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SAFFIRE project - working with Faculty of Health

As part of the UC SAFFIRE project colleagues James and Margaret and myself met with Sports Studies staff from the Faculty of Health. They are running a large unit and we met to discuss various issues and possibilities. This is a large first year foundational unit of ~550 students. A process I have been attached to since learning about it during my Master of Higher Ed studies is concept mapping curriculum. I've blogged about my use of this before and this is just another example of it.



The map is developed during the conversation, that is, I put the pieces on the wall and join them up as the unit conveners describe the parts of their curriculum through conversation. Sometimes the conversation begins with perceived issues, and other times the staff member has particular approaches in mind that they want to start using, etc. However the conversation begins, I start the map where the convener wants to start, and fill in the pieces of the map from there. This approach seems to work well and contrasts with stipulating a formulaic process of curriculum mapping, which I imagine would not start where the unit convener wants to start and would assume the unit convener is good at curriculum mapping or would assume the process would have to be explained along the way. The conversational approach I use takes colleagues on a journey starting at the point they want to start from. In the end they can see visually how the parts of their curriculum link together, and - critically, clearly see how the parts are aligned (or not, and not necessarily constructively aligned). For more on constructive alignment see http://www.johnbiggs.com.au/academic/constructive-alignment/

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