In May this year, our Vice-Chancellor announced to the University that Macquarie would be transforming its curriculum and learning experience for students in 2020. The Curriculum Transformation plan and timelines were ambitious and challenging, however there was never a question that this work was necessary to ensure we give our students what they need to succeed. With student success at the centre of the change, the University-wide work began.

An important component of student success is a university curriculum that empowers students with flexible study options that suit their individual needs. A university curriculum must also offer complete clarity of their study path – from commencement to completion – that way, students are equipped to make the right choices for themselves. Both these key drivers have underpinned the curriculum transformation activity from the outset, and allowed us to work together to deliver on a shared purpose – empowering student success.

Looking back at what we have achieved since May, I am reminded of what a remarkable community I am part of here at Macquarie. The new curriculum architecture was approved only in July and for the last five months faculties have been concentrating their energy and efforts on course renewal, ready for students in 2020. I would like to recognise my academic and professional colleagues who have successfully delivered 483 courses, majors, specialisations and designated minors for our 2020 students. Thanks to their outstanding efforts, we have now completed the course renewal phase to meet all key deadlines this year.

The renewal phase has been complex, and has been happening at an especially busy time of the academic year, so this really is an extraordinary achievement. Faculty teams are to be commended for their patience, resilience and commitment to the delivery of a renewed course offering for students that demonstrates consistently high quality learning outcomes.

Reflecting over these past months, I believe we have gained much more than a new curriculum. I believe that this collegiate and University-wide effort in designing and implementing a better curriculum has brought the entire community together to deliver a common goal. It reflects an exceptional level of maturity for Macquarie University and demonstrates our ability to make changes, rapidly and for the better.

It is true that the timeline and the workload associated with the curriculum architecture were challenging, but some will agree that a short and focused effort is less painful than a drawn out one. I, for one, look forward to not hearing the words ‘curriculum architecture’ in the next few weeks.

Finally, the process confirmed that webforms is indeed no longer fit for purpose and we look forward to our new curriculum management system, which is due in 2019.

Our curriculum transformation journey continues in 2019, with the next critical phase focusing on moving our existing students across to the new 2020 architecture. Our Vice-Chancellor informed Macquarie students of the coming changes in early December, and further communication with students will follow next year.

Posted by Marie Herberstein

I am a biologist and work on the behaviour of spiders and insects here at Macquarie University. I am currently the interim Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic).

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