ERGP project - online resources: Curriculum Design

This section of the website contains links to articles and resources that consider curriculum design in higher education.  Some of the resources consider curriculum in its broadest sense and some resources may be helpful as tools to help design curriculum at the module or unit level.  Short descriptions are included to indicate the focus of the resource. 

 

eBook:

O’Neill, G. (2015). Curriculum Design in Higher Education: Theory to Practice, Dublin: UCD Teaching & Learning. ISBN 9781905254989

http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/UCDTLP0068.pdf. Also available from UCD Research repository at: http://researchrepository.ucd.ie/handle/10197/7137

The purpose of this eBook was to collate and share many of the resources that Geraldine had written in the last few years on programme design, in particular the practical issues in planning and implementing a programme (course) design. There has been a wealth of web and literature resources on module (unit) design, but Geraldine had found a gap in the more complex task of programme design and how theory and models of curriculum apply in practice. The materials in this eBook have been drawn from her experiences in Ireland as Lecturer, Head of School and Educational Developer.

 

Journal Articles

The curriculum? That’s just a unit outline, isn’t it?June 2006, Studies in Higher  Education 31(3):269-284

DOI: 10.1080/03075070600680521

Sharon P. Fraser & Agnes M. Bosanquet

Macquarie University , Australia

The term curriculum is familiar in school education, but more ambiguous in its usage in a higher education context. Although it is frequently used in academic staff discussions, policy and planning documents, and to describe advisory bodies, its usage is inconsistent and multifarious. This article reports a phenomenographic study of the ways in which academics conceive of the curriculum in higher education. It examines the variation in perceptions of curriculum, which is critiqued through the work of school curriculum theorists, who utilise Habermas’s theory of knowledge‐constitutive interests. The intention of this article is to explore the epistemologies and assumptions that underpin these conceptions, in order to promote an inclusive and shared vocabulary as a basis for curriculum development.

Geraldine O’Neill, Roisin Donnelly & Marian Fitzmaurice (2014) Supporting programme teams to develop sequencing in higher education curricula, International Journal for Academic Development, 19:4, 268-280, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2013.867266

Curriculum sequencing is central to promoting a coherent student experience. Yet in the higher education context, the concept and practice of curriculum sequencing have not been fully explored. This research examined how seven programme teams approached the issue of sequencing across two Irish higher education institutions. A phenomenological approach was used to explore actions, challenges, and enhancers to sequencing. The three key themes emerging were: developing a collective philosophy; communicating the sequencing clearly; and, developing strong building blocks. Ideas are presented on how academic developers can work with academic staff to improve sequencing in their curricula.

Barnett & Coate (2005), Engaging the Curriculum in Higher EducationBritish Journal of Educational Studies, Volume 56, Issue 2, Pages 234-235

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-8527.2008.00402_3.x

In this book Barnett and Coate argue that, despite the expansion of higher education and a growth of research and policy on learning and teaching, there is a ‘void’ (p. 150) when it comes to discussion, reflection and research on the concept of curriculum. Through the first and second parts of the book (Chapters 1–8), they examine a number of areas in which this is evident, including policy documents, research projects, existing literature and their own empirical research on curriculum in different settings. In the third part of the book, a proposal is set forward for how to develop a more reflective approach and to raise ‘awkward questions’ (p. 19) about curriculum.

This is not a ‘how to’ book with guidelines on introducing a successful curriculum, but an exploration of fundamental questions such as the nature, value and aims of higher education. An underlying line of discussion here is how learners are perceived within the curriculum and how this is being (re)shaped by current policy discourse on employability and skills. It is maintained that curriculum needs to respond to the rapid social and economic changes taking place, and the fluid nature of knowledge in an ‘age of uncertainty’ (p. 41). Nevertheless, the authors assert that rather than having an open discussion of curriculum and the nature of HE in such times, significant change is taking place ‘by stealth’ (p. 163). For example, they reflect on the increased drive for learning that translates into work‐related skills, growing emphasis on the outcomes of learning and the technical activity of ‘filling’ timetables and minds, rather than deeper reflection on the wider picture of what HE aims to achieve or promote (p. 3). The overall aim of the book is thus to encourage further reflection and to offer principles that can be applied in the face of such significant challenges.

