Skip to main content

Agile Curriculum Sustainability: Continuous Improvement

  • 1123 Accesses

Abstract

When it comes to implementing a curriculum that aligns with an agile PBL ecology for learning, there are a myriad of elements and factors to consider, and they all impact to some extent on the ultimate success: graduates who can demonstrate the desired learning outcomes and are empowered with agile twenty-first-century skills that allow them to contribute to society with agency. The development, implementation and teaching of an agile PBL curriculum are ideally at the very least a whole-of-institution endeavour, which involves the micro- and exo-systems, but the goal from the beginning should always be to consciously involve all systems in the ecology. Excluding, for example, the macro-system from curriculum and pedagogy exposes the curriculum to the risk of not achieving the desired learning outcomes identified and required for a twenty-first-century supercomplex world. However, we do realise that a fully functioning curriculum in alignment with an agile PBL ecology for learning is an ideal situation, whereby the whole institution is on the same page and ‘every duck is lined up’. This whole-institution implementation represents one end of a continuum, whereas agile PBL implemented in single courses taught by individual enthusiastic lecturers is considered at the other end of the continuum. The case we outline in this chapter leans towards the former, and the idea is that readers treat this as the ideal scenario, as something to work towards. In this chapter, we discuss some of the factors that are involved in an overhaul of the curriculum towards an agile PBL. This is followed by an outline of how to make this practice sustainable and how to create a culture of continuous improvement, so that the agile PBL curriculum and pedagogy stay agile in the long term.

Keywords

  • Action Learning
  • Learning Organisation
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Professional Learning
  • External Partner

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-2454-2_8
  • Chapter length: 23 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   89.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-981-10-2454-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   119.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

References

  • Afzal, S., & Robinson, P. (2010). Modelling affect in learning environments-motivation and methods (pp. 438–442). Paper presented at the Advanced Learning in Technologies (ICALT), 2010 IEEE 10th International Conference.

    Google Scholar 

  • Armstrong, E. (2008). A hybrid model of problem-based learning. In D. Boud & G. Felletti (Eds.), The challenge of problem-based learning (pp. 137–150). London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Baecker, D. (2014). Complex system in social theory. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from http://ssrn.com/abstract=2512647. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2512647.

  • Ballantyne, J., & Grootenboer, P. (2012). Exploring relationships between teacher identities and disciplinarity. International Journal of Music Education, 30(4), 368–381.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barker, K. (2004). Diffusion of innovations: A world tour. Journal of Health Communication, 9(S1), 131–137.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barnett, R. (2013). Imagining the university. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Barrows, H. S. (1998). Essentials of problem-based learning. Journal of Dental Education, 62(9), 630–633.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bowden, J., & Marton, F. (2000). Quality and qualities. In J. Bowden & F. Marton (Eds.), The university of learning. London: Kogan Page.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brodie, L., & Gibbings, P. (2007). Developing problem-based learning communities in virtual space. Paper presented at the Connected: 2007 International Conference on Design Education, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

    Google Scholar 

  • Davies, M. (2012). Can universities survive the digital revolution? Quadrant Online. Retrieved March 8, 2013, from http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2012/12/can-universities-survive-the-digital-revolution

  • Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis, M. (2011). Future work skills 2020 (pp. 1–14): Institute for the Future for the University of Phoenix Research Institute. Retrieved September 26, 2016, from http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/front/docs/sponsored/phoenix/future_work_skills_2020.pdf

  • Degerlia, A., Aytekinb, C., & Degerlic, B. (2015). Analyzing information technology status and networked readiness index in context of diffusion of innovations theory. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195, 1553–1562.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Edutech Wiki. (2013). Learning analytics. from Accessed 18 May at http://edutechwiki.unige.ch/en/Learning_analytics-Introduction

  • Hara, N. (2009). Communities of practice: Fostering peer-to-peer learning and informal knowledge sharing in the workplace. Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany: Spinger-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  • Head, A., Van Hoeck, M., & Garson, D. (2015). Lifelong learning in the digital age: A content analysis of recent research on participation. First Monday, 20 (2). Retrieved March 17, 2016, from http://firstmonday.org/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/5857/4210. doi:10.5210/fm.v20i2.5857

  • Hil, R. (2012). Whackademia: An insider’s account of the troubled university. Sydney, Australia: UNSW Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hordern, J. (2015). Higher apprenticeships and the shaping of vocational knowledge. Research in Post-compulsory Education, 20(1), 17–34.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., & Freeman, A. (2014). NMC horizon report: 2014 higher education. Austin, TX: The New Media Consortium.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kuh, G. D., Kinzie, J., Schuh, J. H., Whitt, E. J., et al. (2005). Student success in college. San Francisco: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leavy, M., & Rheinschmidt, S. (2010). How the ICCOC uses analytics to increase student success. Educause Review Online. Accessed 18 May 2014 at http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/how-iccoc-uses-analytics-increase-student-success.

