One of the deliverables of the DUCKLING Project based at the University of Leicester is ‘a transferable model for effective, scalable inclusive and sustainable work- and distance-based curriculum delivery in a dual-mode university’. The DUCKLING team has been conceptualising this deliverable in light of its research and the debate around the Lifecycle Model.
A brief critique of the current curriculum lifecycle diagram
The DUCKLING team feels that the current diagram does not accurately reflect a realistic curriculum lifecycle for a number of reasons, including: It shows a clear separation between design and delivery, indicated by the use of different colours and discrete stages. In reality, particularly for new courses, delivery can be about a week ahead of design (sometimes a day or two!). Design and delivery overlap and reinforce each other. The diagram contains an evaluation stage based on ‘data from virtual learning systems [and] from other e-administrative systems to produce a more rapid and accurate overview of the curriculum’. We feel that this view is too simplistic, as it misses (among other elements) the deeper, richer and complex processes associated with design and delivery. An evaluation of the curriculum may require a comprehensive Action Research process, leading to change and enhancement throughout all stages of design and delivery, and informing redesign.
Any lifecycle, by definition, needs to include a phasing-out stage. Curricula are no exception: old curricula are discontinued or phased out, new ones are developed and introduced. This aspect is not represented in the current diagram.
They have been working on a diagram to reflect the model. This is its third iteration and it remains work in progress. If you’d like to join the debate feel free to add your comments on this blog.