Scientific Research: An Academic Publisher

Co-Creating a Blended Learning Curriculum in Transition to Higher Education: A Student Viewpoint

https://www.scirp.org/(S(351jmbntvnsjt1aadkposzje))/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=67501

 

ABSTRACT

Involving students in the design and development of their curriculum is well established in Higher Education but comes with challenges and concerns for both the staff and students. This is not a simple concept and understanding more about the experiences of the student co-creators supports others in developing this aspect of curriculum design. This small scale project uses the individual and collective voices of five second year students who worked with one programme team to co-create a transition module to support new learners entering university. The study explores the co-creation experience and the student’s response to the feedback their co-created curriculum received when it was run for the first time. The study was designed to consider if co-creation of a module was beneficial to the students involved in its co-creation. The findings explored issues in relation to the experience, the actual design of the materials and how this could be developed. The students enjoyed the co-creation, felt appreciated and listened to and felt that this was a positive learning experience. They realised how difficult it is to please everybody and gained a much better appreciation of building learning experiences for others to use. The research highlights the fact that with regards to curriculum development within universities that students should be involved in co-creation as they have an understanding of the requirements of learning form a student perspective. Whilst student satisfaction cannot be necessarily be measured directly, the anecdotal comments from students involved in this project as they graduate are the values they place on the opportunities afforded to them

 

 

 

Online Resources

Centre for Teaching, Bloom’s Taxonomy

https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/

 In 1956, Benjamin Bloom with collaborators Max Englehart, Edward Furst, Walter Hill, and David Krathwohl published a framework for categorizing educational goals: Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Familiarly known as Bloom’s Taxonomy, this framework has been applied by generations of K-12 teachers and college instructors in their teaching.

The framework elaborated by Bloom and his collaborators consisted of six major categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. The categories after Knowledge were presented as “skills and abilities,” with the understanding that knowledge was the necessary precondition for putting these skills and abilities into practice.

While each category contained subcategories, all lying along a continuum from simple to complex and concrete to abstract, the taxonomy is popularly remembered according to the six main categories.

The authors of the revised taxonomy suggest a multi-layered answer to this question, to which the author of this teaching guide has added some clarifying points.

John Biggs, Constructive Alignment

http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/academic/constructive-alignment/

 

This is a basic introduction to Constructive alignment which is an example of outcomes-based education (OBE). John Biggs version of OBE, constructive alignment, is concerned only with improving teaching and learning and as such has been successfully implemented in universities all over the world.

 

 University of Washington: Centre for Teaching and Learning, Course and syllabus design

http://www.washington.edu/teaching/teaching-resources/preparing-to-teach/designing-your-course-and-syllabus/

This online resource suggests that although courses may vary in size, subject matter or level, a systematic process will help you plan and structure your course and syllabus to effectively reach desired instructional goals.  This webpage provides information that will guide you from the initial design phases of your course to polishing and distributing your syllabus. It includes:

 

University of Oklahoma: Integrated Course Design (L. Dee Fink)

http://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/Idea_Paper_42.pdf

 

This paper suggests an integrated course design requires a significant investment in time, energy, and thought. But this expenditure has great potential for exerting a potent effect on student acquisition of “significant” (rather than trivial) learning. Therefore, faculty members committed to improving their ability to facilitate significant learning are encouraged to adopt the processes described in this paper. There may be no “faculty development” activity with more potential and power for improving significant learning.

 

 

UACES, How to design effective teaching modules

https://www.uaces.org/resources/how-to-design-effective-teaching-modules

 

Amy Burge shares three key things to think about when designing successful modules and courses.

1. Be clear about the module purposes and aspirations for student participants and communicate these to students.

2. Make sure your module is constructively aligned (the learner actively constructs their own understanding and all teaching and assessment is aligned with the intended outcomes).

 

3. Considering the course in context (department, institution, sector).

 

Designing your own modules is a hugely rewarding experience and it is suggested that these three key tips will be helpful for your future planning

 

 

Designing learning and assessment in a digital age

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/full-guide/designing-learning-and-assessment-in-a-digital-age

Learning occurs as the result of interaction between learners and their environment. When the learning has a planned outcome, it becomes a purposeful activity that requires the artistry and skill of a learning designer.

 

In this guide, the authors focus on elements of learning and assessment design that research tells us are significant in both the higher and further education and skills sectors.

