Developing The Credit-Based Modular Curriculum in Higher by Mick Betts

By Mick Betts

This article presents assistance for construction curriculum constructions and examines the types that may be used. suggestions similar to accreditation of past and experiential studying, incompany accreditation, work-based studying,

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This enables the student to make choices of modules within a particular area. In its simplest form, a student might want to choose a number of modules from business and a number from philosophy and, according to the institutional rules on proportions, develop a programme leading to a Major in business and a Minor in philosophy. Of course the regulations will tell the student to choose from these subjects. But language is everything and the term ‘subject’ might limit institutional course developers to traditional subjects areas indeed like business and philosophy.

Of course, nearer to home, the articulation between the Scottish degree based on four years as the norm and the English degree of three illustrates the dilemma admirably. Having said that differentiation (having both a 480 and 360 credit norm) has found favour, it must be noted that this principle is applied to different types of degree, not to different types of student. In other words once all these dilemmas have been resolved we have to apply the resolution to any mode of degree delivery. Thus part-time students on a sociology degree take longer than those on the fulltime degree.

Classical modularism insofar as it relates to credit accumulation, comes in a number of forms. In its most pure form it provides a single standard framework which is embedded right across the institution. Whatever the academic discipline concerned, deviation from the standard is carefully controlled. In this classical form modules will be the same size measured in notional hours; they will be delivered within a common time frame, usually either a semester or term; they will be assessed within the time frame of the module itself and on the basis of common principles relating to assessment criteria, grades and regulations.

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