To support the whole of course curriculum design approach an open-source online tool has been developed (the Curriculum Design Workbench – CDW) to step course teams through the whole-of-course design approach, collating, mapping and summarising data on course learning outcomes, rubrics, assessment tasks and learning activities, as teams progress through the stages.
A direct link to the Curriculum Design Workbench Tool is coming soon – in the meantime if you would like an account for the workbench please email email@example.com
An online tool that your teaching team can use together to discuss your course curriculum
A tool that facilitates a whole of course approach to curriculum design
You have a philosophy of assurance of learning (AoL), is it inbuilt into the CDW or do we need to think about other things in conjunction?
AoL is not just what students look like when they exit your course.
It is more about ensuring student learning begins at day one and is continuously developed and built on throughout the course.
Curriculum is ‘whole of course’ not units considered and reported in silo.
Students must be able to see progression and relationship of units throughout a course.
Scaffolded learning (continually building on prior learning) is the best way to ensure students will achieve the defined Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) by graduation.
It helps you to consider:
- What are your Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) – what should your graduates be capable of when they exit your course?
- What might these CLOs look like- criteria (Communicates effectively), standards (Adapts communication skills to present research findings to a variety of audiences using clear and concise written and verbal communication skills)
- How would you authentically assess this? – what does industry require from your graduates.
- How might you prepare your students to succeed at their assessment?
CDW breaks constructive alignment into stages for you (you don’t have to worry or think about it- leave that bit to the tool).
CDW encourages discussion amongst teaching team to ensure you maximise learning in each unit and course overall.
Sequentially scaffolds learning activities, assessments, units and course.
Puts mapping last.
A collegial, team-based, approach is:
- More important than the CDW tool itself.
- Allows team to see what members of the team are teaching earlier/later in the course and how they are related.
- Ensures whole of team ‘feel’ or continuity to a course, which enhances student experience.
Get your teaching team together for a discussion/teleconference.
Will not work if used by individuals in isolation.
Bring existing CLOs, Assessment, Learning Activities
Brainstorm together for each of the 4 stages.
Be open minded and invest time and mind to structure the course for maximum learning and success of your students.
Decide what are Course Learning Outcomes.
What should your students know and be able to do when they graduate from the course.
For course coordinators who wish to develop or refresh the CLOs, a training resource is available as a PowerPoint presentation called “Developing Course Learning Outcomes” that equips you to run a workshop with your teaching team.
Supplementary templates referred to in the Developing CLOs resource
- “Six Hats” Template to help you develop CLO themes
- Blooms’ Taxonomy – action words to help you write the CLO statements
- University of Tasmania “Curriculum Principles Statement”
- Developing Curriculum Themes template
The four stages of using the Curriculum Design Workbench tool are:
- Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)
- Course level assessment
- Learning Activities
Can you please describe for us the four stages of using the CDW?
Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)- Brainstorm Themes- describe what a graduate exiting the course will look like. Also refer to CLO Workshop
Course Level Rubrics- Brainstorm what will the CLOs look like? Teaching team will decide upon the criteria and standards for the whole of course. This ensures continuity across all units and the common language helps students understand the expectations of the academics and the course overall, it also helps ensure consistency in academics expectations.
Course Level Assessment-Brainstorm how the team will assess the CLOs. Write the Assessment tasks as a team. Ensure the assessment tasks are authentic. Build on each assessment task starting at 1st year and working up to point of graduation.
Learning Activities- Brainstorm all the learning activities you can think of. As a team select the learning activities that will best help your students succeed in their assessments. Identify where the learning activities and assessment tasks best fit across the entire course.
Better curriculum- scaffolded and developed using good educational practices
It will maximise student experience and success
Provides a shared understanding for students and academics- everyone will be on the same page.
A by-product of using the CDW tool is that it fulfils HE legislation requirements; provides you with the evidence your students are achieving the CLOs you claim your course provides.
The CDW tool
- prompts you to consider specific questions and requirements (AQF, professional accreditation, university graduate
- philosophy statements, curriculum design principles) of your course. (refer to references/LINK for UTAS philosophy statement and curriculum design principles)
- can help you and your team visualise your whole course
- may help your teaching team see areas which require review or improvement.
CDW seems focussed at a course level, how does it work from a practical point of view for unit coordinators (UC)?
Unit Coordinators (UC) must be present at the CDW discussion/meeting.
UCs need to be involved so they understand the process and rationale and so they are empowered to take the CLOs and course level rubrics an implement them in their units, learning activities and assessments.
Important the UC communicate the CLOs and CLO rubrics to their students so they understand how they are being assessed and how this assist them to the point of graduation.
CLO rubrics provide a start point- individual UCs may select one or two CLOs to include in their assessment rubric but will also add other specific learning outcomes relevant to their unit.
CDW and course level rubrics do not affect academic freedom
Next iteration of the CDW tool will include section for UC to enter detail down to a unit level so that all the Course and Unit data can be collated..
Romy Lawson has provided an excel spreadsheet template that can be used for Unit Coordinators to record information about their unit.