 

UCD Teaching and Learning

Module Design and Enhancement

https://www.ucd.ie/teaching/resources/moduledesignenhancement/

 These pages will help you design or redesign modules so that your students are encouraged to engage in the curriculum and develop deep learning, critical thinking and research skills. In a research-intensive university such as UCD, it is important to have strong and varied links between research and teaching in ways that promote student research and enquiry.

UCD Teaching and Learning

Planning & Structuring a Teaching Session

https://www.ucd.ie/teaching/resources/teachingtoolkit/planningstructuringateachingsession/

The resource Planning a Teaching Session provides a brief introduction to terms often used when discussing lecture design, such as:

  • outcomes-based curriculum
  • constructive alignment
  • learning outcomes
  • teaching session plans
  • learning taxonomies

Printable resources and templates are available to download and adapt for your own use.

 

The Integrated Curriculum Design Framework (ICDF), Ulster University

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/cherp/academic-development/icdf

The Integrated Curriculum Design Framework (ICDF) is an overarching framework that consists of a seven-stage approach to curriculum design, guiding programme teams to pro-actively design, develop and deliver a holistic and innovative curriculum for our learners, industry and economy.  It has been developed from a sound pedagogical evidence-base and encompasses the three dimensions of curriculum design of Knowing, Doing and Being (Barnett and Coate, 2005).

What does the student need to know?

What does the student need to be able to do?

What does the student need to be?

 

Online Resources 

Newcastle University: Designing, learning, developing the curriculum

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/ltds/resources/curriculum/

 

Curriculum Design & Development by Prof. S.Swaminatha Pillai

http://www.unom.ac.in/asc/Pdf/CURRICULUM%20DESIGN%20AND%20DEVELOPMENT-1.pdf

 

University of Washington: Centre for Teaching and Learning, Course and syllabus design

http://www.washington.edu/teaching/teaching-resources/preparing-to-teach/designing-your-course-and-syllabus/

 

University of Oklahoma: Integrated Course Design (L. Dee Fink)

http://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/Idea_Paper_42.pdf

 

UACES, How to design effective teaching modules

https://www.uaces.org/resources/how-to-design-effective-teaching-modules

 

John Biggs, Constructive Alignment

http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/academic/constructive-alignment/

 

Centre for Teaching, Bloom’s Taxonomy

https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/blooms-taxonomy/

 

Lancaster University: Module Design

https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/current-staff/disability/inclusive-teaching/information-for-teaching-staff/module-design/

 

University of Manchester: Centre for Excellence in Enquiry-based Learning

http://www.ceebl.manchester.ac.uk/

 

University of Plymouth: 7 Steps to: Embedding Sustainability into Student Learning

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/3/3409/595997_261396_7_Steps_to_Embedding_Sustainability_into_Student_Learning_1214_BOLD.pdf

 

University of Plymouth: 7 Steps to: Inclusive Teaching and Learning

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/6/6792/RFJ21944_7_steps_to-_Inclusive_Teaching_and_learning_616_LH_web.pdf

 

University of Plymouth: 7 Steps to: Inclusive Assessment

https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/2/2401/7_Steps_to_Inclusive_Assessment.pdf

 

University College Dublin: Module Design and Enhancement Overview

https://www.ucd.ie/teaching/resources/moduledesignenhancement/

 

Jisc, Modules

https://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/designing-learning-and-assessment-in-a-digital-age/modules

 

Publications

 

Journal Articles

 

Useful article to conceptualise curriculum

The curriculum? That’s just a unit outline, isn’t it?June 2006

Studies in Higher Education 31(3):269-284

DOI: 10.1080/03075070600680521

Sharon P. Fraser & Agnes M. Bosanquet

Macquarie University , Australia


Supporting programme teams to develop sequencing in higher education curricula

Geraldine O’Neill, Roisin Donnelly & Marian Fitzmaurice (2014) Supporting programme teams to develop sequencing in higher education curricula, International Journal for Academic Development, 19:4, 268-280, DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2013.867266

 

 

 

ebook

Curriculum Design in Higher Education: Theory to Practice

Geraldine O’Neill, UCD, Dublin

 

British Journal of Educational Studies, Volume 56, Issue 2, Pages 234-235

Barnett & Coate (2005), Engaging the Curriculum in Higher Education

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-8527.2008.00402_3.x

 

 

Scientific Research: An Academic Publisher

Co-Creating a Blended Learning Curriculum in Transition to Higher Education: A Student Viewpoint

https://www.scirp.org/(S(351jmbntvnsjt1aadkposzje))/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=67501