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For many years, curriculum development has considered learning outcomes at the program level largely via learning outcomes at the course level. Some programs have modified their designs to use different structures such as condensed courses or project based learning. Recently, there has been an increased interest in experiential learning as a way to facilitate student acquisition of real-world applicable capabilities while enhancing student learning of ‘soft skills’ such as professionalism, communication, and team management. Historically, such engagement including complexities of real-world problems has been accomplished through internships, co-op, capstone courses, or project based learning. In this paper we present an innovative model for experiential curriculum design based on skill requirements and learning outcomes derived from industry needs combined with technology enabled learning. The curriculum has been designed in a highly modular approach to ensure flexibility in student learning pathways to meet the requirements of the work related learning projects that are integrated as part of the program design. The conceptual model of this approach to curriculum design will be presented through a case study of the development of the informatics program at UOIT. Areas of caution are explored to identify recommendations for risk mitigation when developing a program utilizing this type of learning environment. In particular, student selection, technical infrastructure requirements, learning outcome measurement, faculty scheduling, and program management are considered.
Moretz, J., Marsh, S. & Percival, J. (2015). Creating an Experiential Learning Based Multi-Disciplinary Program. Higher Education in Transformation Conference, Dublin, Ireland, 2015, pp.145-158. DOI: 10.21427/8kz8-e390