I’m the City University Learning Development Associate with specific responsibility for curriculum development. City is actively involved in curriculum development with Predict: part of a national JISC project.
Taking part in the second JISC Webinar on Curriculum Design: Nov 2nd 2011, was an opportunity to find out what 31 colleagues are concerned about nationally and internationally. As people joined the session, from Canada, India, and Australia etc. Marianne Shepherd of JISC presented key ideas: beginning with suggesting three levels of desired improvement.
Personal transformation and learning, curriculum transformation and Institutional transformation.
And the key drivers being enhancing the learning experience and improving graduate employability.
Helen Beetham, an e-learning consultant, took us through some project examples of developing “digital literature” for CD, one obvious benefit being wider potential for sharing than paper based information.
I guess I am more used to the N. American way of running a webinar, where at least 50% of the session is about engaging with other colleagues via the chat room/video/audio. So I was slightly frustrated at the balance between content (presentations) and dialogue. A little more time on the latter would have been valuable.
However the session itself was rich in ideas and pointed to some impressive work by colleagues at several institutions. One project that particularly inspired me was the Open University’s OULD Project which includes different tools for visually planning and representing the curriculum. These are not only digital tools, they also have for example sets of stickers and A3 sheets of paper. My definition of a good tool is one that does the job well, and important as the digital is, analogue materials play an essential role in visualising and collaborating.
I believe there is a real possibility of using some of the OU’s frameworks, customised to fit with City’s current priorities, not least at undergraduate level. The JISC Design Studio showcases the OU and other interesting and valuable curriculum design projects.