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Curriculum Framework Principles


Supporting the curriculum themes are a further seven integrated curriculum principles which are evident within the educational design, delivery and experience of all programmes.

Assessment for learning

Programme-based assessment strategies should employ a range of methods that aim to explicitly develop the learning of our students, and provide them with timely feedback at key points in the learning process. An appropriate assessment strategy is as much about managing the staff experience as the student experience. 

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Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Through the Ecoversity initiative, the University of Bradford has developed an international reputation in designing and offering formal and informal educational experiences that enhance our graduates’ capacity to make a positive contribution to sustainable development. This aspect of the curriculum strongly supports our inclusivity and diversity goals, as well as providing substantial opportunities for student engagement and linking formal and informal curricular learning.

The curriculum framework maintains institutional commitment to integrating sustainable development with the formal and informal experiences of all students. 

Collaborative learning

The ability to work collaboratively is a key graduate attribute. Collaborative learning is also an important way of helping students to develop peer networks and intercultural awareness. All University of Bradford programmes will include significant collaborative learning experiences. For some programmes this will be for example through adopting educational models, like Problem-Based Learning or Team-Based Learning, that emphasise collaboration in all aspects of learning. For others it will be through the use of group projects, or collaborative classroom experiences.

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL)

Technology is playing an increasing role in all students’ learning, whether that be in the classroom experience or through their engagement with learning resources and online social networks. TEL also broadens our conception of who our students might be and where they might study. Through TEL, distance learners are likely to form an increasing part of the University community over time.

While there is a growing maturity of technology-enhanced learning practice, for example in use of the virtual learning environment (VLE), e-portfolios, e-assessment and mobile learning, there remains considerable variation in how this is delivered from module to module and programme to programme. This means that as well as continuing to innovate and push the boundaries of practise in this area, we need to maintain consistent levels of expectation and experience for all staff and students.

The digital literacy of students and staff will play a key role in successful learning within the curriculum framework. Digital literacy is not just about the technical and cognitive skills necessary to make productive use of information, communication and learning technologies, it is also about how people create and manage their own digital, networked identities for their personal and professional development.

Real world and experiential learning

A key factor in motivating and engaging students is in making direct connections between their curricula and the world with which they are engaged on a day to day basis. Curricula can be enhanced by integrating real world learning, be that in the form of work experience, placements, community-based projects, live briefs from companies and businesses, digital stories of service users and in many other ways. 

Enquiry based learning

Where learning is a process driven by the student, in a way which is oriented to a research process of investigation, synthesis and discovery, it is enquiry-based. Under such an approach, learners may engage in collaborative or individual investigations devised by themselves, or may respond to scenarios set up by their teachers. In addition to contributing to the development of a knowledge based, enquiry-based approaches are invaluable in developing information literacy, critical thinking, collaborative learning and learner autonomy. Enquiry-based learning forms a key aspect of a research-informed curriculum.

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Transition to learner autonomy

An undergraduate experience is a process of transition. Students do not exhibit graduate attributes overnight. Attainment emerges from a carefully designed process where expectations and requirements are set, aspirations raised, appropriate support is put in place and regular feedback on progress is received. From induction to outduction both staff and students should be aware of the role that each educational experience plays in the attainment of programme outcomes. As such consideration needs to be given to the role of the first year experience, the final year experience and intermediate stages within programme design.

For students to develop learner autonomy as a graduate attribute, and thus to be enabled to go forward as life-long learners, they need to be supported and enabled to develop learner autonomy. Autonomous learners emerge from a process where they are strategically afforded more decision making and choice regarding the content and nature of their learning as they proceed through their programme.