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During the past fifty years third level education has expanded and diversified and the demands and expectations being placed on Higher Education Institutions are now formidable, with changes in the student body and increased pressure from government on costs, procedures and results. For academic staff, there are increased pressures through increased teaching loads, growing reporting and administrative requirements and pressure to develop and strengthen their research profile. Amongst academic staff surveys consistently report that teaching is a source of reward but staff say that they are working longer hours and dealing with a more diverse student group (McInnis, 2000). At the same time, they still wish to improve and innovate their practice by designing and delivering effective courses and modules. The increased size and diversity of the student group has impacted on the process of course design. Biggs (1999) offers valuable suggestions for course design strategies in the context of a growing student population and Knight (2002) argues for courses in higher education to be designed in order to maximize the chance that learners will experience coherence, progression and deep learning.
Donnelly, R., Fitzmaurice, M. (2005) Designing Modules for Learning. In G. O'Neill, S. Moore & B. McMullin(eds.)Emerging issues in the practice of University Learning and Teaching, Dublin, All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE).