Encouraging creative and innovative ‘Viewpoints’ in Curriculum Design
Speakers: Dr Alan Masson and Catherine O’Donnell With contributions from: Dr Vilinda Ross, Karen Virapen, Jill Harrison and Sharon Copeland.
An Introduction to Viewpoints.
Viewpoints workshop taster.
Learner Engagement, Assessment and Feedback and Information Skills.
Brief discussion and activity.
Some evaluation findings
Review of the Viewpoints Process.
See also – provided train the trainer manual
Questions and close.
An Introduction to Viewpoints
Viewpoints is a JISC funded curriculum design project.
It has a remit to create a series of reflective tools to promote & enhance effective curriculum design.
The tools use a learner timeline with established principles to help staff consider areas such as:
assessment and feedback,
learner engagement and
creativity and innovation
while considering the learner perspective. A short video introduction on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ux0Bv7fRrQI
Viewpoints Overview The Viewpoints “approach” uses a card sorting metaphor with the resources providing semi structured prompts and suggestions with a learner centred timeline The tools use a learner timeline with established principles to help staff consider key interactions of the learning process (i.e. essence)
Inform – Inspire - Plan
Assessment and Feedback Principles REAP (http://www.reap.ac.uk/) Clarify good performance. Encourage time and effort on task. Deliver high quality feedback. Provide opportunities to act on feedback. Encourage interaction and dialogue. Develop self-assessment and reflection. Give assessment choice. Encourage positive motivational beliefs. Inform and shape your teaching. *Implementation ideas for each principle on back of cards.
Learner Engagement Principles The principles of learner engagement are based upon the 8 Learning Events Model developed by LabSET, University of Liège, Belgium. Receive. Create. Debate. Explore. Imitate. Experiment. Practice. Meta-Learn. *Implementation ideas for each principle on back of cards. http://www.flickr.com/photos/viewpointsproject/
Information Skills Principles SCONUL 7 Pillars (http://www.sconul.ac.uk) Define the task and understand the topic. Identify appropriate resources. Search effectively. Find and extract information. Compare and analyse information. Organise and share information ethically. Interpret information and create new content. *Implementation ideas for each principle on back of cards.
CourseLevel Perspective Supports those who wish to look at Course View.
A Course Level Worksheet Example
ModuleLevel Perspective Supports those who wish to look at Module View.
A Module Level Worksheet Example
Users/teams define the outputs These can be orderly or messy – it’s up to the team.
In less than two hours………
An opportunity for you to use some of the Viewpoints resources.
Some suggested scenarios for group work 1. Learner Engagement Scenario E.g. Support Year 1 students’ transition to Higher Education. 2. Assessment and Feedback Scenario E.g. Improve feedback methods among Year 2 students. 3. Information Skills ScenarioE.g. Enable flexible learning opportunities on work placement. 4. Learner Engagement Scenario E.g. Increase the employability of graduates during their final year. 5. Assessment and Feedback Scenario E.g. Improve assessment and feedback methods using technology. 6. Information Skills Scenario E.g. Support learners in their final year as they undertake dissertations. Note: You can move tables or consider a different group scenario if you prefer.
Task 1:Agree your objective (5 minutes)
Agree your ‘objective(s)’ and record in space provided.
E.g. improve learner engagement, improve assessment and feedback methods or improve information skills.
Begin to think about how the theme (learner engagement, assessment and feedback or information skills) your group has been given could help you meet your chosen objective(s).
You might find it useful to make notes on the worksheet using markers or post-its as you go along.
Task 2 – Select principles (5 minutes) Spend about 5 minutes exploring the principles provided (front of cards) and choose any that may help address your group’s objective(s).
Place the cards on the student timeline, where you think relevant, considering your objective(s) and the student perspective.Note: you can place the same cards in more than one place on the timeline.
Task 4 – Select implementation ideas (20 minutes) Turn over the most important card(s) and select ideas that could help your group achieve your agreed objective(s). Discuss how your ideas could be used in practice. Make notes using post-its or markers on the worksheet. Note any overall action points and reflections.
Before we discuss/share some of our findings we would appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes completing a short evaluation questionnaire.
Some benefits we have observed from workshops to date
Open and flexible format - facilitates “ownership”;
Customisable resources and “user interface” - promotes creativity;
Storyboard structure - focus on low risk conversations.
User outputs (valued by teams)
Form basis of an Assessment & Feedback (or other theme) strategy.
Provide reference for future course team discussions (planning resource).
Key information currently transcribed into table (Word or other format).
Note: online tool to be developed to capture structured outputs.
Building effective teams
This can be done in a shorter period of time through:
Establishing shared meanings and priorities.
Facilitating discussions and the sharing of ideas.
Collaborative development of the workshop output.
Shared meanings and priorities
Interactive and engaging
Use of action based principles Structured choice provides support and promotes reflection; Provide a more consistent meaning verses conceptual entities (i.e. lecture); Defer decision making regarding “how” to end off activity; Focus on storyboarding - encourage a more dynamic creative process; Timeline and principles - focuses attention on learner experience.
