A fresh approach to curriculum design puts learner success first

Successful curriculum design considers learners and puts their needs first

Learner success has always been at the forefront of curriculum design, but a collaboration between LearningWorks and Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) has hit on a formula to maximise learning opportunities.

This year, a team from LearningWorks and Wintec Centre for Health and Social Practice  took a deep dive into teaching and learning needs to re-evaluate and develop two Wintec degrees.

Their combined task was to develop year two of the new Bachelor of Social Work and Paetahi Tumu Kōrero Bachelor of Counselling degrees offered at Wintec to better enable learners, who are mainly adult second chance students needing flexible learning options.

The team adopted new ways of working to redevelop these qualifications for the learning needs of students and cast a wider net across faculty and students.

LearningWorks’ Instructional Designer Lisa Gordon says that this meant a more detailed and highly collaborative upfront process to better enable students studying these qualifications.

“Working together closely with teachers and students, and taking more time to understand their needs and what they want to achieve, means understanding what’s needed to design and develop engaging courseware.

“Collaboration every step of the way across a wider teaching and learning group, and being open and receptive, creates a much better process and outcome for the learner.”

Acting Director, Wintec Centre for Health and Social Practice Trudy Pocock says “working with LearningWorks has enabled us to explore new ways of engaging our students within our flexible learning environment”.

“LearningWorks has really helped us on this journey and we’re excited about what we will be presenting to students in 2020.”

New ways of working included developing a content mapping system, benchmarking best teaching practice and looking at the needs and demographics of current learners - particularly those with work commitments and family responsibilities.

“Flipping the learning to make it more accessible to learners, means they have more flexibility on how and where they learn, which really supports the known barriers to learning,” adds Lisa.

“As a group, by being more open and receptive, we can better understand who we are, what we do and how to get the best out of what we provide for our learners success.”

“This year we’re using best-practice design tools like a new interactive content map that lists outputs, actions and responsibilities, so course delivery can be more responsive.”

LearningWorks Learning Design Team Lead, Shelley Hardgrave manages EDevelopment House (EDH), a collaborative product design and development hub where experts from across Wintec and LearningWorks design and develop innovative products aligned to Wintec’s Ako: Teaching and Learning Directions.

“This project was all about collaboration every step of the way. Wintec’s Centre for Health and Social Practice team were highly invested and they embraced the whole project.

“The results from greater collaboration have created exciting blended content to enable more live learning with greater immediacy.”

The development team is looking forward to the delivery of the new Bachelor of Social Work and Paetahi Tumu Kōrero Bachelor of Counselling degrees in 2020 and the feedback from students and their tutors.

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