  • Lyons, S., Schweitzer, L., & Ng, E. (2015). How have careers changed? An investigation of changing career patterns across four generations. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 30(1), 8–21.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Macmahon, C., & Huijser, H. (2015). ‘We don’t need no education?’ Moving towards the integration of tertiary education and entrepreneurialship. In M. Harmes, H. Huijser, & P. A. Danaher (Eds.), Myths in education, learning and teaching: Policies, practices and principles (pp. 97–113). New York: Palgrave.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Marquardt, M. J., & Yeo, R. K. (2012). Breakthrough problem solving with action learning: Concepts and cases. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mezirow, J. (2008). An overview on transformative learning. In P. Sutherland & J. Crowther (Eds.), Lifelong learning: Concepts and contexts (pp. 24–38). London/New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moust, J., & Roebertsen, H. (2010). Alternative instructional problem-based learning formats. In H. van Berkel, A. Scherpbier, H. Hillen, & C. van der Vleuten (Eds.), Lessons from problem-based learning (pp. 129–141). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ng, P. T. (2004). The learning organisation and the innovative organisation. Human Systems Management, 23(2), 93–100.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ortenblad, A. (2013). On differences between organizational learning and learning organization. The Learning Organization, 8(3), 125–133.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Paul, M. (2010). How to organise the transition from a traditional curriculum to a PBL curriculum. In H. van Berkel, A. Scherpbier, H. Hillen, & C. van der Vleuten (Eds.), Lessons from problem-based Learning. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pennington, M., & Richards, J. (2016). Teacher identity in language teaching: Integrating personal, contextual, and professional factors. RELC Journal, 1, 19. doi:10.1177/0033688216631219.

    Google Scholar 

  • Phillips, B. T. (2003). A four-level learning organisation benchmark model. The Learning Organization, 10(2), 98–105.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Retna, K. S. (2006). The learning organisation: A comparative study of Singapore organisations. International Journal of Learning, 13(1), 95–101.

    Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of Innovation (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sadler, E. (2015). Innovation adoption and collective experimentation. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from http://econ.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/35809/SSRN_id2497798.pdf

  • Sahin, I. (2006). Detailed review of Rogers’ diffusion of innovations theory and educational technology-related studies based on Rogers’ theory. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 5(2), 14–23.

    Google Scholar 

  • Savin-Baden, M. (2014). Using problem-based learning: New constellations for the twenty first century. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3&4), 197–219.

    Google Scholar 

  • Secolsky, C., Denison, D., & Stake, R. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook on measurement, assessment, and evaluation in higher education. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organisation. New York: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  • Siemens, G. (2012, 29 April–2 May). Learning analytics: Envisioning a research discipline and a domain of practice. Paper presented at the proceedings of the 2nd International conference on learning analytics and knowledge, Vancouver, BC.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sipos, Y., Battisti, B., & Grimm, K. (2013). Achieving transformative sustainability learning: Engaging heads, hands and heart. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 9(1), 68–86.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Stalmeijer, R., Dolmans, D., Van Berkel, H., & Wolfhagen, I. (2010). Quality assurance. In H. van Berkel, A. Scherpbier, H. Hillen, & C. Van Der Vleuten (Eds.), Lessons from problem-based learning (pp. 157–166). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Tam, M. (2001). Measuring quality and performance in higher education. Quality in Higher Education, 7(1), 47–54.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Taylor, E. W. (2008). Transformative learning theory. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 119, 5–15.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Thomas, K., & Allen, S. (2006). The learning organisation: A meta-analysis of themes in literature. The Learning Organization, 13(2), 123–139.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Wenger, E. (2009). Communities of practice: A brief introduction. Accessed 18 May 2014 at http://www.ewenger.com/theory/

  • West, D., Huijser, H., Heath, D., Lizzio, A., Toohey, D., & Miles, C. (2015). Higher education teachers’ experiences with learning analytics in relation to student retention. In T. Reiners, B. R. von Konsky, D. Gibson, V. Chang, L. Irving & K. Clarke (Eds.), Globally connected, digitally enabled: Proceedings of the ascilite 2015 Conference (pp. 296–307). Perth, 29 November–2 December.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wolfhagen, I., & Scherpbier, A. (2010). Curriculum governance. In H. van Berkel, A. Scherpbier, H. Hillen, & C. Van Der Vleuten (Eds.), Lessons from problem-based learning (pp. 151–156). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Xiong, H., Payne, D., & Kinsella, S. (2015). Peer effects in the diffusion of innovations: Theory and simulation. Social Science Research Network. Retrieved March 18, 2016, from http://ssrn.com/abstract=2606726. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2606726

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2017 Springer Science+Business Media Singapore

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Kek, M.Y.C.A., Huijser, H. (2017). Agile Curriculum Sustainability: Continuous Improvement. In: Problem-based Learning into the Future. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2454-2_8

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-2454-2_8

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Singapore

  • Print ISBN: 978-981-10-2452-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-981-10-2454-2

  • eBook Packages: EducationEducation (R0)