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Towards distinctive and developmental curricula at UoTs: The STEPS process at CUT Professor Thandwa Mthembu Professor Mark Orkin Dr Michael Gering 4 th.

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Presentation on theme: "Towards distinctive and developmental curricula at UoTs: The STEPS process at CUT Professor Thandwa Mthembu Professor Mark Orkin Dr Michael Gering 4 th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Towards distinctive and developmental curricula at UoTs: The STEPS process at CUT Professor Thandwa Mthembu Professor Mark Orkin Dr Michael Gering 4 th SATN Conference, CUT, November

2 Curriculum?! “Every time someone mentions the concept we debate for an hour and don’t reach a conclusion.” Lawrence Stenhouse suggests: “A curriculum is an attempt to communicate the essential principles and features of an educational proposal in such a form that it is open to critical scrutiny and capable of effective translation into practice” On this basis, our paper is more about the process to consult and develop distinctive and developmental qualifications, i.e. curricula translated into practice – modules, modalities, activities, materials, support, etc. 2

3 As a UoT, CUT distinguishes itself from “traditional” universities on institutional and educational grounds Institutional: Vision 2020 a)Future –oriented philosophy b)Developmental role c)Output/impact-orientation d)Strategic partnerships with business, gov’t, civil society e)Flexible new-generation institution f)Innovation-oriented, applied research Educational 1)Entrants with diploma-level school-leaving qual’ns 2)Broad / deep, contextual / conceptual curricula 3)Intense, technology infused teaching and learning 4)Comprehensive WIL 5)Academic entrepreneurs, professonals, part-timers 6)Niche-oriented mid-level graduates 3

4 4 Example: Corrected Grad. Rates for qualifications FacProgramme DurationTotal heads Total FTE'sFTE per Year d Total gradsGrad rate (as used by DHET) Grad Rate corrected for duration and FTE per year f A INFO&COMMUN TECHNOLOGYBT: INFO. TECHN % A INFO&COMMUN TECHNOLOGYBT: LANG. PRAC % A INFO&COMMUN TECHNOLOGYND: INFO. TECHN %34% A JEWELLERY DESIGNND: JEWEL. DES %70% A TEACHER EDUCATIONAC: EDUCATION %126% A TEACHER EDUCATIONB ED: (FET) SPEC , %17% E CIVIL ENGIN/BUILT ENVRNBT: CONSTR. MGT %23% E CIVIL ENGIN/BUILT ENVRN BT: ENGIN.: CIVIL %36% E CIVIL ENGIN/BUILT ENVRNBT: QUANT. SURV %32% E CIVIL ENGIN/BUILT ENVRNND: BUILDING %86% E CIVIL ENGIN/BUILT ENVRNND: ENGIN.: CIVIL %49% E ELEC&COMPSYSTEMS ENGINBT: ENGIN.: ELEC %39% E ELEC&COMPSYSTEMS ENGINND: ENGIN: COMP %30% E ELEC&COMPSYSTEMS ENGINND: ENGIN.: ELEC %52% E MECH ENGIN/APPLD MATHSBT: ENGIN.: MECH % E MECH ENGIN/APPLD MATHSND: MECH. ENGIN %47% H AGRIC/ENVIRON SCIENCESBT: AGRIC. MGT %71% H AGRIC/ENVIRON SCIENCESBT: ENVIR. HLTH % H AGRIC/ENVIRON SCIENCESND: AGRIC. MGT %79% H AGRIC/ENVIRON SCIENCESND: ENVIR. HLTH %67% H AGRIC/ENVIRON SCIENCESND: FIRE TECHN %38% H HEALTH TECHNOLOGYBT: BIOM. TECHN %50% H HEALTH TECHNOLOGYBT: CLIN. TECHN %79% H HEALTH TECHNOLOGYBT: RADIOG.: DIAG %41% H HEALTH TECHNOLOGYBT: RADIOG.: THER %61% H HEALTH TECHNOLOGYBT: SOMATOLOGY %79% H HEALTH TECHNOLOGYNC: DENTAL ASST %82%

5 In practice, Faculties differ markedly in outcomes, e.g. corrected Grad. Rates of their qualifications 5

6 STEPS has been an eighteen-month process involving more than a hundred academic and admin staff Knowledge sharing session Approval by Senate Preparatory STEPS Conference on Curriculum Workshop on Strategic Transf’n of Educational Programmes and Structures (STEPS) Concurrent Task Teams planning detailed implement’n of STEPS Design and consultation of Programmes by Task Teams Formulation of recommend- ations, new curricula, and “main- streaming” Bridging document Synthesis document Directions document Documents on Faculties, University Wide Issues, and New Curricula. Structures to follow Feb. 2010May 201 0Aug. 2010Sep.–Oct. 2010Nov. ‘10–Aug.’11Sep.-Nov

