Integrated Curriculum Framework
The purpose of the Integrated Curriculum Framework (ICF; Figure 1) is to draw attention to the standardised connections between key components of the curriculum and how these connections assist in the development of effective programs and courses that can be quality-assured. The ICF identifies core components and the interrelationships between these components.
Figure 1: UNSW Integrated Curriculum Framework
In developing a curriculum, a common starting point is to identify an overall rationale and distinctiveness for the program: what need does it uniquely fill, and what makes it, in fact, unique?
This is followed by writing Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) and examining how they incorporate the university’s strategic intent and graduate capabilities. The PLOs prescribe the knowledge and skills students will gain from going through the program and how the program will be implemented to help them apply that knowledge and those skills. The PLOs map to the UNSW graduate capabilities, which identify the university’s expectations for the generic skills all UNSW students should have on graduation.
Once PLOs are defined, Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) are developed, with each CLO articulating clear links to one or more PLO. Once the CLOs are defined, the course components and assessments are developed, again articulating clear alignmet between each component and the CLOs. Once courses are taught and students have been assessed, the course itself can be evaluated, providing data on the degrees and levels of students' success in achieving the CLOs, PLOs, and generic graduate capabilities.
Standard terms to describe the curriculum structure
Standard terms are used to describe the components within the ICF:
- UNSW strategic intent establishes the institution’s aspirations, and broadly defines what students may expect to experience when undertaking an UNSW program or one of its courses.
- Graduate capabilities are the generic knowledge and skills and practices that students are required to develop and show on completion of their studies. They are common for all programs and are integrated into Program Learning Outcomes.
- Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) prescribe the specific knowledge, skills and practices, including GCs, that students need to demonstrate in completing a program.
- Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) prescribe the knowledge, skills and practices that students need to demonstrate to complete a specific course or courses within a designated program. CLOs are aligned with PLOs.
- Courses and course components comprise a combination of resources, activities, support and evaluation and feedback (RASE) required for the full achievement of the CLOs, PLOs and GCs.
- Assessments show that students have achieved particular learning outcomes and capabilities. Assessment methods can be either formative or summative and are designed to ensure that students can demonstrate progress in all learning outcomes.
- Evaluation reviews the effectiveness of courses and programs in developing the graduate capabilities and PLOs; the level of coherence between the courses' and program’s educational design and the principles inherent in the ICF; the quality of teaching in the courses and program; and students’ learning outcomes and experiences.
- The Connections Seminar series and the annual Learning and Teaching Forum provide platforms for UNSW staff to explore different aspects of learning and teaching, share ideas and get feedback on practice and research.
- 2018 Learning and Teaching Forum on October 26, 2018: A teaching community driving curriculum innovation at Art & Design presented by Ms Fiona Nicolson and Mr Douglas Schofield, Faculty of Art & Design (self-enrolment key: lntforum)
- 2019 Learning and Teaching Forum on 26 November 2019: Quality Teaching Framework presented by Dr Dijana Townsend, Learning and Teaching Group and Professor Scott Tyo, School of Engineering and Information Technology, UNSW Canberra at ADFA (self-enrolment key: lntforum)
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Vigentini, L. & Zhao, C. (2013). CATIE Aims and specifications. University of New South Wales, Learning and Teaching Unit.