As part of UTS 2027, a proposal for a curriculum ‘ecosystem’ was put forward to create an overarching quality framework for course design, approval, development and accreditation. This ecosystem brings together UTS teaching and learning strategies, relevant initiatives and regulatory requirements. It aims to meet the support needs of faculties and course teams related to the key challenges around course review or design, as experienced by UTS staff.
Introducing the Enhancing Courses process
The Enhancing Courses Process has been created to assist course teams to collaborate on the enhancement of course design, whilst thinking from a student perspective about the overall course experience and how student learning will be assured through the design.
Not only will the suggested approach guide course teams to focus on course quality enhancement and the quality of the student experience rather than solely on compliance, by the end of the process, courses will be aligned with the UTS curriculum ecosystem, meeting the standards for accreditation.
The work carried out following the process will help course teams to prepare a course accreditation proposal. Download an accessible word document showing the Enhancing Courses Process and its alignment to the documentation required for an accreditation proposal.
Course accreditation is required to ensure a course meets the University’s educational standards and requirements for the assigned award level. UTS educational standards refer to both external regulatory requirements, as well as distinctive UTS educational imperatives such as the UTS Graduate Attributes, UTS Model of Learning, learning.futures and related strategies and initiatives. When all of these align, they come together to ensure the course structure, content, delivery arrangements and assessment profile are appropriately designed to achieve the desired education and learning outcomes.
Why is this process needed?
Prior to, and throughout the development of the Enhancing Courses Process, input and feedback was gathered from academics involved in course design and review to understand how the process could better support them. Those we spoke to indicated more guidance on curriculum design was needed, related to the following areas:
- Support on how to approach the review and design from a whole-of-course perspective, including relevant exemplars, resources and templates
- Clarity and a rationale for processes, approval requirements, timelines, as well as information on roles and responsibilities;
- Consistency in the approach across faculties
- Information regarding how and at what stages outside support could be sought in order to facilitate meaningful and timely contributions
- Access to data relevant to course review, as well as support in data analysis and interpretation
These concerns, information gaps and pain points were just some that were considered when developing the Enhancing Courses Process.
How does it work?
The Enhancing Courses Process as outlined in the Enhancing Courses Guide, takes you through the main steps involved in reviewing or designing a course, including targeted information and resources to help you apply the process to a specific course or bundle of courses.
A key aim of the Enhancing Courses Guide is to create a central starting point for course review, design and development where all the information needed is organised for easy access in the one place. Much of the content will be familiar to you but the structure, related examples and links will help streamline the process. There are links to relevant data sources, details on UTS initiatives, related legislation, policies, examples and associated literature at all stages to support an enhanced course design, as well as to assist course teams in responding to the required accreditation documentation.
One important feature is that the student experience is at the forefront. Course teams are encouraged to picture their students and design a course for them by leading discussions with questions like, “Who are the students that the course is designed for?”, “What does a graduate of the course look like?”, “How do students move through the course to become a distinct UTS graduate?”, and “What learning opportunities and experiences will support that outcome?”.
How will it help me when the courses I am involved in come up for accreditation?
The guide includes support to develop a new course or undertake a course review, including the key steps, suggested approaches, data sources, exemplars, downloadable templates and links. The work you carry out as part of the review will then feed into the course accreditation proposal documents and templates.
If you would like to find out more about the Enhancing Courses Guide or Process, please go to the Enhancing Courses site or contact the Institute for Interactive Media & Learning (IML): IML_OPS@uts.edu.au.
We want to hear from you
We are looking for input from everyone into the name of the guide, currently titled the ‘Enhancing Courses Guide’. The title emphasises the idea that course teams work together to improve the course throughout its lifecycle.
Other institutions name refer to similar guides and handbooks with titles such as:
- Program and Course Review Process
- The Rough Guide to Curriculum Design
- Curriculum Review Handbook
- Curriculum Renewal Road Map
We’ve explored other options, but people keep coming back to this name and would like your input. Do you like the name Enhancing Courses Guide? Does it clearly articulate what the guide is for? If not, do you have another suggestion for us? If you do, please complete our short survey to provide your anonymous feedback.