Curriculum Context

This phase examines the current context within which learning, teaching and assessment needs to take place. SU’s approach to teaching and learning, as set out in the Teaching and Learning Policy, is learning-centred and digitally supported, and should underpin all teaching, learning and assessment activities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SU follows an Augmented Remote Teaching, Learning and Assessment approach. The DeLTA process has been adapted for this period. To view the framework and ARTLA resources, click here.

DeLTA-cycle

This phase is about ensuring that your teaching practice is responsive to the context.  This is about yourself as a teacher, understanding your students, the SU environment, the national HE context, South Africa and beyond.

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Outcomes are the end goals of the learning process. They are formulated to describe the result of student learning at the end of the learning opportunities.  This is not about content but rather about the concepts and underlying principles of the field of study.

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Assessment is about how well your students achieve the intended learning outcomes.  This is not about them reporting back what you have taught them, but rather about how well they demonstrate their understanding of the key concepts and underlying principles of their field of study.

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Learning is about what the students do, not about what you do as the teacher.  Your role is to design learning opportunities that engage students and enable them to access disciplinary knowledge.

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This is where you consider whether you have achieved what you had set out to achieve with your module.

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Background

This phase examines the current context within which learning, teaching and assessment needs to take place. SU’s approach to teaching and learning, as set out in the Teaching and Learning Policy, is learning-centred and digitally supported, and should underpin all teaching, learning and assessment activities.

The first step in planning the curriculum is to look at the context within which T&L will take place. It can also be called the situational or needs analysis.
It is important to take note and be aware of the context on macro-, meso- and micro level. The macro level context includes the external stakeholders for example the industry, employers, professional bodies, higher education, etcetera. The meso level context includes the institutional vision and goals, the rationale for the programme, departmental and disciplinary aspects, available infrastructure, time table, wi-fi, etcetera and the micro level context includes you as a lecturer with your own strengths and weaknesses, and your students with their needs and backgrounds as well as the module (outcomes, assessment and facilitation of learning). All these aspects should be taken into account when planning, designing and developing your curriculum.

Some specific aspects that should be taken into account are the following:

The podcast below gives a short introduction to the aspect of curriculum context.

SU Approach

Learning centred

The Stellenbosch University Learning and Teaching policy (Learning and Teaching policy, 2018) promotes a learning-centred approach to teaching that is focused on learning as a partnership, where students are seen as co-creators of knowledge and learning environments. In a learning-centred approach, teaching activities facilitate knowledge-building and actively engage students in their own learning. To this end, SU should ensure that the learning-centred approach to teaching is integrated across the institution and that sufficient, suitable resources are available to support teaching and learning. The term learning-centred learning, teaching and assessment focuses on the facilitation of learning through the creation of learning opportunities.

Available on the CTL website, click here.

The approach of SU in terms of teaching and learning is described in the Strategy for teaching and learning.

Available on the CTL website, click here

The podcast below gives a short overview of the SU approach:

E-supported (blended)

Plagiarism

SU Policy

An important part of T&L @ SU is to enable staff and students to promote academic integrity and eliminate plagiarism. The University therefore has to ensure that the necessary mechanisms are in place to deal with such cases in a consistent and fair manner. It is thus essential that the University has a policy to intercept these aspects and create a framework within which it is possible to function.

Turnitin

Turnitin is a tool that can be used to create learning opportunities about academic integrity and give feedback in this regard.

Notional hours and credits

Credits are a measure of the notional hours or learning time that it would take the average student to meet the prescribed outcomes. The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) uses a credit system based on the idea that one credit equals ten notional (assumed) hours of learning. 8 credits would thus equal 80 hours, etcetera.
‘Notional hours’ thus refers to student hours – in and out of the class- and includes the following:

Lecture halls

Stellenbosch University has almost 250 lecture halls of various sizes and equipped with a variety of equipment.

About 133 of these halls can be booked if lecturers plan specific teaching and learning activities.
For venue bookings contact the Academic Administration Department: click here.

The chart below gives a summary of these venues according to number of seats, available equipment (Wi-fi, Webcam, Document camera, Movable furniture, PolyStudio equipment) and available combinations.

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