CDIs go international!

Greg Benfield is in Melbourne, Australia, on a four week secondment to Victoria University (VU) demonstrating the Course Design Intensive (CDI) approach to curriculum renewal that was pioneered at Brookes. He has given workshops and seminars on the process to a variety of academic groups at VU, including to senior management groups (deans and associate deans). He is also running a demonstration of the CDI process with two VU courses as a means of evaluating how to adapt and adopt the process at VU.

OCSLD followers will know that CDIs are a team-based approach to designing and redesigning courses that involves expanding design teams to include learning technologists, subject librarians, course administrators and other professionals as appropriate, focus on high level curriculum objectives (e.g. blended learning, distance learning, redesigning assessment, etc), programme/course (rather than module) level design, and peer review of designs (see Dempster et al 2012).

Staff in a CDI workshop
Day 1 of a CDI event at Victoria University on 30 November

Victoria University is a very large (over 50000 students) and culturally diverse Australian university located in the inner west of Melbourne, one of five Australian multi-sector universities offering both vocational education (further education) and higher education courses. It has just announced a major curriculum renewal project, under the banner of ‘Capabilities for the Future’ (seehttp://www.vu.edu.au/about-vu/vision-and-mission/our-strategic-plan). There are resonances with the Brookes’ vision of enhancing the student experience through courses that develop the five Brookes graduate attributes. VU has three graduate capabilities and it is planning to place significant emphasis in its curriculum reform project on blended learning and team-based curriculum renewal. They are also placing a lot of emphasis on a collaborative curriculum. Their strategy document, ‘VU Agenda and Blueprint for Curriculum Reform: Capabilities for the Future”, includes the objective of “establishing collaborative communities of internal and external partners to drive learning and assessment design and teaching”. Hence its adoption of CDIs as the framework for its curriculum reform process.

VU has also taken the opportunity to have Greg give a joint public seminar with Professor Margaret Mazzolini (Pro-VC Learning and Teaching) on 11 December on blended learning, titled ‘Supporting Learners in a Digital Age’. Drawing on OCSLD’s extensive involvement in learner experiences of e-learning and digital literacies development, the seminar aims to make the case, from a teaching and student experience perspective, for a strategic focus on the use of digital technology in the curriculum.

Dempster, J. A., Benfield, G. and Francis, R. (2012). “An academic development model for fostering innovation and sharing in curriculum design.” Innovations in Education and Teaching International 49(2): 135-147.

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