Should students participate in curriculum design? Discussion arising from a first year curriculum design project and a literature review
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Bovill, C., Morss, K. & Bulley, C. (2009-04) Should students participate in curriculum design? Discussion arising from a first year curriculum design project and a literature review, Pedagogical Research in Maximising Education, vol. 3, pp. 17-25.
This paper outlines some of the findings from a QAA (Scotland) funded project exploring first year curriculum design (Bovill et al. 2008). Whilst many examples exist of curricula being designed in ways to engage first year students, there are fewer published examples of active student participation in curriculum design processes. In the current higher education context where student engagement in learning is emphasised (Carini et al, 2006), this paper asks more generally whether students should be actively participating in curriculum design. In order to answer this question, several elements of the project findings are explored: student views gathered in focus groups; staff views collected in workshops; and the case studies where students were actively involved in curriculum design. The data are examined for lessons that inform the debate about whether students should be participating in curriculum design, in first year and at other levels. Alongside these findings, relevant literature is critiqued in order to ascertain the desirability and feasibility of adopting curriculum design approaches that offer opportunities for active student participation.