Charles Sturt Curriculum model

The Charles Sturt Curriculum model provides the practical ‘how-to’ for professional and academic teams to design, deliver and support exceptional learning experiences.

The Curriculum Model is still in development and requires further elaboration in consultation with stakeholders. It identifies six key curriculum areas aligned with University Strategy. The model addresses our student needs and strategic initiatives represented in a Charles Sturt curriculum and identifies key areas of focus for development as areas of excellence.

This visual is designed to be read as 6 connected areas, starting with the curriculum design, and then reading in a clockwise direction.

The Curriculum Model

Curriculum Design Principles

A set of guiding principles has been developed at the course and subject levels while recognising that courses and subjects are necessarily connected. The principles design considers the broad range of stakeholders required to apply them. The principles represent best practice and are informed by literature and benchmarking. They are succinct, concise, and targeted to provide clear foundational guidance. Each principle can be further elaborated on and explained in terms of application to practice.

We apply the Course and Subject Design Principles at each stage of the six-stage cycle used in course and subject design. Using the principles in this process facilitates shared understanding to guide collaborative work.

Standard course and subject process 6 stage process

A variation of this six-stage cycle, has been applied in educational design work in DLT since 2020 and has been shared widely across the university. It aligns with CDAP as the university curriculum management system. Further mapping based on this high-level visual has elaborated the process to relevant CDAP processes.

It should be noted that in the case of courses, evaluation through the Annual Course Health Check (ACHC) may prompt a Comprehensive Course Review (CCR); in the case of subjects QUASAR may prompt subject revision at a level requiring approval, or otherwise; evaluation may indicate no change required, progressing straight to delivery.

Assessment principles are the final component of the Curriculum Model.

Course Design Principles

The course review and course design approach will be adaptive to any curriculum management system and emerging strategic projects at the course level. In practice the course principles guide the course design team and should be referred to at a subject level due to the inherent connection between courses and subjects.

  1. Charles Sturt actively connects with, listens to, and applies learnings from stakeholders in an agile course design process.
  2. Charles Sturt develops course-level standards and outcomes as appropriate to course needs, policy and regulatory requirements and as aligned to Charles Sturt Graduate Learning Outcomes.
  3. Charles Sturt approaches collaborative course design as a meaningfully connected and constructively aligned process informed by feedback, research, and evidence.
  4. Charles Sturt designs coherent, learner-focussed courses to provide opportunities for a diverse range of students, including First Nations students, to progress and succeed.
  5. Charles Sturt designs courses that enable students to develop discipline knowledge, generic knowledge, employability skills, attitudes, and values to be career ready and to be change agents in their local and global communities.
  6. Charles Sturt designs courses that are adaptable and future focused whilst maintaining integrity to ensure ongoing course sustainability and course quality.
  7. Charles Sturt evidences the design of courses through curriculum mapping that shows developmental progression across a course, curriculum alignment and the meeting of requirements.
  8. Charles Sturt engages in regular review and quality assurance informed by an evidence-based approach to the continuous improvement of our courses.

Course Design Principles PDF

Subject Design Principles

The approach to subject design acknowledges the essential connection between subjects and courses. It further acknowledges differing levels of management of subject curriculum. Charles Sturt designs subjects that connect to the course(s) they serve through alignment with the course learning outcomes.

  1. Charles Sturt designs subjects that constructively align learning outcomes with pedagogical approaches, assessment, learning content and activities.
  2. Charles Sturt designs subjects that include learning outcomes that are measurable and explicitly state the knowledge and skills students are expected to demonstrate.
  3. Charles Sturt designs subjects that scaffold students to understanding and independent learning through planned sequencing, collaborative learning, and opportunities to apply knowledge and skills.
  4. Charles Sturt designs subjects to provide opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding and achievement of the Graduate Learning Outcomes, over time.
  5. Charles Sturt designs subjects that embed the development of academic and employability skills, over time.
  6. Charles Sturt designs subjects that integrate academic theory into authentic discipline practice, connecting learning to professional practice and providing opportunities for application.
  7. Charles Sturt designs subjects to enable learners to track their progress and access support to enhance performance.
  8. Charles Sturt designs subjects to develop career and professional skills and knowledge through industry partnerships, networking, and professional placements.
  9. Charles Sturt designs subjects that utilise technologies to enhance active learning, learner engagement and student success.
  10. Charles Sturt designs subjects to enhance student engagement through innovative pedagogies, including a strong online teacher presence and intentionally designed teaching schedules with multiple opportunities to engage, and enhance learning value.
  11. Charles Sturt designs subjects that acknowledge prior learning and enable teaching to adapt and be responsive to diverse learners and their needs.
  12. Charles Sturt uses subject data to inform an evidence-based approach to the continuous improvement of design, development, and delivery (EXISTING).
  13. Charles Sturt facilitates collaboration across the university to review and evaluate courses and the subjects that contribute to those courses in an integrated way with a view to continuous improvement and connection (EXISTING).
  14. Charles Sturt designs subject level assessment as opportunities for students to evidence achievement of the subject learning outcomes.
  15. Charles Sturt designs subject-level assessment to ensure equivalent opportunities for all students, to inform student progress and to facilitate achievement.
  16. Charles Sturt designs subjects that have a consistent and appropriate volume of learning, including purposefully designed learning experiences and materials that recognise time available, cognitive load and mode of engagement.