7 Twelve Task Teams and six Curriculum Teams have consulted, benchmarked and planned 7

8 Three case studies illustrate some innovations now being mainstreamed for implementation

9 This distinctiveness implies an “ideal CUT qualification” yielding particular graduate attributes “Ideal qualification” a)Demand: students, employers, WIL placements b)Capacity: qualified staff, links to ‘triple helix’ organisations c)Affordability: viable class size, user support, external income d)Sustainability: interdisciplinary synergies, progression e)Focus: decisively on diplomas and advanced diplomas Graduate attributes: Trained to 1)do something: technical, IT, numeracy, business literacies 2)question: conceptually able, curious, problem-driven 3)innovate: able to find and apply work information, able to plan and manage 4)interact: confident in teams, engaging, accountable for delivery 9

10 Case 1 : BEd re-vamp uses interdisciplinary themes and internet materials to meet new requirements Legacy BEd in five streams lacked a guiding conceptual framework; fourth year tacked on; criticism of quality. New requirements are specified in Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications. An external review and workshop adopted School-Based Learning (i.e. WIL) as ‘silver thread’ through new BEd. Education Studies is to be taught as integrated cross- cutting themes, rather than in previous silos – and using OER Africa web-based materials. Sequencing and timetabling will attend to students’ needs for linkage and progression. 10

11 Case 2 : Pioneering Higher Certificate and Diploma in Renewable Energy Technology or Advising South Africa faces strong pressure to reduce its carbon footprint with renewable energy sources. Benchmarking, interviews, and industry workshop and employer discussions clarified user needs and levels. The Higher Certificate will produce technicians for installing/maintaining solar, voltaic, wind, biogas plants. The Diploma graduates will participate in recommending, conceiving, commissioning systems for industry and gov’t. The curricula are inter-disciplinary, notably with extensive Management Science input to the Diploma. 11

12 Tips ‘n tricks for new qualification developers 1.Benchmarking of competing and complementary offerings elsewhere yields ideas, options and constraints 2.Computing plausible estimates of the need for graduates requires multiple sources and robust arithmetic 3.Subject specialists with industry experience are keen to help 4.‘Triple helix’ users are delighted to be involved – and may urge you to supply everything at all levels 5.The “ideal curriculum” criteria guide choices of level, content, interdisciplinary connections, WIL, etc. 6.The DHET’s CESM categories are backward-looking, can be an obstacle – they need to be creatively applied 7.Costings of separate qualifications need an overview – e.g. Regarding new lecturer demand, shifting SET balance, etc. Benchma rking competin g and complem entary offerings elsewher e yields ideas and constraint s Computin g plausible guessttim ates of need for graduates requires resourcef ul arithmeti c Subject specialist s with industry experienc e are keen to help Industry users are delighted to be involved – and hope you can supply everythin g at all levels The “ideal curriculu m” criteria guide choices of level, content, and interdisci plinary connectio ns CESM, looking backward s, can be an obstacle – it needs to be creatively applied Separate qualificati on costings need to be complem ented with an overview – e.g. new lecturer demand, shifting SET balance 12

13 Case 3 : Work Integrated Learning dramatically improves students’ getting actual employment A recent exit survey of 1350 graduates showed: Of students with no or poor WIL, 63% unemployed Of students with good, integrated WIL, only 26% unemployed A good WIL cycle involves identifying placements, agreeing outcomes, preparing students, monitoring, and feedback. Re-curriculating for WIL involves choice and consultation: e.g. problem-, project-, class-room or workplace-based aspects. Of 42 CUT Diplomas, 55% have comprehensive WIL. STEPS new qualifications are addressing some of the rest Eleven other qualifications have to be re-curriculated in 2012 A central office will monitor standards and delivery; Faculty- officers will implement the WIL cycle with programmes’ help. 13

14 Other Task Teams’ recommendations have been “mainstreamed” for implementation during 2012 Six more new interdisciplinary qualifications in: Community Dev’t Practice (HC) Agricultural Extension (AD) Transportation Management (AD)Water Management (BSc) Health Management (AD)Design and Studio Art (D, AD) Recommendations for improving the “engine room”, on: Student preparednessTeaching and learning Large class sizesContinuing education Recommendations on multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary research, incl. comprehensive methodology teaching. Change of places to SET covers new-lecturer costs. 14

15 STEPS has been a concerted and UOT-distinctive implementation of CUT’s four-part Vision 2020 Development orientation New qualifications on service delivery, sustainable dev’t “MIT” research oriented to innovation for users Outcome/impact orientation Commitment to actually employed graduates Aim at enhanced effectiveness: WIL, preparedness, T&L Links to stakeholders Extensive user consultations, expert inputs, benchmarks Expanded Contin. Ed’n envisaged for ongoing development “New generation organisation” Extensive staff participation, flexible task teams, synergies Process unfolded to deadline, focusses on implementation 15

16 A modern, knowledge-based economy demands human resources that are numerically and scientifically literate, technologically fluent, and skilled at problem solving, critical analysis and engagement. DG Dr Charles Nwaila Unlike at traditional universities, where aloofness, dispassionateness and distance from government, business and industry are virtues, these to us [at UoTs] are vices. VC Professor Thandwa Mthembu 16

17 Realeboga Thank you Dankie 17


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