Issues and Trends in Curriculum Design
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Nowadays, when teaching and learning have increased in importance as academic activities, research demands around the new trends in curriculum design have also been growing. Educators tend to assimilate to new complex global issues. The curriculum and curriculum change are of the top importance to students and educators. The curriculum is an essential part of higher education system. Curriculum innovation often attempts to integrate both people and subjects in universities, where staff highly values autonomy. In today’s technological age, students should be viewed as builders of the future society. Everyone, who is involved into the development of curriculum, should work together. All these aspects present complex challenges for studying and researching the curriculum.
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Developments and New Design
Today’s students are more oriented at new technology. Thus, they want to realize their efforts and use their professional skills that were developed during their education in the future jobs. According to the research, new trends in curriculum design are crucial in analyzing the research and education (Ornstein and Hunkins, 2003). Many educators consider that curriculum design could reinforce educational process. This requires a complex restructuring of the curriculum. Those, who are directly responsible for curriculum, together with other educators should find new methods, approaches, and information, as well as develop understanding of serious problems within a framework in curriculum design (Lieberman and Lynne, 2005). Curriculum design is impossible without additional skills and new competencies. Complex skills may include an ability to analyze complex problems from the real life, to connect to various internal and external stakeholders, and to communicate across various academic disciplines. These skills can be seen as an extension of other skills of students, such as working together in teams, providing effective communications, and coordinating presentations.
Ornstein and Hunkins (2003) note that experience is an important issue in curriculum design. In the process of developing curriculum, it is important to create an appropriate coheence between research and teaching. For example, a critical attitude towards learning among students should be developed. Thus, courses on the philosophical approach should be included along with the subject-specific lectures. Suitable topics should be taken into account. Furthermore, the need of the student diversification should also be taken into consideration. New issues and trends in curriculum design require a free access to learning of a diverse student audience.
There are complex factors that influence the quality of teaching, such as instruction methods and involving techniques. Educators who are involved into curriculum design should be oriented on the diverse student population including disabled students, ESL students, and those with learning disabilities. For example, ESL students need special courses to improve their English. Thus, the curriculum should include more English classes in order to improve their writing and reading skills, for instance.
Students as Active Participants in Curriculum Design
Matsumoto, Umeda, and Masui (2012) recognize that historically students were excluded from curriculum planning. However, the visitors of any academic institution are in the center of a curriculum. Nowadays, students’ participation in curriculum design has been activated. Many curriculum theorists believe that student participation in curriculum design will improve their learning. One of the main methods of involving students into curriculum design is through project design (Matsumoto et al., 2012). Student engagement into planning may improve the entire learning process, original thinking, and creativity in their future work. Working as a team, students may improve their grades and desire to learn.
To be successful in their learning, students should understand the whole process of their study, including curriculum design. If they feel that they are marginalized, they will fail in their learning. Being involved into the new practice, they could overcome any barriers and become successful in their future profession. Teachers should realize that they should encourage students to become active participants of the learning process. Student voice in curriculum design makes them more responsible ffor their learning.
Technology and Curriculum Design
Technology plays an important role in curriculum design. The Internet maximizes communication among students and educators. Due to the vast technology development, student e-portfolios are extremely responsive to current curriculum reform, because they can be used in order to satisfy a variety of assessment and evaluation requirements in courses and programs. The institutions, which have a university-wide commitment to curriculum that is student-centered, are more likely to be able to encompass the broad range of opportunities that e-profiles can provide. Matsumoto, Umeda, and Masui (2012) argue that technology helps to develop cultural knowledge expansion in curriculum design.
Blackmore and Kandiko (2012) stated that a curriculum should be adapted to world history that extends to different cultures, peoples, times, and events. Curriculum should be designed in accordance with the idea to create understanding, mutual awareness, and respect. Recently, technological communication provides cultural exchange among students. Students and educators should understand that they are part of the world student community. Technology helps to create new schemes for curriculum design. Designers of curriculum should consider dynamics of change, new values and beliefs, philosophical viewpoints, and curriculum issues. Together they serve as the foundation of the curriculum design.
In conclusion, it should be noted that research demands around new trends in curriculum design have been growing. This is a result of increasing of the importance of teaching and learning as academic activities. Being one of the central parts of higher education system, the curriculum and curriculum change are of the top importance to students and educators. Research findings have shown that curriculum innovation attempts to integrate both people and subjects in the universities, where staff values autonomy. In today’s technological age, students should be involved in curriculum design. They should work together with their teachers. In the process of developing curriculum, it is important to create an appropriate coherence between research and teaching.
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