‘Discover, dream, design and deliver’ curriculum design workshops

License: CC0 Public Domain. From http://pixabay.com/en/gears-rotation-into-each-other-94221/

License: CC0 Public Domain

This blog post was written by Dr Liz Bennett, Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Professional Development and Dr Sue Folley, Academic Developer with a focus on the use of digital tools within teaching.

In this post they present their approach to curriculum design using appreciative inquiry and share the tools they have developed. University of Huddersfield colleagues can contact Liz and Sue if they want them to run a workshop.

The workshops are for colleagues at the University of Huddersfield who want to improve an aspect of their curriculum. They workshops can be adapted to a relevant theme or have a specific focus. Currently, we have worked with colleague to address the following areas:

  • employability
  • retention
  • attainment
  • students’ digital capability

We have developed a series of D4 Workshops to help Course Teams develop aspects of the curriculum. The workshop are designed around an Appreciative Inquiry model of change management which frames change in a positive way using a four stage process: Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver (Fifolt & Lander 2013).

All D4 Workshops have a time efficient starting point for the discussion, providing teams with tools to use as part of the ongoing process of curriculum review. They help to stimulate discussions amongst the course team in order to identify and address issues many of which are cross curricula. They are also:

  • positively framed (based on the appreciative inquiry approach);
  • practical and experiential (workshops are focused on four tasks relating to the discover, dream, design deliver stages of the appreciative inquiry model);
  • action-orientated (the deliver stage is about action planning).

The D4 Workshop resources can be found at http://ipark.hud.ac.uk/content/training-development. The evaluation of the workshops has shown that the approach is extremely valuable to the course teams providing them with tools to aid their thinking and a focus and forum for the curriculum review process. (The direct impact on students is harder to measure as the changes that arise are embedded in the curriculum).

Quote from participant:

“It created a space and structure for us to think clearly and practically about how to enhance our curriculum and pedagogy to respond to TEF whist not losing sight of the intrinsic value of education…It facilitated us to come up with a clear and focused ‘to do’ list….It made us aware that some small changes to teaching delivery could have a big impact if handled well”


Fifolt, M., & Lander, L. (2013). Cultivating Change Using Appreciative Inquiry. New Directions for Student Services, 2013(143), 19-30. doi:10.1002/ss.20056

Posted by Kathrine Jensen, Research Assistant, Teaching and Learning Institute. The Teaching and Learning Institute coordinates, evaluates and disseminates inspiring and innovative teaching and learning. Follow TALI on Twitter


About talintuoh

Supporting and connecting colleagues to develop inspiring and innovative teaching and learning
This entry was posted in academic practice, Learning design, pedagogy, Research, Teaching, Training and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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