Curriculum design

This fellowship builds on the work of a previous OLT funded Strategic Project: Hunters & Gatherers. The emphasis of that project was on informing strategy in a way that supports efficient and manageable assurance mechanisms predominantly from a management perspective. This fellowship focuses on developing a curriculum and assessments that are conducive to developing and assuring course learning outcomes from the academics’ perspective using a whole of degree design approach.
Perspectives on the Fellowship
Perspectives on the Collaboration
Whole of Course ApproachEmbedding CLOsUnpacking CLOs using rubricsAssessment for CLOsEvidencing CLOs

Whole of Course (Degree) Approach

The main aim for this fellowship has been to explore mechanisms to support a whole of course (degree) approach to curriculum design that will allow assurance of learning. In order to achieve this three key elements of curriculum design (learning outcomes; learning activities; assessment tasks) have been considered in a constructively aligned manner, with the overarching question of evaluating the effect of each element in assuring learning.

What did the course teams think?
What did the students think?


Curriculum Design Workbench

Embedding CLOs

Course Level Learning Outcomes  are vital to designing a course. If they are constructed well they will encompass external requirements (for example, AQF Levels; Discipline Thresholds; Professional Body Requirements), university themes and the course context and standard. In this way mapping only need to occur once – to the course learning outcomes (CLO) this then means that the assurance of learning (AoL) process can be streamlined to just assuring the CLOs.

What did the course teams think?

curr_desi_workbench2Curriculum Design Workbench

Unpacking CLOs Using Rubrics

To complement this whole of course assessment design, guidance can be provided for both academics and students in the form of whole of course rubrics. These rubrics are developed by the course team; identifying criteria for each CLO along with expected standards for different stages of the degree.

What did the students and course teams think?

curr_desi_workbench3Curriculum Design Workbench

Assessment for CLOs

The main recommendations around whole of course curriculum design for AoL are authentic assessment tasks designed in a scaffolded manner. This approach prompts the course team to work together to identify suitable tasks for CLOs. Teams are asked to identify where/how the CLOs would be demonstrated in the real world, they then use these authentic tasks as the basis for designing assessments that can be administered under the university system (considering workload, assessment policies, moderation, academic integrity, and so on). Once a set of assessment tasks are developed for each CLO they are examined to see how they can be scaffolded so students have opportunities to develop skills and knowledge as they progress through their degree, making sure the tasks increase in complexity over time.

What did the students and course teams think?


Evidencing CLOs

Of course a whole of course approach is not effective unless everybody is engaged in the process. Obviously making the links for students through (1)emphasising the course learning outcomes in each subject, (2) showing connections between learning activities, (3) designing assessments that build on each other and allow for reflection from previous tasks and feedforward to future tasks are all very effective.

Curriculum Design Workbench