Informative and supporting
Table 1: Viewpoints Approach
Table 2: Viewpoints Approach(External Events)
Table 3: Viewpoints Approach(Internal Events)
Teamwork/Collaboration “Can stimulate discussion, collaborative team working and initiate new ideas for curriculum design. It also prompts teams to be mindful of the student learner” “It was useful to be able to work in a common environment with other course teams and consider comparative approaches”
Social/Collaboration “Great to get together….It’s good to talk” “Time away from the office to explore your subject and think in a new way” “...different opinions from colleagues to become discussed in an open forum” “Allowed for different people to bring in their ideas and hear mine, which we could then use to work together in sorting out a problem”
Creativity/Reflection “Structured, yet creative” “Excellent at facilitating thought development” “The potential for new approaches to ‘old’ ideas” “Good flow of ideas, we tapped into many areas of discussion” “It assists you to step back from the course/module you are delivering and assessing if it is fit for purpose”
Review of the Viewpoints Process Things to consider in adopting / embedding Viewpoints approaches and resources in your own institution
Value of the Viewpoints’ Process “Getting the team together to plan” “Comprehensive coverage of principles” “It is clear, thought provoking and engaging” “Flexibility and simplicity” “To start with a ‘blank sheet’ and to be more innovative in approach” It brought out different voices and ways of thinking” “It made the team look at the course from a different aspect” “Helps to keep the student perspective at the forefront of each decision made” (Radiographers, School of Health Sciences ….on a late Friday afternoon)
Using the Viewpoints Resources effectively - creating an environment for change Full details in the provided handbook
Overview of the Viewpoints handbook Chapter 1 – Viewpoints introduction Chapter 2 – Using the Viewpoints handbook Chapter 3 – Holding a workshop Chapter 4 – Themes for your workshop Chapter 5 – Follow-up to your workshop Chapter 6 – Acknowledgments Appendices Download pack – http://viewpoints.ulster.ac.uk/resources
Phases of the Viewpoints approach Workshop preparation Workshop environment Workshop facilitation Workshop outputs Stakeholder engagement (close the cycle)
3 part framework
4 themes, 2 views
Pre-workshop preparation With Group lead: Identify likely challenges / opportunities for the group Agree level, theme, no. of participants and no. of groups etc Identify a workshop duration and some realistic aims Housekeeping: Book a room appropriate for the environment and layout you want Check tables are appropriate and arrange the room Prepare resources: make sure you have all the resources you need to meet your workshop plans Allow time for setup and take down of the workshop resources Book any “refreshments” for the session
Key tasks within workshops(module and course level) Consider key challenges and agree an objective/theme for the session Explore principles provided for the chosen theme and choose those that may help address the objective Map principles to timeline and prioritise theme Select possible implementation ideas that could support priority principles Review and annotate worksheet with a plan Agree any action points and final reflections Share plans
Some key elements to consider
Context (formal or informal)
Level (Course or Module)
Duration (balance commitment with opportunity)
Room Layout (informal – flat v vertical surfaces)
Group size (smaller – less discussion, larger – allow more time for debate)
Flexible resources (Provide additional resources such as pens and post-its)
Some hints and tips Ensure groups agree a well defined “challenge” Encourage creative use of resources Emphasise no right or wrong anwsers Don’t be a hostage to the agenda (be flexible) – Allow groups to work ahead of schedule Trust the Viewpoints structure and resources The storyboard structure encourages low risk conversations to develop naturally Resources prompt reflection and discussion allowing groups to experiment and find their own “oversights”
The resources help the facilitator “Easy tool – visually descriptive, illustrative” “…Resources excellent prompts” “Suggestion cards act as a good prompt” “Cards aided formulation of ideas” “Accessible and easy to use. Comprehensive and guiding.”
Workshop outputs Act as record of workshop discussions and agreed plan Diagrammatic strategy overview (why, what, when and how) for curriculum processes Diagrammatic representation of learner experience Conversation piece for further development / review
Typical course level workshop outputs
Alternative output formats Simple Word Table Annotated Image File N.B. Online tool in development in conjunction with Cambridge CourseTools project
Institutional embedding and engaging with key stakeholders
Institutional embedding exercise Menu du Jour activity Starter (process alignment) Main Course (stakeholders to target) Dessert (change agents / facilitators) Discuss in groups of 3 (or 4) the menu options provided. Your order will be taken in around 15 minutes time .
Questions / Discussion
Further information Viewpoints project blog: http://viewpoints.ulster.ac.uk Dr Alan Masson, Project Director - firstname.lastname@example.org Catherine O’Donnell, Academic E-Learning Consultant - email@example.com Karen Virapen, Instructional Technologist - firstname.lastname@example.org Jill Harrison, Instructional Technologist - email@example.com Dr Vilinda Ross, Research Fellow - firstname.lastname@example.org
Use of principles to facilitate educational alignment with other “initiatives” Activity - educational alignment of an institutional initiative (learning technologies / graduate attributes) with the Assessment and Feedback principles.