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Structuring Curriculum Reform
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  1. College of Physical Sciences Gordon Walkden Director of Teaching and Learning Structuring Curriculum Reform This online powerpoint summarises and extends the contents of my paper “Structuring Curricular Review and Curriculum Reform” Colleagues are welcome to extract and adapt any part of this.

  2. What am I on about? My submission examines our approach to Curriculum Reform. I believe we should first understand what we currently do and how we do it, before we try to invent something to add to or replace what we do. • I ask some fundamental questions: • What are we producing? • How are we doing it? • and Why are we doing it? • Then I call for a Business Approach to underpin how we move forward

  3. Curriculum reform - What are we trying to do? I am not yet trying to offer my vision of an ultimate destination, although those who know of our Global Challenges programme might guess……

  4. Curriculum reform - What are we trying to do? A simple analogy We are on our own, and must pay our way Ship = University Passengers = Students Crew = Staff Internal layout = Degree Types and Structures Interior design and finishes = Philosophy, Methods, Timetable Cruises/ Destinations = Specific Degree Programmes The University

  5. Where do we begin? • Start with some fundamental questions… • What are we producing? • How are we doing it? • and Why are we doing it? “What?” and “How?” Are questions we are used to. We are maybe less good at “Why?”

  6. Where do we begin? Some “Whats”, “Hows” and “Whys” Objectives – What are our degrees for? Structures and Inputs – How do we construct our degrees to achieve this? (e.g. knowledge, understanding, skills, methods) Outputs – Why are we doing it? - We want to produce developed graduates with marketable attributes.

  7. Objectives – What are our degrees for? “A degree is not about what you do with your day - Its about what you do with your life”. Personal fulfilment Achievement Satisfaction Creativity Scholarship Personal interests Universally agreed values in Higher Education and Research Personal fulfilment “Archaeology” Wealth creation Professional involvement Applying skills and knowledge Adding value Innovative, original Enterprising “Accountancy” Societal contribution Personal involvement Family values Quality of life Working for common good Ethics, morality, spirituality “Engineering” Wealth creation Societal contribution What are the aspirations of students/ programmes? Re-expressed

  8. Structures and Inputs – How do we construct our degrees to achieve these values? Its about helping students to develop the skills and qualities that enhance fulfilment and extend performance in work, society and lifelong learning. Intellectual skills Recognising truth and Critical thinking Analytical Self directed learning Curiosity, Creativity Intellectual skills Where do individual courses/ programmes lie? Professional skills Knowledge and understanding Ethical values Teamworking Leadership and responsiveness Re-expressed Practical skills C&IT skills Self starting Problem solving Literate, articulate, Numerate Enterprise skills Tail awareness Practical skills Professional skills

