You may have heard (or read) about MUIC’s adventures of redesigning the curriculum for our Foundation and Diploma programs. In the process, we felt the need to develop a Learning and Teaching philosophy. Here’s the why and how.
Why MUIC needed an L&T Philosophy
The scoping of the curriculum redesign project revealed a need for consistent and coherent approaches throughout the units and programs to improve the student experience. The philosophy was also a way of channelling collective views on learning & teaching beliefs and values held by MUIC staff, and collaboratively developing principles that would guide the curriculum mapping and resource development activities.
How we developed it
With the help of the LIH, we facilitated a ThinkTank course across 8 weekly sessions where we explored best practice and examined our beliefs and current actions. We discussed what is currently happening and what we would like to see changed while gaining clarity on limitations and barriers. We agreed on a draft and deduced guiding principles for curriculum design. It was important that all stakeholders would be able to contribute to the development of a shared philosophy so we presented the initial draft to the Executive team and then teaching staff at MUIC, and invited feedback face-to-face and via a survey. We also checked in with current and alumni students and asked for their input.
We were pleased to find that the philosophy has been well received as a vision statement that matches how we approach pathway education, how teachers want to teach, and how our students want to be engaged.
How do we make it work
These principles inform and guide the design and development of units and programs Design principles deduced from the L&T Philosophy form an integral part of the unit development brief that each of our curriculum designers receives. These principles inform and guide the design and development of units and programs, and essentially the kinds of classrooms experiences we want Foundation and Diploma students to experience. For example, critical reflection is now incorporated more explicitly in learning activities and assessment tasks; active learning strategies are reflected in the kinds of teaching approaches we take in designing curriculum (e.g. flipped classroom, team-based learning, problem-based learning, etc); and best practice in learning and teaching guides our choice of personalised, integrated and staggered assessments.
How do we communicate it
We regularly communicated the development of the philosophy with MUIC teachers and professional staff in staff meetings and via internal newsletters. We are now thinking about developing a short animation video and classroom posters to visualise and disseminate how our Learning and Teaching Philosophy translates into actual classroom experiences.
Do you or your team have a L&T Philosophy?
How did you go about developing it?
How do you put it to work?
Share with us in the comments below.
By Lilia Mantai and Pamela Humphreys
If you have any questions regarding the curriculum project at MUIC, please contact Pamela [firstname.lastname@example.org]