1st Edition

Effective Unit Design for Higher Education Courses A Guide for Instructors

By Sharon A. Cooper, Siva Krishnan Copyright 2020
    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    118 Pages
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    A clear and concise course design is integral to effective student learning in units of study; however, unit design can be a daunting task for academics. Effective Unit Design for Higher Education Courses is a practical resource based on theoretical foundations, designed to assist both professional course designers and academics with varied levels of curriculum design and development experience or background in higher education units and courses.

    This book provides a variety of practical advice, skills and resources to assist academics in designing curriculum that focuses on enhancing student learning. Readers are given a range of evidence-based developmental tools that challenge some of the currently accepted conventions behind unit design. Appropriate for any skill level, this book is designed to provide an accessible and structured process to design or revitalise high-quality units of study. Chapters cover a range of topics including developing assessment methods, strategies for providing feedback and evaluating unit design. The book has been structured to follow a design process, but as unit design is non-linear, chapters can be read in any order depending on interest or need.

    An essential guide for curriculum designers of all skill and experience levels, this book will appeal to all higher education academics tasked with an aspect of unit design.


    Chapter 1. Analysing the Context for Effective Unit Design

    Chapter 2. Designing Unit Learning Outcomes

    Chapter 3. Developing Assessment Methods

    Chapter 4. Designing Rubrics for Enhancing Student Learning

    Chapter 5. Devising an Overall Strategy for Providing Feedback

    Chapter 6. Planning Effective Teaching and Learning Experiences and Activities

    Chapter 7. Evaluating the Design of Your Unit



    Sharon A. Cooper was a mathematics teacher and lecturer in teacher education before becoming lecturer, Curriculum Design and Development at the University of Newcastle. In this role she has designed and coordinated Graduate Certificate units in course and assessment design. She now works as a sessional academic and curriculum design consultant.

    Siva Krishnan is a senior lecturer in Engineering at Deakin University. His work as an engineer, and then engineering lecturer inspired his curriculum design and development work. He has provided leadership and support for many course improvement projects for Deakin Learning Futures. As Course Director, he oversees unit design and delivery with a particular focus on enriching students’ learning experiences.

    Curriculum design for higher education is complex, challenging and can be profoundly rewarding. However, in the rush and tumble of teaching, evidence-based practice can take a backseat while teachers focus on just getting through. Cooper and Krishnan have written a practitioner’s guide to unit (subject) design which provides reliable, pertinent advice for teachers and teaching teams. The authors bring many years of practical experience to the book which recognizes the normal rhythms and challenges of teaching in Australian universities. If you are looking for effective advice for Australian university teachers - here it is.

    Professor Elizabeth Johnson PFHEA
, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, Deakin University

    Higher education in Australia has advanced dramatically since the 1960s when I first graduated. This new publication by Sharon Cooper & Siva Krishnan challenges teachers to think outside the square (their own learning styles) when designing courses, creating learning experiences and devising relevant student assessment. The authors draw on examples from their university teaching careers to help new college and university teachers become more adept at offering students a satisfying and stimulating education. This "student-centred" approach, in courses and degrees framed by a generic higher education, should result in graduates being far better prepared for tackling professional and life experiences than I was.

    Grahame Feletti, BSc, BAHons, PhD, Retired Associate Professor of Higher Education, The University of Newcastle, Australia