What are the Griffith University Course Design Standards?

The Course Design Standards inform the choice, design, and alignment of learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment tasks, plus learning environments and resources / tools, across all of our courses at Griffith University. They bring our Learning and Teaching Framework to life, by clearly presenting a series of statements showing what our students will do to learn, and what we as educators will do to enable them to learn.

What are the key elements of the Course Design Standards?

The Course Design Standards comprise three mindsets and six principles, which are operationalised across Foundational and Enhanced levels through a series of descriptors and practices.

The three mindsets are:

  1. Educators as Designers and Leaders of Learning

    We enact a flexible range of educator roles to facilitate our students’ learning and success.

  1. Program and Lifecycle Mindset

    We collaboratively design with a whole-of-program approach to facilitate our student’s learning and success.

  1. Evidence-informed Practice

    We use scholarly evidence regarding effective learning and teaching in the discipline to inform our program and course design, delivery and review.

The six principles are:

  1. Partnership-Based Learning: We work in partnership with our students to create collaborative learning environments.
  2. Engaging and Empowering Pedagogies: We foster active, authentic and collaborative approaches to learning to build our students’ professional capability and confidence and cultivate their ability to learn effectively in work contexts.
  3. Scholarly-Inspired Curriculum: We found our curriculum on evidence-informed knowledge and work to inspire our students to be curious about the process of developing new knowledge and applying this to positively impact others.
  4. Locally and Globally Connected: We infuse our learning environments with the partnerships and perspectives of the wider context of work, culture, society and professional practice so that our students are actively engaging with, and meaningfully contributing to, the world outside of university.
  5. Learner-Enabling Design: We optimise our learning environments to build our students’ capacity to confidently and capably manage their own learning and enable all of our students to succeed to the best of their ability.
  6. Digitally-Enabled Learning: We facilitate our students to learn more flexibly and effectively through digitally-rich and integrated learning environments.

Why do we have the Course Design Standards?

Students in learning environments which incorporate a context-appropriate mix of research-led activities with educators who demonstrate that ‘they too are continuing to learn’, are more willing to examine their own assumptions in the light of evidence, enhance their capacity for critical thinking and analysis, formulate their own research questions and develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of their discipline and its ethical applications.  

In an increasingly contested and complex world (accompanied by a decreasing half-life of knowledge), equipping our students with the intellectual capability, sense of agency and motivation for ‘knowledge testing’ and ‘knowledge creation’ is a professional and civic priority. Being able to engage in constructive, intellectually humble and evidence-based dialogue with others is a defining capability for the progress of contemporary society. 

The two levels of Standards are:

  1. Foundational Standards, which provide guidance for designing courses at the base level of each learning and teaching principle. Foundation Standards are the minimum requirements for all Griffith courses.
  2. Enhanced Standards, which provide guidance for designing courses at a stronger and/or deeper level of each learning and teaching principle. Courses that require higher levels of engagement, support and learning to enable student success (e.g., first year, large size, fully online) should consider addressing the Foundation Standards (and associated practices) and also incorporating Enhanced Standards.

For each level, each Standard has an associated descriptor, which describes the intended student experience, and a series of associated practices which show how educators might achieve the Standards in their courses.

Where could I learn more?

Each of the six design principles has its own fact sheet that contains examples of practice. You can access them at… 

<insert link>

Learning Futures offers a series of ‘getting started’ seminars and workshops that will help you to interpret the Standards for your learning context. You can find out more and sign up at… 

You can also try the course design self-reflection tool <link>, which aims to assist you to analyse your course development needs using the Standards, and will recommend targeted resources and opportunities to help.

The two levels of Standards are:

  1. Foundational Standards, which provide guidance for designing courses at the base level of each learning and teaching principle. Foundation Standards are the minimum requirements for all Griffith courses.
  2. Enhanced Standards, which provide guidance for designing courses at a stronger and/or deeper level of each learning and teaching principle. Courses that require higher levels of engagement, support and learning to enable student success (e.g., first year, large size, fully online) should consider addressing the Foundation Standards (and associated practices) and also incorporating Enhanced Standards.

For each level, each Standard has an associated descriptor, which describes the intended student experience, and a series of associated practices which show how educators might achieve the Standards in their courses.