Module 3 – Supporting learning through design and assessment

Module HMT007 is designed for all staff whose role involves, or will involve, the planning of modules, short courses, clusters of teaching sessions, and the associated assessment of student learning. Specifically, HMT007 will challenge participants to consider:

  • Designing programmes of study, modules and / or clusters of sessions that align with national generic, local and subject-specific requirements;
  • Design that specifically considers the students and their academic trajectories;
  • The opportunities and challenges of assessing for- and of- learning.

A core element of this module is the group project. Participants, in self-selected groups, will work collaboratively to undertake a small-scale enquiry into an area of design and / or assessment of their choosing. Participants are encouraged to liaise with their mentors / Schools about possible topics. The projects are presented for formative dissemination to University peers.

Staff employed at Grade 6 or 7, within the Teaching and Scholarship or Teaching and Research career pathway, who have a substantial role in supporting teaching and learning, and who have a 36 working month probation period, are required to complete Modules HMT005, HMT006 and HMT007 totalling 40 credits, during the probation period.

Professional Recognition:

We have gained accreditation for the Programme from the Higher Education Academy against the UKPSF such that PCUTL offers a pathway for recognition against the standards to both Descriptor 1 (Associate Fellow: Module 1 and Module 2 ) and Descriptor 2 (Fellow: Module 1, Module 2 and Module 3).

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Module 3 ILOs: On completion of the module a participant will be able to:

  1. Integrate scholarship, research and professional activities with teaching and supporting learning;
  2. Design and plan, with reference to current UKHE issues and apposite models of curriculum design,  effective modules or clusters of sessions or programmes of study that facilitate quality learning and the achievement of appropriate learning outcomes by a range of learners;
  3. Design and implement appropriate and effective assessment and feedback schemes using a range of methods that align with the tenets and principles of the Cardiff University Assessment Strategy and its Feedback Policy;
  4. Draw on multi-source data to evaluate the impact of their module design and assessment on the breadth / diversity of students’ learning and development, and plan modifications accordingly;
  5. Identify further professional development needs in relation to designing and assessment for learning;
  6. Work with colleagues to enquire critically into an aspect of planning or assessment / feedback relevant to their context.

In addition, participants must demonstrate how their teaching practice is underpinned by the following programme professional values (PVs):

  1. An understanding of how students learn;
  2. A commitment to reflection and evaluation and consequent improvement of professional practice;
  3. A respect for individual learners and for their development and empowerment, no matter what their circumstances;
  4. A commitment to scholarship in teaching, both generally and within their own discipline;
  5. A commitment to the development of learning communities, including students, teachers and those engaged in learning support;
  6. A commitment to encouraging participation in higher education with respect to the issues of equality and diversity. In this regard, professional practice should be informed by equal opportunities legislation, policy and best practice.

How the module will be delivered

Participants will be required to attend 5 full-day workshops that introduce the concepts and assessment methods for the module. The workshops are led by Institutional and / or national experts in their theme and are intended to act as triggers to participants’ own enquiry and application into practice. The workshops address generic issues with respect to the theme and involve a range of presentations, opportunities for small-group work and ‘micro-teaching’ exercises. Translation from the generic to the discipline-specific context is supported by a discipline-specific mentor.

Non-contact time learning will be supported by the PgCUTL team, a subject-specific mentor and access to comprehensive learning resources through the Module VLE.

Participants joining HMT007 without undertaking HMT005 or HMT 006 may be required to attend an additional workshop introducing peer review of learning and teaching (PRLT) and technology-based reflection and discussion tools.

Skills that will be practised and developed

During this module participants will have the opportunity to practise the following skills:

  • working collaboratively with peers in an activity of shared enquiry;
  • presentation skills;
  • creating and using Blackboard wikis;
  • critiquing / writing appropriate, constructively aligned modules / programmes of study, with accompanying assessment (of and for learning) strategies;
  • writing reflectively.

Participants requiring more focussed sessions to develop other teaching / learning support related skills e.g. leading and managing teams etc., are advised to take the stand-alone workshops provided by Cardiff University’s Staff Development programme.

How the module will be assessed

The assessment activities have been specifically designed to facilitate participants’ learning and achievement of the Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO) and Professional Values. The activities are outlined below together with the ILO with which they are most closely aligned. All assessment elements are compulsory.

Formatively assessed elements (all compulsory):

  • 1 x Mentor peer review of learning and teaching (PRLT) and 1 PgCUTL-peer reciprocal PRLT with accompanying resources and reflections. The focus of these PRLT discussions MUST be in the areas of design and assessment. Participants are encouraged to use the PRLT process to explore an aspect of their practice that is useful for the creation of their reflective portfolio (LO 1, 2, 3, 4);
  • Group project activity (LO 6):
    • Participants, in self-selected groups will work collaboratively to undertake a small-scale enquiry into an area of design and / or assessment of their choosing. Participants are encouraged to liaise with their mentors / Schools about possible topics, though possibilities include sustainability, employability, enterprise, internationalisation and other contemporary issues underpinning Cardiff’s ‘The Way Forward’;
    • The projects are presented for formative dissemination to University peers (presentation must occur before portfolio submission);
    • Groups will assess their project through peer assessment by developing and applying an appropriate assessment criteria;
    • Project groups will prepare a short (c 1500 word) project report for inclusion in their portfolios and dissemination within their Schools.
  • Mapping of final submission against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and supporting learning in higher education (UKPSF) Standard 2 (PVs).

