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Collaborative discipline-based curriculum change: applying Change Academy processes at department level

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Bringing about change in teaching and learning in higher education is a core aspect of the work of academic developers. This paper is novel in analysing the experience of a year-long initiative to support curriculum changes in departments in related disciplines in different universities. It applies some of the processes developed by Change Academy – an initiative sponsored by the UK Higher Education Academy and the Leadership Foundation – to the design of a three-day programme. Underpinned by consideration of models of institutional and curriculum change, the research draws on interviews to identify the features of the programme that appear to have been effective at supporting departmental teams to clarify, design and plan significant curriculum-related initiatives. Emphasis is placed on designing and supporting collaborative curriculum change. The paper concludes by discussing the implications for academic developers wanting to support department-based curriculum changes in their countries.
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Keywords: academic development; collaborative curriculum change; institutional change; leadership

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Independent Higher Education Consultant and Researcher, UK 2: School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK 3: Department of Earth Sciences,University of Oxford, Oxford, UK 4: Department of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences,University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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