Curriculum Confidence comes to Belfast!

Scott provides an overview of the latest run of the Curriculum Confidence workshop in Belfast. This one day workshop explores how to build confidence when designing and delivering a digital curriculum that will prepare students to learn successfully in digital settings, and thrive in a digital world.

L-R: Teresa Higgs, Shri Footring, Scott Hibberson and Esther Barrett
L-R: Teresa Higgs, Shri Footring, Scott Hibberson and Esther Barrett

This week saw Jisc’s popular Curriculum Confidence workshop come to Belfast. The one day workshop not only brought together our members from further and higher education, but we were lucky enough to have some students in attendace too! This was particularly beneficial, as the workshop explores how to design and deliver a digital curriculum that will prepare students to learn successfully in digital settings and thrive in a digital world.

What better way to do that than to hear from students themselves directly?

Throughout the workshop we carried out a range of activities to unpack what is changing in the subject area of the participants. This lead to some rich discussions about how digital is changing the curriculum at subject level, but also the broader impact it has on the institution and the lives of learners themselves.

How we can design in opportunities for students to develop relevant digital capabilities into their course, module or unit of learning was a key theme of the day.

This presented a range of challenges, such as:-

  • How do we convince digitally-shy staff of the benefits of a digital curriculum? (e.g. flexibility, independence, open participation, etc)
  • How do we ensure equality of access and build in activities that students enjoy?
  • What capabilities do teachers need to deliver a digitally rich curriculum?

Jisc has carried out research in all of these areas. We used the findings from our Student Insights service to inform discussions and ensure that changes in curriculum were aligned to student need and aspiration. Appendix 2 in particular of the Digital Experience Insights Survey 2018 provides a plethora of ideas on the kind of digital activities students find useful on their course.

What the students are telling us

In terms of staff digital capability Shri Footring provided a comprehensive overview of Jisc’s digital capability framework and how it could be used to support staff and build confidence. It’s important to not see this as a deficit model, but as a framework for exploring how digital can impact on student experience in a variety of ways. The framework also helps academics to decide what kind of teacher they want to be. To help with this we walked participants through the discovery tool and explored how this could be used by individuals and teams to build confidence further.

We also used an online tool called Backchannel Chat so participants could collaborate and share resources and ideas throughout the day. This provided participants with an alternative means of networking throughout the day and allowed everyone to share approaches and resources they had already developed in their own institutions.

Overall, we were given a very warm welcome by our members in Belfast and look forward to returning for future events. If you’d like to find out more about the discussions on the day we captured them in a Twitter Moment using the hashtag #CurriculumConfidence. You can also find out more about future runs of the Curriculum Confidence workshop from the Jisc website.

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