What aspects of curriculums are flexible?

Providing students with the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes is the overarching aim of all curriculum.

The following table aims to provide guidance to you on how to provide this opportunity for students with reference to:

  • the purpose of each tier of the curriculum
  • elements of curriculum that are less flexible and require higher level processes and more consultation to evoke change
  • elements of curriculum that are more dynamic and require fewer processes to change
hierarchy of documents, at the top 'generic unit outlines', in the middle 'extended unit outcomes', 3rd tier, 'LEO site, session plans, activities, content

National curriculum framework

Tier

Governance

Implementation

Delivery

 
Limited flexibility 
Some flexibility 
Most flexibility 

What is the purpose of this tier?

info

The governance level is the framework that is approved by accreditors, TEQSA and the university across a program. Programs are developed in consultation with key stakeholders. This levels ensures that key considerations are integrated across programs

The implementation level is about operationalising the governance level. There’s a clear articulation of expectations of student and staff.

The delivery level allows for engaging students in activities to achieve learning outcomes. Individual practices and variances can be accommodated here provided the opportunity to achieve the same learning outcomes.

Who is usually involved at this level?

people

  • Accreditors
  • Industry representatives
  • Discipline academics (internal and external)
  • Student representatives
  • Senior faculty board members
  • Senior faculty administrators
  • Discipline teaching teams
  • Lecturers, tutors, students

What are the key curriculum documents?

papers

  • Approved curriculum including Generic Unit Outline (GUO)
  • Approved every 5 years with interim changes   requiring high level approval

  • Extended Unit Outlines (EUO)
  • Approved each teaching period
  • Reflect and ‘extend’ approved GUOs

  • Lesson plans
  • Learning activities
  • Student experiences as they occur
  • Fluid – can evolve as developed and delivered provided  aligned with learning outcomes.

Stable aspects

books

  • Accreditation requirements
  • Rationales for program and units
  • Learning outcomes (LOs) for programs and units
  • Teaching strategy rationales
  • Assessment rationales
  • Generic assessment types
  • All the unit level Generic Unit Outline   elements (rationale, LOs, teaching strategy and assessments)
  • Includes policy, referral and resourcing   information for students
  • Alignment to Extended unit outline (rationale,   LOs, teaching strategy and assessments)
  • Any student activities to be aligned to the   LOs

Opportunities for flexibility

cogs

Changes can be made to generic unit outlines by going through a formal process. There are consultative committees and accreditation considerations.

See Course Approval, Amendment and Review Policy

  • Opportunity to be location/jurisdiction/environment/cohort specific.
  • Details of assessments may vary locally
  • Scheduling according to local resources
  • Specific classroom experiences/activities   (in-person or virtual environments)
  • Individual strengths, skills, knowledge and preferences of   teacher
  • Personal style of teacher

Reasons for variance

thinking

  • Reflecting changes in society and market needs
  • Changing accreditation frameworks
  • The emergence of new knowledge in the discipline
  • Reflecting local practices
  • Reflecting local cohort needs
  • Promoting engagement/retention
  • Encouraging staff creativity
  • Reflecting current research
  • Meeting individual needs
  • Accommodating diversity
  • Evaluating and monitoring students
  • Encouraging staff creativity

Considerations

handshake

  • Operational and/or administrative reasons a school may prioritise consistency
  • Workload considerations
  • The sustainability of unit
  • Skill, experience and background of teaching team

Learning & teaching

Please contact the Learning and Teaching Centre for professional development, resources and advice for your learning and teaching needs at ACU.

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