Does it spark joy? Streamlining units for Block Teaching
Keywords:Constructive alignment, programme design, pedagogy, higher education, curriculum drift, curriculum theory, learning outcomes
COVID-19 directly affected higher education (HE), requiring rapid curriculum redevelopment and adapting delivery in order to accommodate government guidance such as social distancing measures. One such change was a shift from a traditional model (containing units that spanned a 12-week term or full academic year) to the adoption of a block teaching model (containing condensed, 6-week, consecutively delivered units). Inspired by Marie Kondo’s concept of ‘sparking joy’, this work is a practical guide to streamlining units for block teaching. Using a case study from an undergraduate Psychology programme in a north-west university in the United Kingdom (UK), a three-phase process is outlined: Groundwork, Redesign and Landscaping. The vision is to create a pedagogically sound, constructively aligned scheme of work.