(CS EdX Sessions) Mathewson-Mitchell, Donna

Title: Curricular Conceptualisations in the Era of CourseLoop: A cross-institutional conversation

Presenter: Dr Donna Mathewson-Mitchell

Co-presenter(s): James Elibank-Murray, Rob Geis, Maria D’Addiego-Kettle, Vinod Kumar, Stuart Upton

Faculty / Division: DLT

School / Unit:

Session Type: Interactive Discussion

When: Thursday, 18 November 2021 @ 11:15am – 12:15pm)

Where: https://charlessturt.zoom.us/j/66175804829


Curricular conceptualisations in the era of CourseLoop: A cross-institutional conversation Knowledge is central to the work of universities. However, there is relatively little discussion of knowledge, particularly in relation to curriculum in the higher education sector (Ashwin, 2014; Bovill & Wormer, 2019). Similarly, while the term curriculum is used regularly, there are varying understandings of its meaning.

In a study examining academic staff definitions of curriculum, Fraser and Bosanquet (2006) found four main curricular understandings, these were:

A: the structure and content of a unit (subject);

B: the structure and content of a programme of study;

C: the students’ experience of learning;

D: a dynamic and interactive process of teaching and learning’ (Fraser and Bosanquet, 2006, 272).

Bovill and Wormer (2019) go on observe that the different ways in which curriculum is conceptualised speak to different aspects of the intellectual, technical and moral dimensions of curriculum and pedagogy (Shulman, 2005) and frame engagement with curriculum. It then follows that this influences the ways in which curriculum management, curriculum innovation and curriculum change are engaged with and discussed.

The absence of debate about curriculum, and acknowledgement of varying perceptions, contributes to confusion and assumptions about the opportunities for, and understandings of, curriculum (Bovill and Wormer, 2019). This interactive discussion will address this absence by providing a forum for a discussion of the relationship between knowledge and curriculum in the context of rapid change across the higher education sector. Discussants will represent a number of universities, namely Charles Sturt and Macquarie University, both of whom have implemented the CourseLoop platform as an enabling curriculum management system. Discussants will provide a cross institutional perspective that enables the Charles Sturt experience to be extended and elaborated on.

Discussion will focus on the following key questions:

  • What are our understandings of curriculum and curriculum management?
  • How do curricular conceptualisations influence our work in higher education?
  • How do we implement significant curriculum innovations, with a focus on academic quality, in this context?

Participants will be invited to reflect on these questions and their own curricular conceptualisations to explore current positioning and generate new thinking about the place of knowledge and curriculum. Participants will also be invited to contribute commentary and questions to the discussion as it unfolds. This engagement will be contextualised in terms of the challenges of working with a new curriculum management system that demands new ways of working with curriculum. This session is envisaged as the start of a series of cross-institutional discussions that will allow the four universities to continue a curriculum conversation.