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Institutional Change at Manchester Metropolitan University - Curriculum Design Opening up the Game


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Slides from a short presentation made by Peter Bird and Rachel Forsyth of Manchester Metropolitan University on institutional change at the University. Presentation given at the Open University hosted workshop 'Curriculum Design - Opening up the Game'.

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Institutional Change at Manchester Metropolitan University - Curriculum Design Opening up the Game

  1. 1. Institutional Change at MMU Peter Bird & Rachel Forsyth SRC projectWednesday, July 11, 2012 1
  2. 2. What was SRC• Try out curriculum change in four areas, Law, Accounting, Creative Digital, Physiotherapy• Curriculum tuned to needs of employers, professional bodies• Showcasing of talent through portfolio/PDP• Attempt to create a more efficient QA process with online curriculum
  3. 3. Wednesday, July 11, 2012 3
  4. 4. How was it in 2009?• Robust but burdensome QA processes with lots of paper and large approval meetings• Inconsistent and often large numbers of assessments per unit, lack of clear learning outcomes• A lack of a consistency for students – ad-hoc linkage between curriculum, timetabling, VLE, library resources etc…• Some good links to employability but no overall strategy
  5. 5. Course Info | systemic problemsPractice is too QAA commend our We struggle tovaried to robust processes interpret vaguesystematise QA docs Central systems don’t Student Records support local variety QA We keep it vague to avoid tortuous QAWe re-type so we build our owneverythinginto UCAS We can’t get Marketing concrete details on Course Teams do marketing Why courses for website, never have up-to- so maintain our own date info about our courses 5
  6. 6. 2010 - Stop Mucking about, let’s go forbroke…• Re-write the curriculum• Standardise course units• Link in employability outcomes• Stick the curriculum online• And while you’re at it, change the VLE, introduce personalised timetabling and mash it up into a student portal.
  7. 7. What have we done… The launch ofEQAL• Re-written the entire undergraduate curriculum (over 1300 course units so far…). First year went live in Autumn 2011• Put the curriculum online and streamlined QA processes• All course units linked to graduate outcomes• Less assessments to lead to better feedback..• New VLE, online personalised timetabling, assessment tracking system
  8. 8. What have we learned• “Never mind the pedagogy”. Standardisation – 30 credits, 20 credits – forget the credits it’s forcing the change that matters…..• It’s not about saving money – it’s better student experience for the same bucks• It’s all or nothing with institutional change – can’t do it by experimentation• How to do change management
  9. 9. What we have learned• You won’t get instant leaps in NSS scores – management has to hold its nerve for several years at least…• Communication is a key issue – Easy for staff to see this as pre-cursor to re-structuring• Accurate data is key – an inaccurate curriculum will be quickly visible to students• Training/Support is needed – hence the games!
  10. 10. What they said…• “We recognised that if we were to be one institution, albeit made up of different faculties and campuses with different origins and histories, we needed a greater degree of standardisation and consistency about the way the curriculum was assessed.” Deputy VC• “I don’t like the 30-credit unit size; it’s too big and prevents a diverse curriculum, reduces student choice and requires lumping things together which don’t naturally fit.” EQAL Faculty Lead• “There is a better understanding now of the connection between basic aspects of the curriculum and the student experience… it doesn’t matter how good teaching and learning is, it will be dragged down if the basics aren’t in place, like knowing where you are supposed to be, what assignments will be set and when the submission dates are. I think that understanding of this is beginning to grow across the institution now.” Learning Technologist• “I appreciate why MMU has done EQAL – for a more positive student experience. These things just take time, it’s such a big university. On the whole, the university does listen to the student voice.” Vice President, Student Union
  11. 11. The end is only the beginning…• Building blocks in place but assessment for learning is a(nother) long-term project….• You can’t do enough to develop links to employability…• Showcasing of talent through Mahara• Communication, Communication Communication has to improve to keep staff on-board