How to contextualize the EU Curriculum in my own scenario?
IntroductionOnce identified the proper EQFlevel, you should work on the adaptation / instantiation of the general EU FCN Curriculum to your own context.
The main reference document you should take into consideration to this purpose is the FLEXIBILITY TABLE. It has been built with the scope to provide designers with detailed information on each LO, that are fundamental to take informed decisions to develop the localized instances.
Getting familiar with the Flexibility Table
The table is organized as follows:
- in ROWS you will find the list of LOs
- in COLUMNS the information about the specific LO.
How to use the Flexibility Table to design a localized curriculum
Besides the paper-based table to be used as a reference, ENhANCE project has delivered a FLEXIBILITY TOOL, i.e. a practical tool (Excel File) avalialable for free download supporting a step-by-step design of a localized curriculum, based on the indications included in the FLEXIBILITY TABLE.
In addition, a FLEXIBILITY TOOL MANUAL is available for download. The manual is a practical guide about how to use the provided Excel file.
Hereafter are some SUGGESTED STEPS to be followed to instantiate your curriculum supported by the FLEXIBILITY TABLE and the FLEXIBILITY TOOL.
STEP 1 - Identify Mandatory/Optional LOs and include Mandatory in the initial list of selected LOsThe EU Curriculum is composed of 52 LOs. In the process of selecting the LOs for the localized curriculum you should, firstly, consider the second column of the Table, Mandatory/Optional.
First of all you need to include all the mandatory LOs (42 out of 52), because they represent the core of the FCN curriculum and cannot be disregarded.
NB - In the Flexibility Tool : a specific column points out mandatory and optional LOs; take care to fill in all the rows corresponding to mandatory LOs
STEP 2 - Identify and select the proper teaching strategies
In the Flexibility table, a number of possible strategies has been proposed. The Experts have already provided suggestions about the most suitable ones for each LO. You have to decide which strategies you would like to adopt for the local curriculum, taking into account the workload.
The suggested alternatives are the following:
- LECTURE: face to face or on line. Often based on a transmission of contents and support passive learning.
- INDIVIDUAL STUDY: need to be included for the ECTS attribution. Includes preparation for examinations.
- GROUP WORK: e.g. problem based learning. This category envisages collaborative or cooperative activities. Can be carried out face-to-face or online, in class or both in class and at home. It usually requires more time and
workload than a lecture.
- LAB: e.g. role play, simulation. This strategy implies often to put into practice what has been learnt. It implies to put into practice what have been learnt. It can support active
- WORK BASED LEARNING: it means ‘the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences through action-based or reflective learning in a vocational or occupational context’.
You should keep in mind this aspect while designing the local curriculum.
NB - In the Flexibility Tool: strategies can be selected putting a X in the related column
STEP 3 - Define the Level of study for the LOs
It is necessary to define the level of study for each LO. To some LOs an advanced level is already assigned, others can be targeted at basic or advanced level:
- BASIC LEVEL: select this level if you have chosen strategies keeping the workload contained and if the contents are presented not at a deep level;
- ADVANCED LEVEL: select this level if you envisage an high workload and/or contents which are tackled at an advanced level.
NB - In the Flexibility Tool: the level of study can be defined selecting from a drop-down menu in the column ‘Level of study’ the option ‘Basic’ or ‘Advanced’
STEP 4 - Assign ECTS to the LOs
According to the level of study (basic/advanced) and the workload envisaged you have to assign the ECTS to each LO.
- For Mandatory LOs that have to be addressed at an advanced level the suggested range is from 1 to 2 ECTS.
- For Mandatory LOs that can be addressed at basic or advanced level, the experts suggested:
- For the basic level a range from 0,5 to 1,5 ECTS
- For the advanced level a range from 1 to 2 ECTS
- For Optional LOs the range varies from 0,5 to 1
NB: Once you have assigned the ECTS to the whole list of LOs already selected you have to check the total against the expected number established for the localized curriculum:
- If the maximum number of ECTS has been reached: you may be satisfied or you may want to reconsider your decisions because you want to add also one or more optional LOs.
- If the ECTS exceeded the maximum number established: you have to revise your choices.
- If the number of ECTS does not reach the maximum envisaged: you may now add the optional LOs.
STEP 5 - Assign the LOs to Modules
After having assigned the ECTS to the LOs, LOs have to be distributed in Modules.
In How to design the Modules of my course? three possible criteria to organize Modules are proposed.
You have to draft a list of possible modules based on one of the suggested criteria.
Take into account that:
- The minimum number of ECTS per module, must be at least two
- The workload in the modules should be differentiated
- Ideally the most important modules should have the same ECTS number
NB - In the Flexibility Tool: the tool allows you to assign each selected LO to a Module (SHEET 1) and then gives back a summary of LOs and ECTS per Module in the sheet ECTS OVERVIEW. Finally, a report about the Modules and the LOs included in each one is presented in the third sheet (PLAN OVERVIEW); in the sheet the names of LOs are automatically retrieved from the other sheets while Modules can be named by the designer.
STEP 6 - Refining and balancing the Curriculum
Now that the LOs have been distributed in the different Modules, you can come back to the LOs list to make some changes (if needed) in order to balance the composition of the Modules.
- If the maximum number of ECTS has been reached: you may want to change the level of study (and the corresponding number of ECTS) of the LOs in order to add other optional LOs
- If the ECTS exceeded the maximum number established: you have to revise your choices, also taking into account the workload required in the different Modules
- If ECTS do not reach the maximum number envisaged: you may now add the optional LOs, also taking into account the workload required in the different Modules
At this point you can allocate optional LOs directly to Modules.