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Course Design Blueprint

Stakeholder Consultation


While a course is generally owned by the course team, there will be others, sometimes many others, who have an interest in the success of the course or are in a position to constructively inform and guide the course's development.  The design and maintenance of any course should involve systematic and thorough consultation with all relevant stakeholders.

On the pages within this section we explore potential stakeholders for our courses and how each might be engaged in course development and enhancement activities.  Here we look more generally at how course design should be informed, and sometimes driven, by stakeholder consultation activites.

Content Selection

In the Content section we explore how course teams need to take time to select the content that should be curated into their course.  In selecting content the team will want to ensure that pertinent stakeholder input is employed.  In particular, stakeholders will be able to help the team ensure that:

  • content will be attractive to applicants, explicitly including hot topics, links to what progressing students would have already explored and may wish to develop further, and integrates skills and attributes that applicants would see as of value for future progression and employment opportunities.
  • skills and tools included in the curriculum are pertinent to the current working environment, and used by employers.
  • trends and developments in practice are highlighted and signposted.
  • students are fully aware of professional body expectations and related codes of conduct.
  • students understand and are able to operate in relevant operational environments and contexts.

Skills and attributes

As explored elsewhere in this blueprint, students will be expected to develop and demonstrate a range of specialist and transferable skills and attributes through their engagement with the learnimg activities set them. 

  • Employers will have opinions on which subject specific skills they would expect their employees to have, and be able to provide clarity on the types of environments and contexts in which the skills might need to be deployed.  Exploration with employers of the specific software that students would be expected to use within employment settings will help evaluation of current course provision and resourcing. 
  • In preparation for re-approvals, conversations with current students and recent graduates will help the team evaluate and plan how skill and attribute development is integrated into the curriculum.  Students and alumni will be able to highlight those skills they find most difficult to aquire, the learning activities they have found most (and least) helpful in developing them, and the ways in which the course has given them confidence in deploying skills effectively.
  • For vocational courses leading to particular roles, it is useful to consult with those who might work with those on such roles - service users, potential colleagues, managers - to gain a deeper picture of the expectations for behaviour and professional conduct that might be encultured within students.

Involvement in learning, teaching and assessment

We encourage course teams to employ learning, teaching and assessment approaches that involve stakeholders in order to improve the authenticity and value of the students' learning and experience.  Where the team have ideas for such learning activities, consultation with stakeholders will help check the viability of such proposals.  Similarly, consultations may result in stakeholders making suggestions for activities which they could facilitate or contribute to such as visits, guest speaking, or the provision of case studies or authentic scenarios for learning and assessment activites.

Exemplary Accomplished (Baseline) Promising Incomplete
Numerous external stakeholders are seen as, and would see themselves as, valued members of the course’s learning community, involved in informing many aspects of course development and delivery.

Course teams employ a collection of external stakeholders regularly within course evaluative processes, including a range of employers, community representatives, alumni, and, where helpful, service users.

Systematic involvement of these stakeholders enables their effective contribution to monitoring, review and enhancement activities across the course’s design, curriculum and operation.
A range of external stakeholders are regularly engaged in consultative processes that enable them to comment constructively on the course design and delivery, and on the development and achievement of students and graduates. Course teams seek external stakeholder input to inform key course developmental activities such as re-approval, and to monitor and enhance placement and work-based learning.
Students share ownership of the course, contributing constructively to course design, development, maintenance and enhancement activity throughout the year. All students are encouraged and able to engage with regular conversations on the quality and enhancement of their provision at module and course level. Reports of actions taken in response to student feedback and suggestions is used to further encourage student engagement. The work of student representatives in supporting and representing their cohorts is promoted and facilitated by the course team within course delivery and through on-line provision. Student representatives are engaged within course committee processes and maintain regular contact with the course leader.