  9. Level 1 • Induction & progression • Where am I and how do I fit in? • What do I bring with me? • Dealing with the information deluge • Finding the way around • What people in universities do? • Identifying and dealing with aspirations • Interacting with others • Recognising responsibilities • How do I manage/ organise myself? • PDP awareness • Differentiating expectations and goals • Choosing an appropriate programme • Prioritising • Balancing non-academic pursuits • How do I learn? - • Aware of the LTS and MoL • Understanding learning methods & learner types • Developing a personal learning style • Able to use private study • Able to work in a group • How am I taught? • Teaching media and methods used • Recording, note taking, enhancing • How to learn from these? • How am I assessed? • Recognising types of examination • Recognising types of in course assessment • Distinguishing formative & sumative assessment • Able to revise effectively • Able to prepare for in course assessment • How work is graded • What the outcomes mean • How do I find and check information ? • Using library resources • Using CIT/web resources • Reading papers and text books • Reading, assessing and assembling information • Understanding and presenting ideas • Distinguishing original and received information • How do I communicate my own work? • Writing clearly and effectively • Using data as evidence • Presenting ideas orally • Creating diagrams and tables • Group working and group learning • GMW Iteration 5 • Level 2 • Personal development • (Level 2 skills for Direct entry to be developed) • Personal organisation • Exercising responsibilities • Using PDP as a learning tool • Reflecting on progress and outcomes • Clear personal and academic goals • Setting objectives and timetables • Prioritising effectively • Skills awareness • Being organised • Keeping an academic record • Keeping copies of completed work • Integrating non academic pursuits • Taking the initiative in learning: • Interpreting the LTS, MoL • Exploiting personal learning style • Choosing appropriate courses • Using private study effectively • Selectively compiling info & ideas • Understanding and using basic data • Recognising conflicting info/ideas • Effective in group working • Overviewing the assessment landscape • Planning for continuous assessment • Introducing peer assessment • Planning for examinations • Revising systematically • Analysing marked work • Developing knowledge & understanding: • Reflecting, and planning learning • Developing use of library resources • Developing use of CIT/web resources • Dealing with uncertainty in knowledge • Generating & testing ideas • Designing experiments • Understanding graphs and data sets • Developing original databases • Seeking appropriate guidance • Using and acknowledging work of others • Expressing information and ideas • Writing according to specifications • Structuring a presentation • Speaking with technical ability • Presenting data sets and statistics • Creating posters or websites • Able to collaborate in groups • Level 3 • Taking responsibility • (Level 3 skills for direct entry - to be developed) • Self management • Operating within an ethical framework • Using PDP as a strategic planning tool • Self monitoring and evaluation • Refining personal & academic goals • Setting objectives and planning pathways • Prioritising strategically • Reviewing career options • Managing skills development • Conscious time management • Compiling a Personal Development File • Focusing on employability • Developing non academic pursuits • Building a CV • Monitoring the transcript • Responsible learner • Following LTS, MoL • Strategic use of modules and courses • Strategic use of self directed learning • Integrating across courses/modules • Reading and understanding advanced texts • Using advanced data analysis and synthesis • Resolving conflicting ideas/ information • Revising strategically • Time managing all assessments • Sorting knowledge & understanding • Freely assembling information • Critically evaluating & integrating info. • Recognising orthodoxy • Recognising & exploring the cutting edge • Creating and developing ideas • Understanding and refining argument • Using advanced software and info systems • Solving logical and numerical problems • Seeking strategic guidance • Building upon work of others • Recognising and avoiding plagiarism • Communicating results • Structuring work for diverse audiences • Preparing accurate abstracts • Writing for a specialist audience • Speaking to specialist audience • Creating a technical poster/ website • Productive group working & collaboration • The place for innovation and creativity • Competent with presentation media • Level 4/5 • Achieving professional standards • Personal empowerment • Ethics in professional practice • Using PDP for professional development • Self-reflective planner • Achieving & extending goals • Clear, achievable short & long term objectives • Prioritising strategically • Actively pursuing career options • Reality - checking skills and employability needs • Habitual time management • Enhancing and extending the PDF • Demonstrating skills & employability tho the PDF • Documenting non academic activities • Adapting the CV for prospective targets • Monitoring the transcript • Developing enterprise, society, citizenship • Autonomous learner • Using LTS, MoL • Learning and thinking strategically • Reading and understanding specialist research • Effectively planning and managing learning • Critically evaluating information • Sorting and integrating diverse information • Confident analysis of data bases and statistics • Integrating sub disciplines • Planning & managing integrative assessment • Contributing to knowledge and understanding • Finding and researching appropriate sources • Creatively evaluating & integrating information • Challenging orthodoxy • Challenging and pushing the cutting edge • Planning and proposing research • Generating & integrating new research results • Creating complex coherent argument • Familiar with advanced software & info systems • Understanding research problems and solutions • Integrating numerical solutions • Responsive and interactive under guidance • Properly integrating original & derived materials • Effective recording and archiving • Presenting findings • Communicating at high technical levels • Writing to professional requirements • Strategic choice of methods and media • Creative use of charts and diagrams • Presenting a complex logical argument • Presenting orally with confidence and content • Preparing original research essays, reports, data • Effective role-play and delegation in collaboration • Skilled with appropriate presentation media A Curriculum map for Skills – How competencies could develop Self Management and Employability Learning and Understanding Researching and Integrating Note how competencies progress. A readable version of this accompanies my paper Communication & Team Working

  10. What about Research–Led Teaching? Teaching Learning Experiencing Could this triptych become the “Aberdeen Model”? Teaching Research Creativity Innovation Enterprise Ethics Research, Review, Survey, Analysis, Discovery etc New

  11. Outputs – Why? - the attributes our graduates leave with that they can contribute to society New Self starter Knowledgeable Ethical Thinker Responsible Learner Investigator Team Player Intellectual line Professional line Researcher Innovator Practical / Creative line Writer Communicator

  12. A Business–critical “How” Model used at the College of Physical Sciences Recruitment Council (CRC), October 2007 These are our core selling points But in the current highly competitive environment we need to refine and project the shop window using business models Market research Product range (degree programmes and courses) Brand image (reputation and standards) Product design Product marketing This is an iterative “Active Selling Envelope”. Historically, these “csps” have provided a passive “Shop Window”

  13. A Business Approach Re-expressed Who are the stakeholders involved? (e.g. Government, Employers, Research organisations, Students, Staff) What do the stakeholders want? (e.g. Specific Knowledge, Understanding, Skills, Attributes) What market niches/ opportunities match these requirements? (e.g. specific types of research, employment, service, calling) What Graduate skills, attributes, knowledge match theopportunities? (i.e. what do we need to equip graduates with in response?) Is there an “Aberdeen” angle to these? (i.e. Aberdeen flavour? Specific part of the market to exploit? ) How can we train the skills, attributes, knowledge? (i.e. what sort of programme structure and curriculum content would be appropriate?) How can we convert what we do now into what we might do? (i.e. what sort of programme structure and curriculum content would be appropriate?)

  14. What am I on about? My submission examines our approach to Curriculum Reform. I believe we should first understand what we currently do and how we do it, before we try to invent something to add to or replace what we do. • I ask some fundamental questions: • What are we producing? • How are we doing it? • and Why are we doing it? • Then I call for a Business Approach to underpin how we move forward The University

  15. What can PDP do? Recycled from PDP W/G Where we should be Reflecting PDP can make the difference Where we are now Skills Knowledge Understanding Learning Experiencing