A space to think about learning and teaching

As you may know, Tunde and I are part of CLL’s curriculum review coordination group. This group has been set up to offer coordinated support from staff in CLL to support for departments undertaking  curriculum review for their undergraduate programmes. As part of this process, we have already started a series of curriculum review activities with staff in a number of departments. One of the key benefits of this curriculum review process is it gives an opportunity  to review a programme more holistically and critically from a number of different perspectives – topics taught, teaching practice, assessment, student experience, employability, student skills development and blended learning etc. We are finding this a much more productive method of supporting academic staff than the traditional generic workshop. It gives us an opportunity to understand more fully the different learning and teaching requirements that different programmes have, and hopefully this means that we can give more appropriate and creative support and guidance on using blended e-learning.

In a recent curriculum review workshop, one of the participants made an interesting observation that it is very difficult for academics within a programme to experience how that programme appears to students. Often academic staff will have responsibility for different modules or parts of modules, and often some modules are taught by other departments.  To support staff gain a better conceptualisation and visualisation of a programme’s design and structure, I have been experimenting with using the Compendium LD learning design software. This is free software from the OU which is designed to support the visual mapping of the learning and teaching activities. (For a brief overview to the Compendium LD software, watch this short 5 minute video I have created.) I currently use this software to map case studies we use in different e-learning workshops etc. but I think it also has some benefits for mapping at a programme or curriculum level.

An example of a Compedium LD learning design created using the software.

The intention is to pilot this software with a forthcoming curriculum review workshop and to get some feedback from staff about its use. It is already used by other institutions – watch this video from Reading University using Compendium LD for  programme review.

Compendium LD has a number of features which are useful for curriculum review lets you:

  • Maps can be created which let you drill down to different levels of a programme, to specific modules and to specific aspects of a module.
  • You can also link in any content/ documents that you use within a programme.
  • Content/ activities/ assessment etc. can be tagged to that you can interrogate the programme form different perspectives.

For more information about CLL’s support for curriculum review or about the Compendium LD software, please contact Nick Bunyan in the eLearning Unit.


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