Engineering curriculum review: processes, frameworks and tools
Periodic review and enhancement of curricula in engineering is vital to maintaining the quality and currency of undergraduate degree programs. The process of reviewing curriculum, however, is challenging on many fronts, and can appear overwhelming to those leading the review and implementing subsequent changes to the curriculum. Particular challenges include: involving all academic staff in the process to promote ownership of change; developing processes to guide the review toward improvements in the quality of content and of students experiences of being taught; and remaining mindful of the constraints and requirements of contextual factors like university policy, needs of external stakeholders and finite time and money for teaching. This paper describes selected processes and tools that the authors have adapted or developed and applied in engineering curriculum review at three different engineering faculties. Two of these faculties were Australian and a third South American. We explain each of the processes and tools, and then discuss how each has contributed to simplifying, representing and facilitating discussion about the unwieldy amount of information embodied in engineering curriculum. We also comment on the different responses to use of these tools and processes at the three engineering faculties in which they have been applied.