Example of curriculum redesign and planning

The School of Psychology, at NUI Galway, made the decision to review their undergraduate Curriculum in terms of content and structure following a quality review, benchmarking exercise with two other universities, and student consultations.  They approached the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and a plan was made to review and redesign over three workshop sessions.  Three sessions of 2 ½ hours each were scheduled in which the Programme team would come together to review, discuss and plan. 

Session 1: Graduate Attributes & Programme Outcomes

This session began with staff working in small groups to define the attributes that a graduate of Psychology in NUI Galway would ideally develop during their time as a student.   The groups snowballed until the entire group agreed on 10 attributes.  Through this discussion Programme Outcomes also started to emerge and the session ended with draft Graduate Attributes and Programme Outcomes which would be circulated to all staff and other stakeholders for comment.

Session 2: Curriculum Review

The team reviewed the outputs from the previous session and revisions made as a result of comments received.  Using the Reflective activity 9.2 groups worked to map the current module offering to the Programme Outcomes and identify areas which may need to be enhanced to more fully help students achieve the outcomes.

Session 3: Curriculum Planning

The team divided in to two groups, with one group charged with making space in the curriculum, removing elements that were not delivering or indeed over delivering on the programme outcomes. The other group looked at changes that could be made to existing modules.    This was reported back and each group made their case to the entire programme team.  

The programme team committed to making changes based on the outcomes of the sessions for the next academic year after consultation with students, alumni and other stakeholders.

The review ran on a tight timescale, cognisant of individuals’ time pressures and availability.  By coming together with an independent faciliatator, a clear common purpose and expectant outcomes from each session, the best use was made of the time available, sessions remained focused and consensus was reached.