Using the D4 Curriculum Development Approach
to address TEF metrics
Liz Bennett and Sue Folley: University of Huddersfield
SEDA Spring Teaching Learning and Assessment Conference 2017:
The quest for teaching excellence and learning gain: issues, resolutions and possibilities.
Format of the session:
to the D4
Introduction to the D4 Workshops
Originally a University Strategic Project around Developing Digital Literacies in Staff
Approach used to encourage the ‘late majority’ (Rogers, 1983)
Later developed to focus on other key issues, attainment, employability, retention
Aims of the D4 Workshops:
To provide a starting point, and space for discussions about course/module design
To introduce the participants to a range of curriculum design tools (including
Appreciative Inquiry and Course Design cards) and understanding of the topic.
To create a personal/course team action plan
To be aware of range of further reading and further support available
From: http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADB195.pdf (p.16)
Appreciative Inquiry is a theory of organization development
management or research approach that focuses on the “best of
what is” instead of focusing on problems.
The best of what has been
Best that might be
What it might truly look like
What we will
Split into groups as instructed.
In your group, reflect on the question ‘What examples of great learning have you experienced in
your professional life?’
o What happened?
o What did you do to make that happen?
o What did others do to contribute to that experience
o How did that experience feel?
Discuss your stories and write down some of the characteristics of what makes a great learning
experience and agree on one person to share these with the whole group later. (10 mins)
Feedback to whole group some of the characteristics of the learning experience (10 mins)
Task 1 – the Discover Stage
Still in your small groups you are going to create a vision of what the desirable attributes a student
graduating from your course/University are.
Think about: How you want your course/module to enable graduates to:
- Work effectively with others
- Meet employer’s expectations
- Work with professional bodies (if appropriate)
- Be adaptable and agile to work and learn in a variety of contexts
- To be able to work in a digital world
Draw a mind map or other diagram to represent the ideal graduate attributes. (10 mins)
Feedback to whole group and distil into a list of themes
Task 2 – the Dream Stage
Task 3 – the Design Stage
This is stage is tricky. We want staff to design something but this takes a long time to work
through and refine.
The cards are used to stimulate thinking with ideas.
There is a danger that we just use the cards for audit, and this isn’t design, but often you start
from an audit process to move forward.
• For D4A: Attainment, we ask them to identify 3 areas that they want to develop;
• For D4R: Retention, we ask them to map the student’s journey over the first 12 months of
• For D4E: Employability, we ask them to map the skills that are developed across the 3 years of
• For D4L: Active Learning we ask them to design a single learning activity.
Task 3 for D4A: Curriculum Design for Attainment
Task 3: D4E – Curriculum Design for
These cards and the stickers are used to colour code these activities on a mapping
sheet for the course
Bennett & Folley (2016)
Task 3 for D4R – Curriculum Design for Retention
Task 4: Delivery Stage -
All the D4 Workshops
Reflecting on all the tasks done in this workshop, note any changes you would like to make to your
module and then please complete your action plan template including anything you have decided
needs to take happen or be discussed, such as:
- What have you learned from the activity design stage that you could adapt or use in your course?
- What staff development do you need to undertake?
- Do you need to arrange any discussions with the course leader or other staff to take any of your
- Write down a list of actions with names of who is responsible for taking them forward and
Analysis of the D4 Approach: its strengths
• Positively framed;
• Structured with flow between the stages.
• Holistic (not siloed);
• Space for critique;
• Team based dialogue, unfreezing change;
• Action orientated;
• Resources and tools;
• Manage upwards.
• Sharing of ‘good practice’
Your Feedback of the D4 Approach
Discussion in groups:
1. To what extent do you agree
with our analysis of the
strengths of this approach?
2. How could the approach be
3. How it might be used in your
Space for critique;
Sharing of ‘good practice
Full resources including workshop plans, presentation slides and printable copies
of the cards are available at:
http://ipark.hud.ac.uk (in the training & development folder) or shortened url
Liz Bennett: e.Bennett@hud.ac.uk @LizBennett1
Sue Folley: email@example.com @SueFolley
Hinweis der Redaktion
Liz Materials Copies of the cards, A4 sheets, action planning, evaluation sheet
Liz Experiential – working through the first 2 stages or a 4 stage process.
So we move into the workshop now and you will do 2 stages and then we will describe the 3rd and 4th stages
Last point – make the point that we have to be realistic of what we can achieve in 2 hours – and that most curriculum design processes last 2 or more full days – so this can only be the start point for your ongoing discussion and work in this area.
Sue to collate
Sue to explain
Liz to collate list
Use the cards which take a dimension of employability and consider where it fits on your programme.
Just use the Learner Engagement Cards.
We need an example for them of what the final thing may look like – applied to a different learning activity.
They can use their own example instead of the poster one. Learning activity – keep it focussed on this
Liz Efficient – working in several course teams gets groups out of stuck behaviours/cultures, as they put on an externally facing persona!
Different challenges depending on the group eg if voluntary participation then often challenging to get the whole team together, if at an away day then there is more resistance, challenge to deal with, however both have evaluated positively and have resulted in action plans and people staying on task for the whole 2.5 hours.
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