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Assignment 3 Self-reflection Nadine M.


Curriculum design has become an integral part of my teaching practice as a new full time faculty
member of Durham College. Luckily, I have had numerous experiences with program and
course learning outcomes development as well as a thorough understanding of Essential
Employability Skills. During my role as faculty and administrative coordinator, I worked closely
with the Centre for Academic Excellence at my previous college and collaborated with executive
leadership and fellow faculty members. Some of my earlier experiences with curriculum
includes course outline standardization to meet Ministry and institutional standards,
participation in program review, program advisory committees, multiple teaching and learning
conferences, and currently as a faculty member, applying principles I have learned during my
post-graduate educational experiences.

I have participated in the development of three government proposals for business degree
programs, which helped me to understand the processes, requirements and logistics of
developing an academic program.

CUDD1110 was a new opportunity to learn, specifically about Durham Colleges approach to
curriculum design and development. My current teaching values and beliefs are grounded in a
progressive philosophical approach; my goal is to provide the learner with practical knowledge
and problem-solving skills. My focus is to ensure their needs, interests, and experiences are key
elements in their learning and that I, as their facilitator, effectively guide them using my own
learning experiences that are educative and stimulates further knowledge.

Over the course of these 14 weeks, I have learned about universal design for learning (UDL).
Specifically as it pertains to my own values and beliefs, I have learned that UDL is an integral
ingredient to achieving my goals in the classroom. It has become more evident now that I must
use these curriculum design principles to improve and optimize my teaching practice and support
various learning styles and needs of my diverse student population.

Integrated Course Design: The Golden Chain

During week 3, we discussed the key principles of curriculum alignment. The MS Word
document posted to DC Connect was clear and informative; I found it helped me make
the connections I needed to create ideas and helped guide the way I reviewed my course
outline. This was my first exposure to the principles of the golden chain, which I have
already started applying to my teaching practice.

Integrated Course Design Template Class Activity

In week 5 of CUDD1110, we used a template to assist us in completing the second
assignment for the course. I found this to be a very helpful resource as it created a clear
chart of my course and assisted me in organizing my thoughts and goals.

Using Backwards Design Principles to Design Essential Employability Skills Curriculum

Although I have used this design principle before, it was helpful to review this approach.
In week 7, we discussed Essential Employability Skills (EES) and analyzed how to
determine the extent to which each EES were being taught and evaluated in a course.
This was especially helpful as I find it easy to rationalise the delivery of every EES in a

Assignment 3 Self-reflection Nadine M. Ellul

course (with the exception of EES3 - Execute mathematical operations accurately);

however when you actually take a moment to analyze each EES using the backwards
design, a more realistic and accurate picture becomes visible.

Working through Assignment 2 (Curriculum Alignment) was a challenging exercise. It was a

great learning experience as it was like putting together a puzzle. I had all the pieces (i.e. all of
my course details and resources) but needed to analyze the gaps and determine where the most
optimal improvements could be applied. Talking through the gaps and issues aloud was the most
effective strategy for me; it allowed me to hear and see my thoughts and enabled me the clarity
to map out the steps required to solve my curriculum issues. I presented my ideas with a
colleague outside of my program to test whether or not my issues and proposed changes were
clear, concise and logical.

I have yet to apply some of the curriculum design principles learned during this course. With the
semester end fast approaching, I have started to plan for some of the changes I intend to
implement in my courses. My goal is to ensure UDL in all of my courses (particularly
OFFC1306 because I have been the lead faculty since it was merged into one course from two
separate courses). Another goal is to ensure that my course is meeting program outcomes and
industry requirements, as there has been a number of changes in industry since the mainstream
implementation of electronic health information management. I intend on consulting with the
program advisory committee in April to discuss some of my ideas, as I am unsure if some of the
current content remains relevant to industry.

Working with my colleagues, management team (Dean, Associate Dean), and program advisory
committee members will be my first step toward disseminating the skills, experience and
knowledge I have acquired, both from CUDD1110 as well as my previous experiences. As a
faculty, I will share the principles I have learned with my students by putting them in to practice
in my classroom.

After I present my questions and ideas at the upcoming PAC meeting, my next challenge is
applying what I have learned about curriculum design to the creation of new evaluation methods
in my fourth semester course. I plan to research, use the Caf as well as collaborate with my
team and industry partners to determine the most effective approaches.