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Developing Programmes of Further Education and Training for QQI Validation

An Approach to Programme Development (January 2019)

Please Note: For information relating to the QQI validation of further education and training programmes, please refer to QQI Policies and Criteria for the Validation of Programmes of Education and Training which commenced implementation on 1st December 2017 for new programme validation applications. Information relating to this QQI policy and resources to support providers in implementing it are available here.

1. Establish an identified need for the programme

  • needs analysis: employer need, learner need
  • potential funding streams 

2. Determine the approach to development

  • consider options, for example: individual provider, two or more providers developing a shared curriculum, formation of a consortium (collaborative provision)
  • agree programme development team membership, for example, subject matter experts, curriculum design experts, team leader, administration, relevant stakeholders
  • agree employer/practitioner representation on the programme development team
  • identify resources available to support the programme development process
  • identify and provide the necessary professional development opportunities for the programme development team

3. Develop a clearly defined rationale

  • identify the purpose of the programme
  • address identifed needs and educational/training goals
  • identify the target learner group(s)
  • be consistent with organisational strategic plan
  • provide justification for the development of the programme
  • provide justification for the choice of award(s)

4. Develop programme aim, objectives and outcomes

  • programme aim – broad general statement of teaching intention
  • programme objectives – specific statements of teaching intention
  • minimum intended programme learning outcomes (MIPLOs) - What the learner is expected to know, understand, and/or be able to demonstrate in order to achieve certification

Useful resources for developing aims, objectives and programme outcomes:

5. Consider key information relating to the programme

  • type of provision - part-time, full-time, both
  • duration 
  • delivery mode(s)
  • delivery methodologies
  • access arrangements
  • transfer and progression arrangements
  • learner supports
  • resources to implement the programme
  • an approach to teaching and learning
  • an approach to assessment

 6. Begin to think about how the programme may be structured

  • refer to the QQI compound award structure to identify mandatory and optional components, where a programme leading to a QQI major, special purpose or supplemental CAS award is being developed
  • estimate the volume of learning that may be associated with the programme 
  • consider how learning may be structured into modules (for example, one module to one component approach, one module to several components approach, a capstone module)
  • estimate the volume of learning that may be associated with each module
  • draft minimum intended module learning outcomes (MIMLOs) for each module, consistent with the relevant QQI award standard(s) - What the learner is expected to know, understand, and/or be able to demonstrate in order to achieve certification
  • ensure consistency between the MIMLOs and the programme aim, objectives and MIPLOs
  • consider possible stages for the delivery of programme and its related modules

7. Ensure that draft MIPLOs and MIMLOs are assessable

  • consider possible assessment technique(s)/task(s) and weighting(s) that could be used to assess a learner's achievement of the minimum intended learning outcomes
  • programme development teams should choose the optimum assessment technique(s)/task(s) and weighting(s) to assess a learner's achievement of the minimum intended learning outcomes.This may/may not mean choosing the assessment technique(s) and weighting(s) as indicated in the QQI component specification
  • you may wish to review and amend the draft MIPLOs and/or MIMLOs following this exercise

8. Draft the curriculum for each module

  • drafting the curriculum includes considering the following:
    • what (the content)
    • when (ordering the content)* 
    • where (context in which the learning takes place, for example, classroom based, work-based, blended, etc.)
    • how and by whom (delivery methodologies and formative assessment)
    • why (rationale for approaches and methodologies selected)
    • teaching resources
    • opportunities for integration

* The following approaches to ordering content may be useful:

  • simple to complex learning
  • chronological learning
  • whole to part learning
  • part to whole learning
  • learning that takes into account pre-requisite knowledge
  • learning that takes into account co-requisite knowledge
  • other

The linked resource here may be useful in drafting curriculum.

9. Draft the summative assessment strategy for each module

  • in drafting the summative assessment strategy, refer to the possible assessment technique(s)/task(s) and weighting(s) identified in point 7 above
  • drafting the summative assessment strategy includes considering the following:
    • assessment technique(s) and weighting(s)
    • mapping of MIMLOs to assessment technique(s)/task(s)
    • assessment guidelines to support the development of assessment instrument(s)
    • grading
    • assessment criteria
    • sample assessment materials (assessment instrument(s), related marking scheme(s), outline solution(s))
    • opportunities for integration