Summative element:   The reflective  teaching portfolio (LO 1- 6)

All the formative elements above submitted in the form of a portfolio for summative assessment. Appendices of evidence will be supported by a 2000 word critically, reflective essay in which participants give an account of how and why they have developed the modules / clusters of sessions and assessment and feedback strategies that they present. Appendices will include at least 1 x real example of a module / cluster of sessions with accompanying assessment strategies and examples of real feedback given to students.

All essays must consider and include:

  • appropriate pedagogical models and how they have been used to develop modules and associated assessments for- and of- learning;
  • appraisal of the relationship between research and scholarship and teaching and learning in their subject;
  • a consideration of how BOTH the design and assessment of included examples could be adjusted to suit a different group of learners of the participant’s choosing i.e. show commitment to the programme values in action;
  • an emerging philosophy of teaching and plans for on-going development.

Portfolio 100%, Supporting learning through design and assessment, approximate date of assessment is flexible ranging from 7 – 15 months after commencement of contact sessions.

The potential for reassessment in this module

In accordance with University Regulations, participants are able to have one resubmission attempt.

Syllabus content

The 5 workshops have been designed to meet the needs of teaching staff within Cardiff University. Each workshop is intended to act as a trigger for self-reflection. Each workshop is underpinned by, and overtly relates to, the current and seminal scholarly literature in the area.

Indicative focus of each workshop:

  • Introduction to Module and Designing for learning;
  • Contemporary issues in UK HE – designing in changing policy contexts;
  • Assessing and giving feedback for learning;
  • Designing inclusive curricula at Cardiff;
  • Introduction to pedagogic research and the group activity.


Indicative Reading and Resource List:

PgCUTL is supported by a comprehensive VLE that houses multi-media resources to support participants’ learning for this module.

Core texts:

Biggs, J  and Tang, C (2011) Teaching for Quality in Higher Education, 4th edition, Buckingham: SRHE/OUP.

Grace, S and Gravestock, P (2009) Inclusion and diversity: meeting the needs of all students, London: Routledge.

Recommended reading list:

Baumfield, V Hall, E and Wall, K (2013) Action Research in Education. 2nd edition, London: Sage Publications.

bell hooks (1994) Teaching to transgress: education as the practice of freedom, Routledge: New York.

Boud, D and Falchikov, N eds (2007) Rethinking assessment in Higher Education, Abingdon: Routledge.

Butcher, C Davies, C and Highton M (2006) Designing Learning: from module outline to effective teaching, London: Routledge.

Cousin, G (2009) Researching learning in Higher Education: an introduction to contemporary methods and approaches, London: Routledge.

Dunn, L et al (2004) The student assessment handbook: new directions in traditional and online assessment, London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Fry, H, Ketteridge, S and Marshall, S (eds)  (2014) 4th edition A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education – Enhancing Academic Practice, London:  Kogan Page.

Land, R., Cousin, G., Meyer, J.H.F. and Davies, P. (2005), Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (3): implications for course design and evaluation, in C. Rust (ed.), Improving
Student Learning − equality and diversity
, Proceedings of the 12th
Improving Student Learning Conference. Oxford: OCLSD.

Land R., Jan H. F. Meyer J. (2008) Threshold Concepts within the
eds Sense Publishers: Rotterdam.

Lauder H., Young M., Daniels H. et al (2012) Educating for the knowledge economy?Critical Perspectives, Routledge: New York.

Laurillard, D (2002) Rethinking University Teaching: a framework for the effective use of learning technologies, 2nd edition, London: Routledge.

Merry S. and Price M. (2013) Reconceptualising feedback in HE: developing a dialogue with students, London: Routledge.

Pinar W. F. (2012) What is curriculum theory? 2nd Edition, Routledge: New York.

Pinar W. F, Reynolds W. M, Slattery P, Taubman P. (1995) Understanding Curriculum: An Introduction to the Study of Historical and Contemporary Curriculum Discourses, PeterLang Publishing Inc: New York.

Ramsden, P (2003) Learning to teach in Higher Education, London: Routledge Farmer.

Schön, D (1983) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action, London: Temple Smith.

Toohey, S (1999) Designing Courses for Higher Education, Buckingham: SRHE/OUP.

Web-based resources:

Cardiff University’s ‘The Way Forward’:

Cardiff University’s Learning Support pages:

Cardiff University’s Assessment Strategy and Feedback Policy:

Cardiff University’s Peer Review of Learning and Teaching pages:

Support for teaching HE through the medium of Welsh

1)    Nationally:

2)    At Cardiff:

Higher Education Academy and related subject networks:

UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and the support of learning:

JISC learning technology-related resources:

Quality Assurance Agency for Subject Benchmark Indicators:

Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, for policy documents for Wales:

A really useful, external resource to support all aspects of the module:

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September 2015+ Module 3 Description HMT007

Module 3 involves a small scale group project. Here is a themed list of projects to date: PgCUTL Project Titles at June 2015




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