Subject Design Principles PDF

Assessment Design Principles

In practice, the Assessment Design Principles provide guidance to the course design team and should be referred to at a subject level due to the inherent connection between courses, subjects, and assessment. The Assessment Design Principles have been aligned with the HESF and CSU policy requirements.

PrincipleDescriptorHESF CSU Policy
1. Assessment is designed to facilitate learning success Assessment is designed to enable relevant and meaningful learning across a course and to elicit evidence of student progress towards the attainment of course and subject outcomes. Assessment prepares students for future success in learning and life. 1.4.3 Assessment Policy
Clause 2
2. Assessment is purposeful, rigorous, and intellectually challenging Students engage in a variety of innovative assessment tasks to demonstrate their ability to navigate a range of intellectual and practical challenges. Assessment prepares students to be critical and creative learners and practitioners who strive for excellence. 1.4.2 Assessment Policy
Clause 2
3. Assessment is aligned to the outcomes Assessment explicitly addresses the subject and course learning outcomes, including graduate learning outcomes. Assessment connects to learning activities within the subject. The method of assessment is relevant to the learning outcomes and aligned to current and future learning and discipline needs. 1.4.1
Assessment policy
Clause 13
4. Assessment is valid and reliable Assessment is designed to effectively evidence the specified learning outcomes and supports accurate evaluation of the capacity for future behaviour and practice. Assessment supports accurate judgements on student learning, progress and achievement within subjects and courses. 3.1.3
Assessment Policy
Clause 2
5. Assessment is authentic and aligned to professional knowledge and practice Assessment is relevant, purposeful and encourages deep learning. Assessment tasks are authentic and support students to engage in reflective practice.  Assessment prepares students to apply their knowledge and skills in new and diverse contexts for professional practice and life. It engages students in active portrayal of their achievements and developing professional identity during industry or work integrated learning activities. Assessment supports the journey towards cross-cultural competencies. 1.4.2 Assessment Policy
Clause 2
6. Assessment is designed to ensure academic integrity Assessment is thoughtfully designed within course structures to motivate ethical student practices and align with explicit teaching and modelling of academic integrity and ethical scholarship. Assessment should evidence the work has been completed by the student, in individual and group assessment contexts. 1.4.3 Assessment Policy
Clauses 3 & 16
7. Assessment is informed by quality assurance Assessment is moderated to ensure consistent and appropriate evaluations, verify student authorship, and allow for continuous review to ensure quality and alignment with student feedback and needs. 1.4.3 Assessment Policy
Clauses 3 & 16
8. Assessment is clear and explicit Assessment information is clearly outlined in unambiguous terms to minimise complexity and ensure student understanding of performance expectations. Students are inducted into assessment practices to support their ability to comprehend assessment requirements and become partners in assessment. 1.3.2 Course and Subject Information Procedure
Clause 35
9. Assessment is inclusive and equitable Assessment is student-centred and incorporates students’ needs by ensuring all students are given equal opportunity to demonstrate their learning and complete the task successfully. Assessment acknowledges diverse perspectives, cultures, sense of self, and ways of knowing, being and doing. Assessment supports the willingness to embrace diversity. 1.3.6
Assessment Policy
Clause 16
10. Assessment is manageable and sequenced Assessment is sequenced logically to scaffold student performance and to provide early feedback to build capacity for enhanced student learning. Assessment is designed to be manageable for students across their enrolment and to efficiently assess student achievement of the learning outcomes. Assessment is dispersed throughout the teaching session and optimised to ensure students have adequate time to achieve success. 1.3.2
Assessment Policy
Clause 13
11. Assessment is designed to elicit constructive feedback Assessment is designed to ensure feedback from formative and summative tasks can be actioned for enhanced learning progress and success. Feedback on performance is timely, clear, respectful, and consistent with the expectations of the assessment task. Students are supported over time to make informed decisions about their learning to develop their capacity for self-assessment and lifelong learning. 1.3.2
Assessment Policy
Clause 13

Assessment Design Principles PDF