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Objectives and Learning Outcomes for this Session

This session gives an introduction on how to develop a
study programme in line with the Bologna Process that (also) meets the requirements of the labour market.

Learning outcomes by the end of this session participants are able to: Conceptionalise curricula/syllabi that are compliant with Bologna process Identify the requirements of the labor market in the frame of curriculum development Make use of the student centered approach Review the relevance of modularisation

Session Outline
Curriculum Development Introduction on how to develop labour market relevant study programmes

Modularisation of programmes Student-centred teaching


Course: A course is a unit that typically lasts one academic term and is lead by one or more instructors (teachers or professors). It usually describes an individual subject taken. There are different kind of courses: lectures, seminars, working groups, colloquium, tutorial, laboratory courses, etc.

Module: Is a unit consisting of a set of courses belonging to the same discipline/thematic area within one study programm. A module last normally from one to three academic terms. Modularisation is one of the tools that should support mobility and LLL.
Syllabus vs. Curriculum: Whereas a syllabus is typically the description of a course or a module, which includes besides the information on the subject, the lecturer, etc. also the description of learning outcomes, the curriculum is the description of a whole study programm.

group of subjects


subject course/lecture




Designing Curricula Based on Learning Outcomes

based on the example of curriculum development
at the University of Graz, Austria.


22 public Universities (292.000 students) 13 private Universities (6.000 students) 21 Universities of Applied Sciences (40.000 students)

The Austrian HE sector is currently being converted in accordance with the objectives of the Bologna Declaration. The 2002 University Studies Act (UG 2002) brought complete autonomy for public universities as well as new steering instruments such performance agreements

External and internal QA in Austria

External QA uses different periodic measures to evaluate quality development in teaching, research and administration at HEIs: Institutional and program accreditations Audits of QA systems Internal QA: from student surveys without followup (1993 2002) to the learning organisation

External QA in Austria
After 2013

Public Universities Univ. of Appl.Sc. Existing in 2012

New Private Universities Univ. of Appl.Sc.

New programs at Private Universities Univ. of Appl.Sc.

University Colleges For Teacher-Training

AQ.Austria or other QA agency



Ministry for Schools

Audit 7 yr cycle or 2 yr + re-audit

Institutional Accreditation

Program Accreditation

-Ministerial Approval For Institutions -Ministry involvement in curricula process

Areas covered by QA system

(1) Audit

Quality strategy and its integration in governance Organization of QA in teaching / learning including LLL, research / development / arts, organization, administration, human resources Integration of internationalization and social responsibility in QA systems QA information systems and stakeholder participation

Areas covered by QA system

(2) Institutional Accreditations

Strategic goals and institutional profile Development planning Teaching and learning Research, applied research, development and / or development of the arts Organization of the HEI and its services Finance and resources National and international cooperation Quality management system

Areas covered by QA system

(3) Program Accreditations

Study program and program management Research, applied research, development and / or development of the arts Human resources Finance and infrastructure National and international cooperation QA

Enacting or changing of a curriculum I

Certain criteria fulfilled: fundamental changes of a field of study (content, amount of fields of studies, change in the compulsory subjects, finances, etc.) Process: (1) Information to the Rectorate, (2) Announcement towards the Senate, (3) Develop the curriculum (handbook, template), (4) Announcement of the draft curriculum and sending it to the responsible bodies within the university (Senate, Rectorate, various committees, student union, etc.) -> statement, 5) Application to the Senate, (6) Curricula-Conference of the Senate -> decision by the senate: new/modified curriculum is approved (come into force next Oct. 1) or not

Enacting or changing of a curriculum II

Additionally the Senate can order a peer-review. The peer review happens before the official application to the Senate and deals with following questions: - educational goals and qualification profile fulfilled - are the subjects related to the qualification profile or more to the institutional structure and personnel - interdisciplinary - innovative elements: internationalisation, distance learning, mentoring, etc.

Basic principles of a modular curriculum I

Structure: Bachelor (180 ECTS, 240 ECTS) - >specific occupational field Master (min. 120 ECTS) -> oriented towards occupation and research Bachelor, Master, PhD should be clearly differentiated -> EUA recommends to use the Dublin Descriptors

Change of paradigm: from teaching to learning before: top-down on the basis of the research in the field now: bottom-up model on the basis of the potential occupational fields -> Definition of a qualification profile (now first step in curriculum development)

Basic principles of a modular curriculum II

Learning outcomes: definition of learning outcomes on the basis of the qualification profile (for the whole study programme, phases and modules) -> Basis for the definition of the type of courses, allocation of ECTS, examination, etc. Course level: intended learning outcomes and competences are formulated under objectives

Qualification Profiles I

Should be developed for each curriculum in Austria; Related to the occupational area; based on meetings/surveys with alumnis, with representatives from the labour market, et al. (bottom-up approach); Defines the qualifications a graduate should have at the end of his studies (professional and social/generic competences); This qualification profil is the basis for the definition of the learning outcomes of the study programme and its modules.

Qualification Profiles II

Frameworks for the development of Qualification Profiles: European Qualifications Framework National Qualifications Framework Dublin Descriptors Standards by Law: in Austria 2002 University Studies Act (UG 2002)

Curriculum of the program: International Joint Masters Program in Sustainable Development

Try to find connections between the educational goals and the Level 7 of the European Qualification Framework.

