Team-based curriculum design as an agent of change

Andrew R. Burrell*, Michael Cavanagh, Sherman Young, Helen Carter

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Curriculum design in higher education environments, namely the consideration of aims, learning outcomes, syllabus, pedagogy and assessment, can often be ad hoc and driven by informal cultural habits. Academics with disciplinary expertise may be resistant to (or ignorant of) pedagogical approaches beyond existing practice. In an environment where there is a need to develop online activities for students, one way to counter this friction is through a team-based approach underpinned by design-thinking. A design-thinking team brings together content, pedagogical and technical expertise to examine and resolve curriculum design issues. This paper explores a number of case studies in which such teams developed units of study and programmes for online delivery. The paper looks at the possibilities that the team approach can be a vehicle to instigate cultural change within and beyond the team; that is, from an individualist to a collective approach and ownership of the curriculum and its design, maintenance and continuous improvement.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)753-766
    Number of pages14
    JournalTeaching in Higher Education
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • higher education
    • teacher education
    • online curriculum design
    • team-based design


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