This week, FutureLearn focussed on student and staff perspectives on the curriculum design, which originally felt repetitive of the previous course. However, working through the two weeks of learning interesting and new topics were raised, which I will discuss in this and the following post.
Pespectives on course design
The first question of the course really threw me off, as I felt dropped back into Sociology of Education – questioning around hidden curriculums, motives in education and the ‘true’ purpose behind curricula. Here’s what really pulled me in:
Although my sidetrack, I feel that understanding education in a much wider context is important. There may be an education system and/or curricula I can desire to design, but this would be influenced and constrained by wider societal factors. When thinking of ideal design, a fellow student of the course contributed to this important comment on a holistic approach to understanding the purpose of education:
This holistic approach to education was then addressed later in this weeks learning when considering redesigning courses:
The course then took us back to students perspective of curriculum, with a focus on experiences of courses embedding workplace practice and other skills development opportunities. What was most interesting when listening to the students, was the diversity of experiences across courses; this is evidence that although policies and frameworks may be in place, courses are not all designed the same.
The reasons and factors at play for the difference in design, according to a video offering staff perspectives are due to:
- the nature of the subject and opportunities available linked to career prospects;
- risks management, especially when educating students who are likely to follow careers working with vulnerable people;
- diversity in student cohorts; planning for expected development within expected careers over next 5, 10, 15 years;
- restrictions set by regulations and processes, including Registry functions
- impact on the overall student experience
- set periods of how long a module can run
- ensuring all stakeholders are satisfied with the curriculum outcome
When listening to the video, I began to reflect on my own tasks within the group work project and had noticed areas i had not considered.
Reflection on learning
This week was very short but raised key reminders of focussing the course design our teams have begun on the students.
My team and I have all begun our group assignment, focusing on the student journey from the PGCert (Stage 1) to the MEd (Stage 3). By focussing on the student journey and the student experience, we have been able to begin our design to the benefit of our audience. We will now need to consider other internal and external stakeholder, which may restict our design or provide more flexibility.