Curriculum design to engage and empower first-year students

There is an increasing value being placed on engaging and empowering first-year students. First-year curriculum design is a key driver and opportunity to ensure early enculturation into successful learning at university. The paper of Catherine Bovilla, Cathy J. Bulley and Kate Morss summarises the literature on first-year curriculum design linked to student engagement and empowerment. 

Bovilla, Bulley and Morss also listed principles and guidelines for curriculum design to engage and empower.

  1. Facilitation of student development should be based on abilities on entry.
    Explore students’ abilities on entry, aims and goals and conflicting roles.
    Become familiar with students’ needs and aspirations.
  2. Students should be able to develop the abilities required for graduation.
    Curricula should be designed to develop abilities required for graduation in a cumulative manner.
    Reflection and independence should be facilitated to ensure the potential for lifelong 1earning’
  3. Academic skills should be developed throughout the course or programme Development of academic learning and literacy skills should be facilitated.
    Student needs should be developed in a long strategy throughout the whole programme of study.
  4. Students should be aware of their progress in relation to course standards.
    Integration of early and ongoing formative feedback should be used to inform students about standards and progress
  5. The conflicting roles of students should be understood and valued.
    Learning experiences from paid work should be capitalised on.
  6. Engaging learning experiences should be generated.
    ‘Engaging learning environments’ should be designed with contextualised tasks.
    Information and communication technologies should be strategically integrated into learning.
  7. Course content should integrate research into teaching.
    Course structures should be coherent and current.
    Research and teaching should be linked from year one, promoting discovery and debate institutional structures should support curricular strategies
  8. An institution-wide approach should align curriculum with administrative and support services.

From: Engaging and empowering first-year students through curriculum design perspectives from the literature.
Catherine Bovilla, Cathy J. Bulley and Kate Morss (2011).
Teaching in Higher Education Routledge. Vol. 16, No. 2, April 2011, 197—209

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest  posts

Studying with ebooks

From the Website of University of Reading, november 2023. Reading an e-book allows you to use features that print versions do not have. For instance, you can search the text...

Read More

What is Metaverse?

Text obtained through Bing Copilot (November 2023) The metaverse is a virtual world that combines multiple different virtual spaces. It is a future iteration of the internet that will allow...

Read More

Students as Partners

 Students as Partners—Good for Students, Good for Staff: A Study on the Impact of Partnership Working and How This Translates to Improved Student-Staff EngagementIn the article of Roisin Curran the...

Read More