Programme / Course level curriculum design is complex and should not be rushed. Here I will outline my overarching approach to this.
Having supported numerous Course teams through this process in various subject areas over the years, I have consistently drawn upon Biggs’ constructive alignment model which has underpinned my approach to this work and in my experience transcends disciplines.
Based on a three year undergraduate programme my advice to programme teams is to progress in this order:
1: programme aims and learning outcomes developed (informed by subject benchmarks / PSRB / employers etc)
2: final year modules developed (learning outcomes first then assessments & learning activities) – these modules should be informed by and aligned to the programme aims and LOs
3: second year modules developed (learning outcomes first then assessments & learning activities) – these modules should ensure students are prepared well enough to be successful in the final year (thereby informed by and aligned to the final year modules).
4: first year modules developed in the same way, (informed by and align to the second year modules).
5: Induction process/activities developed to ensure incoming students are well prepared and orientated to start their undergraduate study based on first year module expectations.
6: Recruitment processes aligned to ensure appropriate entry criteria developed and students recruited aligned to course expectations.
University College Dublin have an excellent resource explaining Constructive Alignment: http://www.ucdoer.ie/index.php/Using_Biggs’_Model_of_Constructive_Alignment_in_Curriculum_Design/Introduction