Thursday, 21 April 2011

Viewpoints draft Handbook - Executive Summary now available

Viewpoints are currently working on a Handbook to help academic staff with their curriculum design, at module or whole-course level.

The Handbook will give course teams all the information they need to run their own curriculum design workshops, using reflective resources developed by the Viewpoints Project - a learner timeline worksheet and best-practice pedagogical principles based around four themes - Assessment and Feedback, Information Skills, Learner Engagement and Creativity in the Curriculum.

The Executive Summary and flow diagram of the Viewpoints process are now available via Slideshare. We will post a full (draft) version of the Handbook once our April Interim Report to JISC is published, to allow interested academics to feed back and comment on the document.

A full copy of the draft Handbook is available on request to academics interested in reviewing the full Guide. Contact if you would like to receive a copy.

Monday, 18 April 2011

TFL Development Programme - Student Engagement

Catherine O'Donnell and Vilinda Ross today facilitated a Viewpoints session during the TFL Development Programme for Ulster staff at the Rosspark Hotel.

The theme of the TFL Programme was 'Student Engagement' and the project teams were working on various proposals around this theme.

There were twelve workshop participants, and 3 project teams from the University of Ulster.

The project teams used this Viewpoints taster session of 1 hour to explore how the process could be used to help them scope out their project plans on the theme of Student Engagement. The Viewpoints themes used for this taster session were Assessment and Feedback, Learner Engagement and Creativity in the Curriculum. The introductory session primarily focused on module level.

There was a good response to this taster session, with 60% indicating that they found the session very useful.

Slides from the session are available via the Viewpoints Slideshare website:

Photos are also available for view on the Viewpoints Flickr photostream:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Encouraging creative and innovative 'Viewpoints' in Curriculum Design

Viewpoints has rescheduled its seminar as part of the Higher Education Academy's Northern Ireland Seminar Series. It will now be held on the 2nd June 2011, 10am - 3pm.

To book your place email:

Further Information is available on The Higher Education Academy website or via the poster which can be downloaded from Slideshare.

Information about the event:

This seminar will demonstrate how course teams can be helped to incorporate pedagogic best practice research into their teaching and learning plans, and be encouraged to be more creative and innovative in their designs.

It will share research findings to date and experiences from past workshops (e.g., photos, videos, evaluative commentaries and case studies) and will demonstrate how these can stimulate constructive dialogue and foster collaboration, helping course teams build ideas towards a student-centred curriculum design model.

Attendees will be invited to participate in group activities using either the ‘assessment and feedback’ or ‘learner engagement’ strands of the Viewpoints tools.

These activities will help participants consider how course teams address an agreed challenge e.g., designing an assessment and feedback or learner engagement strategy which:

  • Supports students’ transition to higher education;
  • Provides a supportive learning environment for students from different backgrounds;
  • Improves feedback methods/opportunities for students to respond to feedback;
  • Enables flexible learning opportunities;
  • Increases the employability of graduates during their final year.
The afternoon session will give participants an opportunity to:
  • Explore other Viewpoints themes, such as 'information skills' and 'creativity in the curriculum';
  • Review a 'Train the trainer' handbook currently in development;
  • Discuss how the Viewpoints process and tools may be useful within other institutions.
50 places are available on this all-day seminar, which will take place on the Belfast campus.