COURSE DEVELOPMENT & PLANNING
All courses taught will be published in the KCL Prospectus and KCL website. Courses are reviewed throughout the year by the Academic Board.
The courses remain individual varying in length and strength. In planning to add a new course or changing an existing one, the starting point is establishing ‘need’ with the Academic Board.
The teaching staff will be responsible for teaching the content of the course. In relation to planning courses and course components they will be able to help define the following and advise often in consultation with the awarding body:
• Aims and learning outcomes
• Syllabus and content (breadth and depth) as set by Awarding Body
• Academic Standard
• Learning Opportunities
• Mode of delivery
Informal discussions with colleagues about issues that are relevant to their area of interest will almost certainly be productive, this process can be introduced at staff meetings. This will be particularly important in the early stage of implementation where resource issues influence the decision making process. The following may need to be consulted:
• Senior Teachers
• Course Co-ordinators
• External examiners (if possible)
• Student representative
Institutional Authorities and Committees
All awarding bodies have a formal role in acknowledging the need for change and development, and also give official sanction to new initiatives. The ranges of responsibilities to incorporate changes are shared out between various committees, whose roles vary, but they should be consulted about any major developments. The bodies that need to be formally consulted include:
• Director Principal
• Awarding Body
• Member of Examiners Boards
• Course co-ordinators
Resources that can be considered
Clearly, resource implications of any course changes need to be considered. The following are just some of the points that should be thought about.
• Number of students
• Time allocation
• Capital items (Equipment, Computer)
• Renewable items
• Other Facilities
Compatibility with Existing Courses
In relation to how any changes will fit with existing courses and structures, there are several questions that should be considered, including:
• How far does this course complement other courses?
• How much will be new to students?
• How far will it develop their previous experiences?
• What courses follow on from this?
• How does the standard compare with similar courses?
The checklist which follows sets out a range of questions to be considered when new courses are approved and existing curricula undergo revision, and thus serves as a basis on which good practice may consistently and systematically be judged.
1. Why is this proposal being made?
2. To what extent does the course take account of policy initiatives by the College?
3. What evidence is there of student demand?
4. Is this an additional course, or is it a replacement course?
B. COURSE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
1. What balance of knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes or values does the course aim to achieve?
2. Have course objectives been clearly set out?
3. Are the course aims and objectives academically justified/of sufficient academic merit?
4. Do the course aims and objectives complement those of existing courses?
5. If there is overlap with other courses, can duplication of effort be justified?
C. STUDENT INTAKE
1. At what students is the course aimed?
2. What are the formal qualifications for admission?
3. What are the attainments needed to undertake the course?
4. What is the minimum number of students the course must attract if it is to be viable?
5. What is the maximum number of students which can realistically be accommodated?
D. CONTENT OF THE COURSE
1. Is the specification clearly understood?
2. Can the topics be handled on the basis of the presumed previous knowledge and experience of students?
3. Is the content within the expertise of the staff available?
E. ORGANISATION OF TEACHING
1. Has a Course Co-ordinator been nominated?
2. What combination of teaching methods will be used (e.g. number and frequency of lectures)?
3. Are the teaching-learning strategies proposed appropriate in the light of:
the students taking the course?
course content and structure?
4. How will the course be timetabled?
5. Have checks been made for potential timetable clashes with other relevant courses?
F. STUDENT ASSESSMENT AND GUIDANCE
1. What forms will assessment takes (e.g. class examinations; coursework; assignment, tests)
2. How will coursework, examinations (including class exams) and any other assessed work be timetabled?
3. What provision is made, where appropriate, for resit examinations or for resubmission of coursework?
4. How will the course be externally examined?
5. How will students be kept regularly informed on their progress?
6. What help with difficulties will students be given?
7. Are the assessment and guidance procedures appropriate in the light of:
Course objectives? Course content and structure?
The students taking the course? Staffing arrangements (incl. marking)?
G. FEEDBACK AND EVALUATION
1. How will the effectiveness of the course in meeting its objectives be determined?
2. What feedback will be sought from students and others?
3. What course monitoring procedures will be followed?
H. RESOURCE REQUIREMENTS
1. Will the course require significant new resources or additional funding?
2. How will the course be staffed?
3. Have course materials been costed and will students be required to bring their own laptops.
4. What library requirements will there be?
5. What are the fees for the course (membership, course registration, exam fees, assessment?
I. DOCUMENTATION / PUBLICATION
1. What course documentation will be available to students; to external examiners; to staff
2. What formal documentation will be required?
3. What steps need to be taken to publicise the course?