Applying standardised representational frameworks for the pedagogical benchmarking and review of a module

The Principle Investigator of an international OER project led by the Open University, and member of the OULDI steering committee, asked the OULDI-JISC team to conduct a design review of a module before and after redesign using the OULDI representations as frameworks for review.

This piece of work was of significant interest to the OULDI-JISC team because it provided them with an opportunity to trial how effective the representations were in terms of acting as ‘stand-alone’ artefacts communicating the essential features of a module to others (as the OU’s parallel institutionally funded Curriculum Business Models (CBM) project proposes), and also to see how well they worked as valid and reliable tools for expert review. If it were found that the tools worked well to support an expert review, then the OULDI team would have piloted and costed a design review process that other people in the university could use, for example to support developmental testing of modules within the university, or by module teams in preparation for updating and refreshing older modules (called in the OU a module ‘remake’).

Overall, the representations were found to have worked effectively as frameworks for benchmarking and review purposes, although they should not be thought of as entirely objective tools. In addition, they were found to be of interest to associated groups and were seen to be effective in improving a shared understanding of the structure of a design and confidence in design decisions, however the importance of ensuring that their purpose and potential use was more widely understood at the point of sharing became apparent.

Open University (2012) OULDI pilot report Bridge to Success (including appendices), pp62

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Narrative 23