Students and staff co-creating curricula: exploring practical ways of engaging students in designing...

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Students and staff co-creating curricula: exploring practical ways of engaging students in designing their own learning & teaching Dr Catherine Bovill, Senior Lecturer, Academic Development Unit University of Stirling 4 th December 2012

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  • Students and staff co-creating curricula: exploring practical ways of engaging students in designing their own learning & teachingDr Catherine Bovill, Senior Lecturer, Academic Development Unit

    University of Stirling 4th December 2012

  • OverviewBackground and definitionsWhy co-create curricula?Possible and desirable levels of participationExamples of different types of participationChallenges and solutions Key design decisions influencing student engagement

  • What is the curriculum?

    Fraser & Bosanquets (2006) curriculum definitionsa) Structure and content of a unitb) Structure and content of a programme of studyc) The students experience of learningd) A dynamic and interactive process of teaching and learning (p272)

  • HE Lit supporting co-created curricStudents as co-creators/co-producers of their learning (Bovill et al, 2011& 2009; McCulloch, 2009; Neary, 2010; SFC, 2008)

    Literature calling for student participation in curriculum design from critical pedagogy and popular education (Darder et al, 2003; Dewey, 1916; Fischer, 2005; Freire, 1993; Giroux, 1983; Rogers and Freiberg, 1969)

    Specific student participation in curriculum design Breen & Littlejohn (2000) Language teachingScandrett et al (2005) Environmental justiceFischer (2005); Delpish et al ( 2010) EducationBovill et al, (2011); Cook-Sather (2010) non-disciplinary specific

  • Why would you co-create curricula?My course was brokenMy students are not engagedI want to make my classroom more democraticThe benefits look worth exploringThe university was going through a structural changeThere was a small amount of funding available

  • Student benefitsEnhanced meta-cognitive understanding of the learning processcollective and individual responsibilitygroup cohesionautonomy and self-directed learningconfidence and motivationEnhanced student performance in assessmentsEnhanced meta-cognitive understanding of the teaching process

    (See for e.g. Bovill et al 2011; Delpish et al, 2011; Mihans et al, 2008)

  • Staff outcomesEnhanced meta-cognitive understanding of the learning and teaching processNerve-wrackingIntense / demanded a lotRewarding experience from genuine dialogue with students and witnessing benefits for studentsTransformatory

    (See for e.g. Bovill et al 2011; Delpish et al, 2011; Mihans et al, 2008)

  • Ladder of student participation in curriculum designStudents as full members of curriculum design teamDesigning a VLEStudents designing their own learning outcome(s)Bovill & Bulley, (2011)

  • Words of cautionHigher up the ladder is not necessarily betterBeware of chasing the nirvana of total participation and totally equal participation

    Different points on the ladder might be possible or desirable in different contexts

    The ladder is simply a model to facilitate discussion

  • Examples of co-created curriculaDo you have any examples of co-created curricula?

  • Examples of student participationstudents choosing the topic for their research projectstudents co-designing marking criteria with staffstudents and staff collaborate to choose a course text bookstudents influencing the content of the curriculumstudents work forming the basis of the curriculumstudents co-creating course resourcesstudents co-designing the assessment

  • Some big questionsWe have a professional body that constrains what we can do with our curriculumI only teach these students for two weeks and the course is co-ordinated by someone elseWe are all overstretched and this sounds like more workI teach first years and they dont have 20 years of experience like me to know what needs to be in the content of the first year chemistry curriculum

  • Challenges to the co-creation processWhat are the key challenges to you co-creating curricula in your context?

    How can these challenges be overcome?

  • Pre-design decisionsTutors as gatekeepers

    Which students? Retrospective, current or future design?

    Selecting students if not all students by interview/criteria

    Do you reward your students?

    Course, programme or extra-curricular?

    Students involved in designing curriculum process or content? Bovill (forthcoming)

  • Any questions?

  • What would be a good question for me to ask the group if I wanted to get some feedback on the session today?

    Choose 1 or 2 of the suggested questions and write a response to the question on the paper provided. Please leave these behind at the end of the session

    Thank youEvaluation

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