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Curriculum Design and Development (EXTEND-06)

Course Description

The Course is designed for teachers and PhD students of engineering specialties who want to expand their knowledge in the design, development and implementation of educational programs based on a project-oriented approach and a practice-oriented approach, using learning strategies within the framework of integrating the best practices of European and Russian universities.


This course will be taught using a combination of instructional strategies including lecture, small group work, and whole class interaction. A special place will belong to active learning strategies, including Problem-oriented Learning; Structural approach; Task based learning; Gamification and Research Driven Learning.

Course Length

The course consists of 4 modules. Each module involves the study of theoretical and practical aspects of the design, development and implementation of educational programs. According to the course plan, all modules include independent hours that take up more hours of each module. During the independent hours, students practice practical skills using active learning strategies (PBL, TBL, etc.). The total amount of time required for the entire course is estimated at 28 hours: 10 contact hours, 18 independent hours.

Topics / Modules

Contact Hours

Independent Hours

1.  Curriculum development – an introduction



2.  Course design and planning



3.  Curriculum development



4.  Implementing curriculum






Course Objectives

The main objectives of the course are:

  • research of key concepts of educational program design in the context of European experience and Russian realities;
  • study of the possibilities of using project and problem approaches in the process of developing and implementing an educational program;
  • the use of active teaching methods in the educational process;
  • obtaining practical skills in the use of ICT tools in the design and implementation of an educational program;
  • consideration of leadership and team building issues in the context of the development and implementation of an educational program;
  • improvement of the implemented course/educational program taking into account the considered approaches.

Course Goals

The goal of this course is providing teachers and PhD students with the competence to design an engineering course in terms of active learning strategies and innovative assessment methods. For this, it is important to develop a common understanding about the rationale of the curriculum design and development in engineering education. The course focuses on Project Based Learning Strategy.

Course Requirements

Successful completion of the course is based on the following requirements:

  • the student has a basic education in the field of engineering and /or fundamental sciences, teaches or plans to teach in engineering areas of training and improve their qualifications in this field;
  • the student must study the course materials and complete the tasks for each module;
  • the student must develop a draft of the educational program of the course, including the goals, results / objectives of training, teaching methods and evaluation, and submit the final project.

Final Action Plan Project

As the results of the training program, it is necessary to highlight the ability of PhD students and teachers:

  • determine the levels and elements of the educational program;
  • use active learning strategies in engineering education;
  • evaluate the applied approaches to the development of educational programs;
  • actively use ICT tools, including using the capabilities of Jalingo Studio
  • update or design an educational course / program taking into account project and problem-based approaches to learning.

Reading materials

  1. Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M.P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319030111
  2. Prince, M., & Felder, R. M. (2006). Inductive Teaching and Learning Methods: Definitions, Comparisons, and Research Bases. Journal of Engineering Education, 95(2), 123-138.
  3. Christie, M., & de Graaff, E. (2017). The philosophical and pedagogical underpinnings of Active Learning in Engineering Education. European Journal of Engineering Education, 42(1), 5-16. doi:10.1080/03043797.2016.1254160
  4. Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at University: McGraw-Hill Education. Goodlad, J. (1979). Curriculum inquiry: The study of curriculum practice. New York: McGraw–Hill.
  5. Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., & Marshall, S. (Eds.). (2009). A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice (3rd ed.). New York, United States: Routledge. York: McGraw–Hill.
  6. Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., & Marshall, S. (Eds.). (2009). A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice (3rd ed.). New York, United States: Routledge

Evaluation Standards

Entrance test is not foreseen.
Assessment based on the results of the course:

Assessment Tasks

Weighting (%)


Assessment Methods

Design of the curriculum



Peer assessment

Tentative  course agenda

Module 1. Curriculum development – an introduction

1.1 Overview of the main concepts of Curriculum Design and Development

Main competences of engineers in the 21 century. Curriculum in the Context of HE. The curriculum purpose and its role in the educational process of training engineers. Requirements of different stakeholders to the Curriculum Design and Development. Requirements of Russian Federal Educational Standards to the Curriculum. European Programmes Add value. Definition of the Curriculum. Official and unofficial Curriculum. Centralized or decentralized approach to the course design, delivery and management. Advantages and drawbacks of centralization and decentralization. Major Features of the new Curriculum. Concept–content relation in the Curriculum Design and Development. Concepts of Curriculum Design and Development: Program-based and Competency-based Concepts of Curriculum Design and Development. Curriculum Design and Development as an integrated project. Curriculum design in an e-learning environment.

