[1] Designing a curriculum fit for the future


Designing a curriculum fit for the future

Author (s)

Chantel Patel

College of Human and Health Sciences


Much has been said about online curriculum, blended learning , flipped classrooms but little has been said about designing curriculum which supports learning at HE. Currently we design our curriculum in line with our relevant discipline and what we think students should know. We also tend to adopt a prescriptive approach to delivering syllabi with very little thoughts given to the different type of learners. Consequently a proportion of our students are dissatisfied and feel they have gained little by engaging with higher education.I propose that when designing curriculum that the focus lies on backward design & differentiation . The purpose is to craft curriculum fit for learners.
The aim of the session will be to expose delegates to principles of backward design & differentiated instruction
The objectives will be to :
1. Identify desired learning results for the relevant subject/discipline/topic
2. determine evidence of student learning
3. plan the learning experiences
4. accept learner differences as inevitable
5.design learner’s effective needs so as to maximise their potential
6. clarify what students need to know
7. adopt systematic pre-assessment & on-going assessment with specified goals & outcomes
8. to embed flexibility in the planning of each session
9. to demonstrate evidence of student learning
The delivery of this will be in a workshop format which will enable delegate participation and building confidence to adopt backward design & differentiation instruction.

Session Outline

it is clear with the current climate of putting an emphasis on student experience that we have not fully embraced a different approach to delivering learning within a Higher Education context. Attendance at lectures/tutorials are sporadic. When designing new modules/programme we tend to adopt the same principles of delivering programmes/modules with standardised assessment strategies & contents. Much has been done in relation to blended learning/ flipped classrooms but little has been done about what do students want to get out of their university education . Having recently had to save a CPD programme from disaster, it gave me food for thought as to how & what we should have done in order to ensure that we could maximise students learning. What steps did we take on a fact finding mission prior to proposing/designing the programme/module..Who did we involve in designing the programme and what principles did we adopt in order to do s? I believe that delegates would be interested in looking at curriculum development through a different lens.

The workshop would look at a specific topic and engaging delegates in backward design & differentiation instruction. All delegates would need to participate. For example where students would be expected to understand the public health context of obesity as part of their programme, students would be exposed to aspects of obesity but understanding is not enough , you want students to be able to apply/understand this in real life. So a backward design would look like this :

1. Identify desired results : what do we want students to take from this module/session
2. Determine acceptable evidence
3. develop a learning plan
4. determine what student success look like

Key Messages

1. understanding the needs of different styles of learning
2. tapping into students interests
3. assessing students through authentic performance tasks
4. who to involve when designing curriculum

Key Words

diversifying student learning

Staff Use Only:
Equipment Requested 1. Powerpoint facilities 2. flipcharts & different coloured pens 3. Café style tables

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