Themes and principles: familiar language and guiding lights for those now immersed in the Curriculum Transformation process. But are we lone travellers stepping out into an unknown land? The answer, of course, is no. Across the sector, similar journeys have been and are taking place, and now there is a new map to guide us: at the end of November 2018 the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) released its updated Advice and Guidance for Higher Education providers.
The Advice and Guidance was developed in partnership with the Higher Education sector and is grouped according to 12 themes.
Each theme has a collection of clear principles, many of which are closely connected with our own phased activity engaging with the Principles of Curriculum Transformation.
If we consider the QAA theme of ‘course design and development’, for instance, we can see clear alignment with Phase 1 of Curriculum Transformation (the consultation and reflection activity that the majority of undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses are currently engaged in):
- Course design can be informed by feedback from a range of sources and reflect multidisciplinary research, contemporary industry practice, technological advancements and current affairs.
- Feedback from internal and external stakeholders is used to inform course content.
- Providers should engage students in design, development and approval processes to ensure the student voice is actively represented
We’ll talk more about the symbiosis between our principles and the QAA themes and what this means for our University in the New Year. For now, the guiding principles, practical advice, and further resources offered by the QAA are designed to support providers in meeting the mandatory requirements of the Quality Code – and assures us we’re very much on the right path.
The Curriculum Development Team (Rob, Jo, Briony, Karen, Abby, and Dawn)