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Connecting, Collaborating, Reviewing and Transforming: Design Curriculum into the Future

Dr Denise Wood, Mr Greg Auhl, Ms Sally McCarthy

Charles Sturt University

Cohesive, transparent curriculum supports the provision of quality learning experiences for students in higher education in Australia, and meet the requirements of accreditation as described in the Higher Education Standards Framework. At Charles Sturt University, course design is driven through the Course Review, Design and Development policy, which has four key principles: collaboration, feedback, constructive alignment and criterion references standards based assessment.

The future for higher education institutions lies in courses that are intentionally designed to meet multiple expectations from industry and government regulators as well as provide learning opportunities that are responsive to student need. Students seek purposeful learning experiences that are oriented towards them graduating as work- and life-ready. Scaffolded experiences transform their entry skills and abilities through connected and visible pathways of learning. Student expectations are tangible, and demand transparency in the design of their course/ programs, that provide immediate line of sight to their end goal.  

CourseSpace is a bespoke tool designed with the explicit function of enabling course designers to meet these expectations. Since 2014, it has supported design teams to develop quality courses that demonstrate the constructive alignment between course learning outcomes, the professional standards that drive a course and every assessment and subject.

The tool is the pivot in meeting the expectations of accreditation requirements, ensuring a balance between internal requirements and external drivers in a course design by making all alignments visible to the course design team. It has the capacity to map alignments across all elements of the course, to record and collate feedback on each component throughout the process and to support governance committees to oversee the execution of a systematic consistent and transparent process for all courses in the institution.

This presentation tells the story of CourseSpace and the Course Design Process, the intentional design process used at CSU to ensure courses are constructively aligned to deliver meaningful, relevant and quality courses to our students. The presentation will analyse the tool’s capacity to meet current TEQSA expectations for course designs that are transparent, innovative and purposeful in meeting student needs and evaluate the impact on course/program design at CSU.