Centralised Support to the Network of Higher Education Reform Experts (HERE)

Technical Assistance Missions (TAM)


Name of Expert

Prof Paul Blackmore

Date of Visit

12-13 October 2015


Contemporary issues in the design of higher education curricula

Objectives of the visit

To consider reasons for and key issues in curriculum change worldwide

To explore contemporary approaches to curriculum design, including: constructive alignment and learning outcomes; graduateness and skills; linking teaching and research; assessment; and evaluation

Format of the activity (seminar, training, etc)

Lecture and intreractive seminar

Brief description of activities conducted

Day 1 session consisted of a lecture with questions and answers to an audience of about 60 senior higher education academic and administrative staff from the home institutions and others in the region.

Day 2 session consisted of an interactive seminar with about 40 participants, presenting key issues as described above and facilitating discussion. Some individual and small group activities were included.

Participants targeted 

About sixty senior academic and administrative staff from University of Jordan and other institutions in the region.

Main ‘take-aways’ from the perspective of the expert

In my view the main value of the sessions was in stressing the value of active student learning and innovative approaches to assessment, rather than transmissive, lecture-based formats with standards forms of assessment.

There was particular value in considering the role of “student-centredness” - how student and staff motivation could be fostered in an era of greater specificity in learning intentions and planned outcomes.