Engaging and empowering first-year students through curriculum design: Perspectives from the literature

Catherine Bovill, Cathy J Bulley, Kate Morss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is an increasing value being placed on engaging and empowering first-year students and first-year curriculum design is a key driver and opportunity to ensure early enculturation into successful learning at university. This paper summarises the literature on first-year curriculum design linked to student engagement and empowerment. We present conceptualisations of ‘curriculum’and examples from first-year curriculum design. We also note the limited literature where students have been involved in designing first-year curricula.The results of the literature review suggest that key characteristics of engaging first-year curricula include active learning, timely feedback, relevance and challenge. The literature also points to the importance of identifying students’abilities on entry to university as well as being clear about desired graduate attributes and developmental goals. Acknowledging realities and constraints, we present a framework for the first-year curriculum design process based on the literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-209
Number of pages13
JournalTeaching in Higher Education
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • first year
  • student engagement
  • co-creation
  • curriculum design

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