Design of any taught element, from a single tutorial or lecture through to an entire Programme, can be made simpler if a few basic design principles are applied.
Some useful starting points for designing any teaching can be broken down as follows:
- Start with the end in mind – what are the learning outcomes? In other words what do you want your students to know or be able to do as a result of your teaching? Also consider at this stage the relationship between these outcomes and the University’s wider Graduate Attributes.
- In parallel with 1 above, what content will be included – and what will be left out? Curricula are always full, and it is easy to overfill them. Coverage is the enemy of understanding. Fewer concepts, well explained, can be beneficial.
- Which other concepts, not traditionally thought of as part of the formal curriculum, will be included. These include due consideration being given to aspects such as employability, enterprise and entrepreneurship and generic skills development.
- Assessment and feedback: How will students and you know that the learning outcomes have been achieved? How will students know how they are progressing along the way, before it is too late for them to change their practice?
- Methods of delivery: How are you going to help your students to engage with the materials, ideas and concepts that you have set out above? Are lectures the best way to do this or are there others? Have you taken account of the accessibility of your materials from an equality and diversity perspective?
- Evaluation: How will you know that your teaching is effective?