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Structure of a curriculum

We had the first of our curriculum review meetings earlier this week, with the intention of evaluating the alignment of our module outcomes (using our module descriptors) and the course content (using the course outline). The plan is that we will spend time in small groups reviewing components of the curriculum, and at each meeting, look at one part in the context of the whole thing. Here’s the structure of the curriculum as we understand it:

We’ve already started to identify inconsistencies between the 2 documents within modules. Here are a few issues that were raised:

  • The module descriptor is sometimes too vague to be of any use in determining whether the content is aligned to it
  • The course outlines often lack structure and would be difficult to use in evaluating the module content
  • We’re not sure if the module objectives are aligned with the HEQF level outcomes
  • There’s no evidence of graduate attribute integration in most of the module descriptors

Once we’ve finished looking at the module outcomes and course outlines to highlight the gaps, we’ll address those issues before moving onto another component, probably the link between what we teach and how we teach it.

I was struck at how complex the process is. It’s easy to draw diagrams outlining a method but when you actually get down to it, these are hard problems to solve.

By Michael Rowe

I'm a lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa. I'm interested in technology, education and healthcare and look for places where these things meet.