How curriculum is designed will inevitably impact on its form, structure, content and outputs. An individual member of staff, designing a curriculum under pressure and short of time, will inevitably produce something that draws on their own experiences and which is, therefore, likely to replicate what has gone before, which may include unrepresentative approaches with unintentional negative consequences.
A group designing curriculum, with time, resources and support will be more able to take a critical approach, informed by evidence, be openly creative and focussed on the needs of the wider student population. Designing curriculum in this way is a more complex approach and is more likely to result in teaching, learning and assessment that benefits all students.
This project has interviewed Quality, Curriculum Development and Academic Teaching staff in universities across the UK. This section draws on their evidence and the literature to explore how universities can support curriculum development that benefits student learning and wellbeing. It is clear, from the evidence we have gathered, that the support provided for curriculum development, the processes and structures through which new curriculum must pass and the culture in which they are developed, offer universities an opportunity to ensure that curriculum supports learning and wellbeing. This infrastructure, in effect, provides universities with the means to ensure an inclusive, whole university approach to learning and teaching and to ensure they have a positive impact on all students.
This section will consider the underlying circumstances in which high quality curriculum is likely to be delivered. This encompasses the processes that support curriculum development and validation, institutional understandings of key issues and the wellbeing of the staff developing curricula.