Module 2. Course design and planning

2.1 Overview of the approaches to Curriculum Design and Development: from teacher centered to student centered approach

LLL and Curriculum development. A spiral curriculum: from the more simple ‘building blocks’ to understanding complex principles. А student-centred approach with focus on active learning rather than a more didactic, teacher-led approach. Students as active partners. Deep engagement of students in defining their learning objectives, selecting learning resources and deciding the sequence and pace of learning. Active learning. Collaborative learning. Cooperative learning. Project Based learning and Problem Based Learning.

2.2. Curriculum Levels. Stages of Curriculum Design and Development

Curriculum Levels: ideal, formal, operational. Curriculum development through needs assessment, design and implementation phases. Stages of Curriculum Design and Development. Determination of the educational or professional context of the programme. Identification of needs of stakeholders and their harmonization. Learners as a key stakeholder. Determination the aims and broad learning outcomes of the programme. Identification of ideas and constraints. Harmonization of the broad structure and framework of the programme, the main areas of teaching and learning, the sequence of the main topics and the key assessments. Allocation of the detailed development of each topic or course area in terms of defining objectives and learning outcomes to individuals or teams. Building course teams to develop coherent programmes which have defined learning outcomes, timetables, content, appropriate teaching, learning and assessment methods and which utilise relevant and available learning resources. Implementation and refining the programme. Development an appropriate and deliverable evaluation strategy. Reviewing and revising the course in line with feedback – meeting needs of key stakeholders.

Module 3. Curriculum development

3.1 The curriculum alignment elements

Principles of competency-based approach to the ‘training’ element of the curriculum. The elements of the curriculum. The formal curriculum (course or programme). Integration the elements with overall strategy and specific professional or organisational context of study. A Curriculum development proforma.

Key aspects of the curriculum. Aims. Learning outcomes / objectives (knowledge, skills and attitudes). Bloom’s taxonomy. Content. Teaching and learning methods. Theoretical and practical inputs. Active learning Strategies. Assessment methods. The Active Learning Continuum. Supporting elements of the curriculum. Learning resources (teachers, support staff, funding, books/journals, IT support, teaching rooms). Monitoring and evaluation procedures. Placement activities. Recruitment and selection procedures, including promotional materials. Student support and guidance mechanisms.

Programme organisation and structure. Programme management and resources.

3.2 Strategies and models of Curriculum Development

Models to curriculum planning and design. Model as a framework for design and implementation of curricula in Higher Education. Strategies, activities, support resources and assessments. Objective and process modes. Traditional models. Subject-centered curriculum design. Around a particular subject matter or discipline.

Integrated (hybrid) models. Vertical and horizontal integration (holistic view of problems – clustering knowledge and skills from many disciplines around themes of study). Problem based learning. Advantages and limitations of a PBL curriculum.

Learner-centered curriculum design. Empowering learners to shape their education through choices. Differentiated instructional plans, flexibility for selecting assignments, teaching and learning experiences, or activities. Drawbacks and challenges for teachers and students. Balancing individual student interests with the institution’s required outcomes.

Problem-centered curriculum design. How to look at a problem and formulate a solution. Exposing students to real-life issues, developments of skills that are transferable to the real world. Increase of the relevance of the curriculum and encouraging creativity, innovation and collaboration in the classroom. Drawbacks of the model.

Module 4. Implementing curriculum

4.1 Pre-testing and piloting

Implementing the curriculum. Pre-testing and piloting. Piloting a draft curriculum in a small number of training situations and in the context. Modification of the curriculum with matching it to the needs of the potential students. Testing the developed courses to a larger number of users under real ‘field’ conditions. Eliminating unforeseen situations or and meeting expectations of students and teachers. Development tools and mechanisms for ensuring a systematic evaluation of the testing or piloting process.

4.2 Monitoring and evaluating the curriculum

Monitoring and evaluating the curriculum. Focus on processes and performance. Objects of monitoring (student recruitment and selection processes, teaching staff, levels of training of the teacher, teaching and learning processes, assessment, learning resources, performance standards.

Methods of monitoring curriculum implementation (observation, feedback questionnaires; focus groups / meetings / fora / interviews; student assessment results, reports). Key questions to evaluate a course or program (identification of successes and failures of the curriculum with a view to correcting deficiencies, measurement of objectives achievement, meeting the needs of learners, community, etc., measurement of relevance of learning objectives, balance of teaching and learning methods, adequacy of learning resources, the cost effectiveness of the curriculum, - Whether teachers have the knowledge and skills required to deliver the curriculum, etc.). Carrying out corrective action. Detecting serious setbacks or bottlenecks of the implementation to achieve expected learning outcomes.


The course is formed from tasks, the purpose of which is to form and develop:

  • skills in design, development and implementation of educational programs;
  • the ability to use active learning strategies, project-oriented and problem-oriented learning in engineering education;
  • skills of integrating ICT tools into the educational process.

The final task with the development and presentation of a specific training course.

Link to online course