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

Bovill, C., Bulley, C.J. and Morss, K. (2011) Engaging and empowering first-year students through curriculum design: perspectives from the literature. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), pp. 197-209. (doi: 10.1080/13562517.2010.515024)

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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.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Due to publisher embargo the full text in unavailable until March 2012.
Keywords:curriculum first year literature review graduate attributes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bovill, Dr Catherine
Authors: Bovill, C., Bulley, C.J., and Morss, K.
Subjects:L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
L Education > L Education (General)
College/School:University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Journal Name:Teaching in Higher Education
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Teaching in Higher Education 16(2):197-209
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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