One of the first tasks confronting teachers at the beginning of a course/programme is how to structure a series of learning experiences for the students that complies with the appropriate academic level, the discipline specific/professional body requirements, the University and QAA requirements. It is the responsibility of the teacher(s) to mediate for example, between the demands of the syllabus as set down by the University/ Examining and Validation Body, the students' requirements and needs. Each module should have a scheme of work. This provides a structured plan, illustrating how the planned learning experiences are sequenced to meet the intended learning outcomes and module aims. The programme specification provides a more comprehensive picture of how the programme is structured.
Before we turn to writing Programme Specifications, we will look at what is involved in writing a scheme of work.
The scheme of work normally includes:
The first stage in writing the scheme of work is to identify the content and the topics to be covered. You will need to refer to the syllabus and programme specification for guidance on this. It is important to ensure that the topics are relevant, manageable, coherent and not fragmented.
The second stage is to consider for whom you are planning the scheme; what you need to consider before planning; and what you need to consider when planning.
Do not worry about being inexperienced. The whole purpose of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the factors involved in planning to meet learners' needs. At this stage, you will have planned at least individual learning sessions or used plans that colleagues have produced and had to interpret them. You may have written or contributed to writing a scheme of work, or you may have inherited one. Either way, you can still carry out the reflective analysis and the following questions will assist you to do this.