Designing online teaching curriculum to optimise learning for all students in higher education

Publication Name

Curriculum Journal


Disruptions to higher education teaching have raised significant concerns over the best curriculum design for teaching online and for the inclusion of all students. Universal design for learning (UDL) together with curriculum research models – taxonomy of significant learning and integrated curriculum design (ICD), provides a curriculum approach to optimising students' learning and building engagement with learning online. This paper outlines the redesign process and decisions made to improve the curriculum design in an online sociology course in teacher education. The goals of the redesign were to optimise all student learning, engagement and perceived satisfaction. Data collection included student responses (pre and post), course evaluation, analytics and reflections from an expert reviewer. Analysis was guided by the UDL curriculum design principles of engagement, representation and action/expression. Emerging from this research is the need to ensure that online learning redesign is user-friendly and engaging, with multiple supported learning opportunities for the students. This redesign strengthens the quality of online learning, with learning becoming more meaningful and learning activities incorporating elements that are reflective, instructional and social. One interesting aspect that emerged was the importance of the partnership between the academic and the instructional designer in the redesign process.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)