Engaging and empowering first-year students through curriculum design perspectives from the literature. Catherine Bovill, Cathy J. Bulley and Kate Morss. Teaching in Higher Education. Routledge Vol. 16, No. 2, April 2011, 197—209.
There is an increasing value being placed on engaging and empowering first-year students. First-year curriculum design is a key driver and opportunity to ensure early enculturation into successful learning at university. The paper of Catherine Bovilla, Cathy J. Bulley and Kate Morss summarizes the literature on first-year curriculum design linked to student engagement and empowerment.
Bovilla, Bulley and Morss made a list of principles and guidelines for curriculum design to engage and empower.
Table 1. Principles and guidelines for curriculum design to engage and empower.
Facilitation of student development should be based on abilities on entry
Explore students’ abilities on entry, aims and goals and conflicting roles
Become familiar with students’ needs and aspirations
Students should be enabled to develop the abilities required on graduation
Curricula should be designed to develop abilities required on graduation in a cumulative Manner
Reflection and independence should be facilitated to ensure potential for lifelong learning
Academic skills should be developed throughout the course or programme
Development of academic learning and literacy skills should be facilitated
Student needs should be developed in a long-strategy throughout the whole programme of study
Students should be aware of their progress in relation to course standards
Integration of early and ongoing formative feedback should be used to inform students on standards and progress
The conflicting roles of students should be understood and valued
Learning experiences from paid work should be capitalised on
Engaging learning experiences should be generated
‘Engaging learning environments’ should be designed with contextualised tasks
Information and communication technologies should be strategically integrated in Learning
Course content should integrate research into teaching
Course structures should be coherent and current
Research and teaching should be linked from year one, promoting discovery and debate
Institutional structures should support curricular strategies
An institution-wide approach should align curriculum with administrative and support Services
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