CLT recently hosted a town-hall discussion for Academic Reps to find out about University plans to review and redesign all of our UG and PGT programmes over the next few years.
Chloe Page, SU Officer (Education), put a number of questions to our panel.
Professor Peter Lambert, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), described how changes to our taught programmes have been ad hoc to date, affecting single units or subjects. He emphasised that plans are aimed at futureproofing our existing programmes. This is an opportunity to identify the strengths that have made us so successful, scale up best practice, support a greater variety of teaching methods, and take advantage of opportunities and innovations that can help make a degree from Bath ever more desirable.
Students were reassured that they will continue on their existing courses, and that their feedback would continue to be sought and acted upon to enhance current curricula, teaching and assessment.
Dr Cassie Wilson (Associate Dean, Learning & Teaching, H&SS) and Hannah Sanderson (Curriculum Development Officer, CLT) shared their experiences of working on our ‘vanguard programmes’, early adopters that will transform their curricula for our 2019/20 cohort. Cassie outlined how they had engaged students and other stakeholders to identify what should be maintained and what could be enhanced. As plans progress, SSLCs will discuss proposed changes to course content and structure to ensure continued student input. Hannah explained how this could lead to a longer term change in how we approach curriculum development. Previously changes have often been reactive to student feedback. The approach taken by the vanguard programmes is more proactive, with students actively encouraged to think about curriculum content and structure, and identify changes that will benefit the next generation following in their footsteps.
Hannah-Jade Parker, a current MSc Medical Biosciences student, took part in a focus group for the MSc Biosciences vanguard programme. She was enthusiastic about the session, which was held during a tutorial. The group suggested practical improvements which are now being considered, such as moving research projects to an earlier point in the course, so that students could use them as examples in job interviews.
Students in the audience discussed how we could engage the wider student community as other programmes begin to review their curricula. Suggestions included organising questionnaires and surveys, giving updates in lectures and tutorials, and ensuring that students have an opportunity to provide anonymous suggestions and feedback using Padlet and other apps.
CLT will continue to work with The SU Bath and Academic Reps as we develop plans to roll out curriculum development across our taught programmes.
If you would like to find out more about our vanguard programmes, read our blogpost from Professor Andrew Heath, Academic Director of CLT.