Designing: Course and Curriculum Design

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Course and curriculum design is changing. As we observed in the pre¬vious chapter, there are increasing social and economic pressures on higher education to generate a wider range of knowledge, skills and atti¬tudes for coping with the demands of our 'supercomplex age'. The cur¬rent pace of technological and social change is impelling teachers to think in terms of educating students not for today's problems but for those of tomorrow. We demand greater flexibility and imagination in educating for the future and want our students to develop learning skills and the ability to transfer what is learned to new and more complex situations. In the process our very concepts of learning - and teaching - are also changing. Learning is itself regarded as a process of change, change not only in relation to intellectual reconceptualization but also, as we empha¬sized in the previous chapter, encompasses personal, social and practical transformations,

There is now a broad consensus on the need to engage with a more diverse range of experiences in the design of courses. We have concep¬tualized this' diversity in the idea of 'the learning matrix' described in Chapter 4. In this chapter, we shall explore course design in terms of the critical dimensions raised in that matrix. We shall do so in three sections. In the first section we shall draw upon three decades of experience pro¬viding courses for faculty development in learning and teaching – across the whole spectrum of higher education disciplines - to examine a par¬ticular type of course: the workshop or intensive short course. It will pro¬vide a case study of what we refer to as the learning and teaching genre of 'designing', and offers the opportunity to address a wide range of the broad design issues arising from the matrix. Indeed, the rather unique qualities of the workshop/short-course design raises course design in a manner which will permit us to explore just how far the design of courses ; might actually go in...
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