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Curriculum Design:
The Basics
25 September 2012
Nicolene Murdoch
Executive Director: Teaching, Learning & Quality
Monash South Africa
Student ‘images’ of curriculum
CURRICULUM
• The race course in the Roman coliseum, much like the
race track in a modern stadium.
• In Latin “curriculum” refers to a racing chariot; “currere”
was to run
• THUS - a "running a course, race, or career”.
• Modern definitions include:
1) A course / programme
2) A set of courses / modules
3) A fixed series of studies required, at an institution
leading to graduation, obtaining a qualification in a
major field of study
4) All of the courses, collectively, offered in a school,
college, etc., or in a particular subject.
A curriculum can be viewed from three
vantage points:
• What is intended or planned;
• what is delivered; and,
• what is experienced
(Pideaux, 2003)
OBE (Outcomes-based education)
“…defining, organizing, focusing, and directing all aspects of a curriculum
on the things we want all learners to demonstrate successfully when they
complete the program”
Outcomes-based education is a student-centered, results oriented design
premised on the belief that all individuals can learn. The strategy of OBE
implies the following:
•What students are to learn is clearly identified
•Each student’s progress is based on demonstrated achievement
•Each student’s learning needs are addressed through multiple
instructional strategies and assessment tools
•Each student is provided time and assistance to realize his/her potential.
Boschee and Baron 1993
An OBE curriculum
Programme design
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PURPOSE
OUTCOMES
ASSESSMENT
ACTIVITIES
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Framework for curriculum development
• Plan - scale, scope, goals, stakeholders, timelines
• Vision - mission/purpose, ideal graduate, intended
learning outcomes, focus, pedagogy
• Determine needs – stakeholder, industry, surveys,
benchmarking, mapping, analoguous programmes
• Develop – design curriculum outline
• Improve & Alignment – programme structure,
progression, educational experience
• Monitor & Adapt - programme evaluation and
impact, achieved learning outcomes, multistakeholder feedback
Curriculum design
What needs to happen
Curriculum mapping
1. What methods of instruction do you use in your
course?
2. What methods of assessment are used in your
course?
3. Which program-level learning outcomes are
developed in your course?
4. What level of complexity/depth is expected for
each of the learning outcomes?
5. Please specify how each of the learning
outcomes are taught and assessed in your course.
Credits and hours, year levels
The design of programmes makes assumptions about
the volume of learning that is likely to be necessary to
achieve the intended outcomes. This measure of
volume is expressed in terms of study time, e.g. the
number of notional hours of study expressed in credits.
•1 credit = 10 notional hours (SA system)
•Indicator of the volume of learning required for
completion
•Notional hour – any activity in which a student is
involved that relates to their mastering an outcome
Level descriptors
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Help to “peg” a qualification on a particular level
Purpose: coherence in learning achievement and to facilitate comparable
assessment and qualifications
• Describe learning achievement linked to types of outcomes and assessment
criteria for the programme offered on that level
• Levels of applied competence:
– Foundational
– Practical
– Reflexive
• Academic, vocational, professional & occupational qualifications
• CCFOs are embedded in level descriptors
• Descriptive nor prescriptive
• They are not learning outcomes or assessment criteria
PROVIDE A BROAD FRAME WORK FOR ENSURING SUITABLE LEVEL OF
COMPETENCE IS ACHIEVED
Bloom’s Taxonomy
• Benjamin Bloom (1950)
• Classification for thinking behaviors / learning
expected from students:
– The cognitive - knowledge based domain,
consisting of six levels
– The affective - attitudinal based domain, consisting
of five levels, and
– The psychomotor - skills based domain, consisting
of six levels.
• Taxonomy with objectives
• From LOTS to HOTS
Bloom vs. Revised Bloom
Associated verbs
Learning outcomes
Statement of what a student can expect to attain
or achieve as a result of the learning process
THUS
What do we expect the students to know upon
completion of…
At the end of this module / session / programme
etc. students will be able to + VERB + substance
Categories of learning outcomes
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Demonstrating knowledge and understanding
Thinking critically and making judgements
Solving problems
Performing procedures and demonstrating
techniques
• Designing, creating, performing
• Managing and developing oneself
• Accessing and managing information
How do we manage the quality of
Teaching & Learning?
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Strategy / Approach
Governance
Intention with curriculum
Methodology
Teaching and learning scholarship (informed by research)
Investment
Internal reviews
Annual monitoring
Peer observation of teaching
External examining
Student feedback