... Links to the labour market Competence Methodology I

The competence methodology is mainly based on the proven methodology of the LLP project (Leonardo da Vinci) MISLEM funded by the European Commission.
Implemented also in the following projects: "COMPETENCE - Matching competences in higher education and economy: From competence catalogue to strategy and curriculum development" (2009-2011) funded by the European Commission (Tempus program) "CUP - Competence @ University of Prishtina" (2010-2013) funded by the European Commission (Tempus program)

Competence Methodology II
The competence methodology comprises eight steps:
1. 2. 3. 4. Preparing and conduction of focus group interviews Analysis of the focus groups Compiling of a questionnaire Execution and analysis of a quantitative survey

-> Assessment of competence gaps between what is taught at the universities and the requirements of the labor market (e.g. focus group interviews, survey, and analysis)

5. Development of a competence matrix (matching of subjects taught and competences graduates should have) 6. Competence matrix (software) 7. Planning of activities and methods for assessment -> Translation of competences (specific and generic) into learning outcomes and activities 8. Evaluation

Competence Methodology III

1. Preparing and conduction of focus group interviews:
- are held in order to detect specific and generic competences (a graduate should have); - interactive group setting, e.g. round table, with a moderator; - along an interview guide with open-ended, qualitative research questions; - 5-6 focus group members: e.g. 2 professors, 2 employers, 1 graduate, 1 student (with specific experience with the topic!)

2. Analysis of the focus group

- distinguish between generic and specific competences

3. Compiling of questionnaires
- compilation of two questionnaires for the quantitative survey: employers, alumni - questionnaire includes items for evaluating competences relevant for the employability of a graduate

Main objectives of these questionnaires: Explore graduate perceptions of the quality of their education (with regard to application of acquired specific and generic competences in their employment) Explore employers satisfaction with the graduates

Competence Methodology IV
4. Execution and analysis of a quantitative survey:
- quantitative survey (collection of a reliable amount of questionnaires from employers and alumni and analysis) - the analysis focuses on the observation of the relevance and the quality of the study programme and the specific and generic competences graduates acquired (with regard to the usability for employment)

5. Development of a competence matrix

- matching of subjects taught and competences graduates should have
Study programm Competence 1 Competence 2 Competence 3 ..

Subject 1
Subject 2 Subject 3

6. Competence matrix (software)

- with the help of the matrix assigning of competences to the subjects of a programme - definition of competences per subject (e.g. by the head of department)

Competence Methodology V
7. Planning of activities and methods for assessment: In this step the matrix is filled by translating (specific and generic) competences into learning outcomes, activities and assessment. 8. Evaluation: Evaluation of the impacts of the new developed learning outcomes and activities. Within this step again students and teaching staff is involved, as they are directly confronted with the results of the previous steps.

... Links to the labour market

Other means of cooperation with the labour market: Case study competitions Joint research LLL Business Start-Up Centers Joint lectures Thesis on a topic provided by a company Internships, career fairs etc.

... Links to the labour market

Share your good-practice examples with your colleagues

The Modularisation of degree programmes has three basic objectives:

1. Higher transparency and efficiency of the organisation of studies 2. More open and flexible education paths 3. Shorter duration of studies
Modularised curricula realise a change of perspective from teaching to learning, from traditional input- to output-orientation: which qualifications should students acquire through this module?

Characteristics of Modules
compile courses in teaching/ learning units by time and content; convey a defined qualification or part of a qualification in view of to-be-acquired competences; are compiled of different types of teaching and learning; encompass several course elements, which are connected in terms of content and methodology; should be accomplished within one, max. two semesters; have to be described in terms of workload and to-be acquired credits; are either to be completed with an exam (module exam) or with the aggregation of different items of work within the module.

Module Development Model

Identify aims and objectives of module

Write learning outcomes using

standard guidelines

Develop a teaching and learning strategy to enable students to achieve learning outcomes

Design assessment to check if learning outcomes have been achieved

If necessary modify module content and

assessment in light of feedback

Aims and Objectives

The aim of a module or programme is a broad general statement of teaching intention, i.e. it indicates what the teacher intends to cover. Example of aim: To give students an introduction to organic chemistry

The objective of a module or programme is a specific statement of teaching intention.

Learning outcomes
Definition: Learning outcomes are statements of what a student should know, understand and/or be able to do after completion of a process of learning.

Learning Outcomes Definition

The learning activity could be, for example, a lecture, a module or an entire programme. Learning outcomes must not simply be a wish list of what a student is capable of doing on completion of the learning activity. Learning outcomes must be simply and clearly described. Learning outcomes must be capable of being validly assessed.

Checklist for writing learning outcomes

Have I begun each outcome with an active verb? Have I avoided terms like know, understand, learn, be familiar with, be exposed to, be acquainted with, be aware of and appreciate? Are my outcomes observable and measurable? Do all the outcomes fit within the aims and content of the course/module/curriculum?

Student-centred teaching
Focus of activity: learners Learning Process: oriented on the learners Focus: learning outcomes Methods: - active learning - cooperative learning - inductive teaching and learning

Research-based teaching
Focus: students learning Learning forms: - problem-/question oriented - cooperative Include students in the research work Teacher = learner Goals: - to get in touch with scientific work - critical thinking

Module What is an Effective Syllabus?

Helps students to have the right expectations of the module Increases the likelihood of student success Decreases the number of problems in the module Records and transmits your teaching philosophy Assists in your professional development Provides information about your module to colleagues and department


Lets try and see for ourselves!

University of Graz, Department for Educational and Student Services (only in German): About the project "COMPETENCE - Matching competences in higher education and economy (comprehensive download section; methodology, surveys, etc.)