Curriculum design and refresh


Several tools are available to support curriculum design and refresh activities with course teams. This page highlights some of the tools in this area and outlines the Curriculum Design Studio – an immersive think tank activity for course teams.

The Curriculum Design Studio

The Curriculum Design Studio is typically a half day event which can be facilitated for course teams to refresh existing curriculum or to design new courses. Some of the tools and processes are described here.

The Radar design tool – for the analysis of feedback design

These radar diagram tools look at feedback in the context of designing an assessment strategy. The first is for working with principles developed by Sheffield Hallam academic staff. The second is based on principles established in the Re-Engineering Assessment Practice (REAP) project:

Either can be selected by the Academic Lead when preparing the workshop.

The Radar tool is used by design teams to focus development priorities before a design studio activity. The categories on the radar tool are the same as the Viewpoints Cards for the Feedback for Learning topic, so using the radar tool before a Viewpoints activity helps to focus the design discussion.

  • First, individuals look at each concept label on the spider diagram. Using the description on the reverse, each person decides for themselves how useful it will be to discuss this aspect of Learning Spaces. If it is important, you should put a mark on the outer edge of the diagram. Less important aspects are indicated by putting a mark closer to the centre.
  • Second, each individual should join up all their mark which creates a shape making it easier to compare.
  • Last, as a group, compare your shapes and priorities. Discuss discrepancies and similarities. Decide on a small number of dimensions that you think it would be valuable to work on.

Curriculum design principles

Curriculum design is founded on sound principles. This allows the course team to work in concert whilst having the degree of autonomy needed to address the content in the right way. By using principles, a more consistent student experience can be achieved.