Learning and Teaching Forum 3 March 2011 Curriculum Enhancement Project.
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Learning and Teaching Forum 3 March 2011 Curriculum Enhancement Project
Purpose of today A reminder of why we’re reviewing our curriculum Provide an update on the project Share the outcome of the consultations on the core threads and discuss next steps Discuss models for broadening within and outside the Leeds curriculum A chance for you to input into thinking about what a Leeds curriculum will look like
Project rationale Changing HE landscape Need to build on and articulate existing strengths in an increasingly competitive market Greater consistency of student experience Creating a common Leeds identity and reputation through our curriculum Developing more rounded graduates to compete more effectively in the workplace
Vision for 2013 curriculum A curriculum which demonstrates the integration of research and teaching in all programmes integrates employability, ethics and responsibility and global and cultural insight through all its programmes offers all students the opportunity to broaden their education encourages deeper learning provides all students with the opportunity for placement learning and/or study abroad
Vision for 2013 curriculum Leading to graduates who are capable of articulating the benefits of a research-led University of Leeds education understand how this education prepares them to compete successfully in the employment market
Project update Core threads for all Leeds UG programmes – employability, ethics and responsibility and global and cultural insight – endorsed by TSEB A variety of broadening models developed for discussion at today’s forum Preliminary Project Board discussions of options for structure of academic year
Project update Consultation ongoing with current and prospective students, staff and employers in relation to threads and broadening Curriculum Innovation Network: global network of universities engaged in institution-wide curriculum innovation
Core threads Research led teaching (RLT) Healey matrix provides framework for RLT Schools to demonstrate how programmes move students from research-led teaching to research-based learning Core Programme Threads awareness of a small number of topics, ‘Core Programme Threads’, would be of significant benefit to all our graduates. Ethics & Responsibility, Employability, Global & Cultural Insight
Ethics and Responsibility: an understanding of the ethical issues of the discipline and of how, more generally, to behave responsibly (professionally). A student/graduate should be: Ethically aware Self-aware Reflective and critical A considered decision maker
Core threads Employability: programmes must enable the development of skills that will make the graduating student employable. A student/graduate should be: Aware of the skills they need to be employable Able to articulate his/her skills in a range of circumstances (academic and employment) Ready to compete in the workplace A lifelong learner who is effective in a work environment
Core threads Global and Cultural Insight: an awareness that there are many perspectives to any issue, and an understanding of the key issues in their discipline. A student/graduate should: Think about things from an international or a global perspective Engage with the international issues that affect the discipline Considers things in a global context Consider the international development of the subject
Broadening – aims and rationale To allow students to adapt/apply knowledge from their core discipline in different ways and contexts To give students the opportunity to undertake subjects, develop skills and explore topics beyond their main discipline Employers are looking for individuals with broad academic horizons and the confidence/flexibility to question received wisdom – not just specialist knowledge of a single subject area (Graduate Talent Conference 2010)
Broadening – current limitations ‘Pick and mix’ elective system Unequal access to broadening opportunities
Broadening – potential advances Reformat electives as coherent strands of related modules Ensure that strands offer students the opportunity to pursue an interest across more than one level of study Ensure more equal opportunities for students to pursue broadening strands within their degree programme
Types/functions of broadening strands An exploration of a conventionally defined academic area beyond the degree discipline A means of developing additional skills and competences – with academic and/or vocational relevance A means of gaining enhanced understanding of external commercial/institutional environments and/or enterprise A means of exploring important issues/debates from a diversity of disciplinary perspectives
A model which emphasises student choice Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4 Semester 1Semester 2 Core/Optional Modules 100 Crds (to include broadening within the curriculum) Core/Optional Modules 100/120 Crds (to include broadening within the curriculum) Broadening Choice (20 Crds min available) Core/Optional Modules 100/120 Crds (to include broadening within the curriculum) Core/Optional Modules 100/120 Crds (to include broadening within the curriculum) Broadening Choice (20 Crds min available) Broadening Gateway Module (20 Crds) Locating broadening - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Innovation elsewhere Melbourne/Aberdeen – ‘flexible compulsion’ students must choose modules from menu of bespoke ‘breadth’ modules - accounts for up to 25% of level/programme; some flexibility in timing within an individual’s programme; bar on choosing modules akin to home degree subject. LSE – a universal ‘rite/right of passage’ institution-wide module for all L1 students – themes reflect key global issues and institutional research excellence emphasis on acquisition of skills in critical thinking, analysis, presentation, debate and interaction appropriate for higher level study.
Broadening at Leeds – flexible opportunity? Enhance/render explicit broadening elements within primary disciplinary content Facilitate/enhance co-curricular broadening opportunities, external/research placements etc. Coordinate/enhance broadening electives as component of most programmes – with local discretion on timing Organised strands over two or more levels – student choice of extent of participation (up to max 40C during total degree study?)
Discussion groups Core threads How might the threads - employability, ethics and responsibility and global and cultural insight – look in your discipline? How do you think these threads might be assessed, particularly near the end of the programme?
Discussion groups Broadening Can all programmes accommodate ‘flexible opportunity’? Is this a better option than either ‘flexible compulsion’ or complete equality of student choice? Does it matter where, and at what level(s), broadening opportunities are located within specific programmes? Are the basic criteria for defining the functions of broadening strands appropriate? How are students best introduced to the potential of broadening?
Discussion groups Broadening How can we best encourage/co-ordinate the development of an imaginative range of broadening strands? Should be wary of offering too many strands/too much choice? And how much is too much? Can we accommodate student choice to migrate between strands – as well as to opt out (and back in)?