There are still many programs in Australia and overseas where curricula comprise largely 20th Century-relevant graduate outcomes, framed in 20th Century learning and teaching approaches. A ‘Dynamic and Deliberative Model for Curriculum Renewal’ (DDMCR) model exists for undertaking such curriculum renewal that draws on the experiences of educators around the world, however there are few experiences to date in applying this model. At the Queensland University of Technology, the 2012 accreditation by Engineers Australia observed that, despite being exposed to relevant discipline-specific engineering curriculum and practice, students did not seem to be aware of the relevance of sustainable development to their degree, beyond first year exposure. In addressing this feedback, level 8 Australian Qualifications Framework, and drawing ideas from the DDMCR model, faculty senior management undertook a full review of the engineering curriculum.
This paper considers QUT’s experience in embracing whole of course (i.e. program-level) rapid and sustained curriculum renewal to cater for 21st Century engineering graduate outcomes.
The authors of this paper consider how the curriculum renewal process applied insights from the DDMCR, through the lived experience of curriculum renewal at QUT (2013-2014). The authors conclude that this enquiry-based approach to problem solving also ‘walks the talk’ with regard to the type of real-world problem solving expected of students at QUT.
This paper documents the experiences of the authors in applying the DDMCR, identifying several priorities including sustainability for the design streams of all major disciplines, and creating unit outlines that embed the Course Learning Objectives (i.e. graduate attributes) related to these priorities. The paper includes a journey of stakeholder engagement, committee activities, workshops and peer-review led collaborative unit-design, highlighting lessons for others considering how to efficiently and effectively review programs. These lessons span pedagogical, organisational and logistical considerations, and latent and emergent academic, industry and student needs.
This initiative provided the authors with an opportunity to apply the model for deliberative and dynamic curriculum renewal in a time and budget-constrained faculty environment. This paper provides lessons learned from the design phase of the initiative, up to the point of university approval of the renewed program and its components. As the program is rolled out, the lived experience will continue to be reflected upon and documented for the benefit of QUT and other interested institutions.
Whole of curriculum approach, Education for sustainable development, Curriculum renewal