented, the focus is instead on study, memorization, and passing exams. Instructors of traditional curriculum courses often use lecture as their primary mode of education, which is passive for students and often centered on the faculty member delivering the lecture.

Courses that are delivered in a traditional setting often have to follow ridged time restraints, which does not allow students to interact or implement the things they are learning in real-life applications.

Block Curriculum Delivery

In a block system, students take one class at a time in order to fully focus on the content area and gain a complete understanding before moving on to the next course. Students are able to work alongside peers and instructors for several hours each day, utilizing many different learning methods, including:

• Class presentations
• Group projects
• Role playing
• Simulations
• Discussions

These delivery methods promote full participation of each student, helping to increase motivation and interest. The block system allows students to graduate in roughly the same time frame as traditional colleges, but with a deeper understanding in their area of learning. While there are benefits for both types of curriculum delivery, the block system mimics the real world where students will be expected to perform well in their respective careers.