Mentality needs to be CLOs are not set in stone.
CLOs need to be kept updated in line with research, industry and professions.
Curriculum design is a dynamic, ongoing process. CLOs and a course must be reviewed and renewed regularly.
Assurance of Learning is not about the end point.
CDW is assuring students learn so they can evidence their learning and achievement of their CLOs.
It is all about whole of course design and scaffolding a curriculum
Collaboration, Teaching Teams and Discussion is key.
- Information on how to request an account (from Romy).
- If you are from the Faculty of Health, University of Tasmania please request your Login from the QELT team: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Remember the CDW is just that a Curriculum Design Workbench. A teaching team approach is required to maximize the effect of the CDW.
- Set aside some time for your teaching team to meet and work on the CDW together. If possible choose a time when staff are more likely to be around and have less teaching commitments.
- Once the Course Coordinator is familiar with the tool and the associated tasks and required time for completion make a plan and send out a Calendar invite to your teaching team.
- To distribute the work into manageable segments you may wish to consider; Week 1. Enter CLO1 and complete the 7 stages in the CDW. Week 2. Enter CLO2 and complete the 7 stages in the CDW. etc.
- This activity can be recorded as evidence towards Teaching Performance Expectations. http://www.utas.edu.au/provost/the-utas-academic-performance-expectations-for-academic-staff
- Information on how to add a Course to the CDW.
- Please note: Where Romy and the CDW refer to Degree we use the term Course. Where they say Subject, we call it a Unit.
- You can return to the CDW at any stage to edit the information you have entered in your Course.
- Save the bookmark to your favourites.
- Keep your Username and Password safe (the have been issued to the Course Coordinator by the QELT team and they will correspond with your Course’s Code).
- This CDW will ensure you and your teaching team have constructed good Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs).
- Good CLOs are the Foundation to your Course.
- Well written CLOs and good Curriculum Design (using the CDW) increases your ability to Assure Student Learning and align graduates with their stakeholder requirements.
- There is a Video explaining the CLO Workshop available click on: Course Learning Outcomes Video
- There is a CLO Workshop available for Course Co-ordinators to modify and use with their teaching teams: CLO Workshop (to be modified and used by Course Co-Ordinators)
- This workshop is written to provide Course Coordinators and your teaching team with guidance and resources for how to write good CLOs. The workshop has been designed specific to the CDW and evidenced principles from Romy Lawson.
- It is worth spending some time on this stage to ensure the CLOs you have written align with your various accreditation requirements (eg. Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), Professional Accreditation).
- Romy suggests getting your teaching team together to develop CLOs and use the CDW.
- This provides you with a mechanism to check each of the CLOs you have written comply with the AQF and your relevant Professional standards (EA=Engineers Australia is the example in the demo).
- Select each CLO and consider each one by one
- Romy also directs you to the ‘Degree tab” so that you can see an overview of the information you have entered into the CDW to date
You can add additional compliance settings (Competency Standards, Professional Standards, Government reporting requirements) at any stage.
- For each CLO your teaching team will a write Course Wide Rubric.
- This enables your teaching team to scaffold the CLOs across the entire Course.
- Applying this method will give your students a greater chance of success.
- Add each Criteria- This is a description of WHAT students need to be able to do to fulfill the CLO.
- Add each Level- This is a description of student PERFORMANCE. What will or should students look like across the years of the Course.
- Use language that is both descriptive and can be understood by your students.
- Once you and your teaching team have agreed on your Course Level Rubrics (for each of your CLOs) you will need to agree on where each CLO will be developed/assess in the Course; which units.
- The CDW will prompt your teaching team to brainstorm on all the most appropriate (authentic) assessments you could use to assess students against the various CLOs.
- Your team will need to nominate the level of performance each assessment task corresponds with; Introduced, Developed or Assured.
- Also refer to the UTAS Guide to Good Assessment and UTAS Assessment Policy
- The CDW now requires your teaching team to brainstorm the most suitable Learning Activities that will develop the necessary knowledge and skills for the Assessment tasks you have already nominated.
- Up until this point the instructions have had Course Coordinators and their Teaching Teams thinking at a Course Wide Level (this is intentional).
- The CDW is now giving the teaching team the opportunity to decide and allocate where the CLOs/corresponding Learning Activities and Assessment tasks are best placed across the course.
- As Romy emphasized in her interview this Summary is considered the “by-product” of the CDW process.
- First and foremost the aim of the CDW is to engage your teaching team to design their Course together and understand where each CLO has been taught (introduced, developed, assured) and assessed across the Course.
- The CDW does some of the “thinking” for you.
- It forces you to ensure your CLOs are well written.
- It helps you to check for compliance against your relevant standards.
- It constructively aligns your CLOs, learning activities and assessment tasks.
- It scaffolds learning across ALL years of your Course.
- The Summary will be very useful documentation for planning Unit and Course amendments in the future.
- The Summary provides evidence of your AQF and relevant Professional standards down to an assessment, learning activity and unit level.
- Most importantly it allows you and your students to see how each CLO is scaffolded and developed across the Course.