Using concepts of a Community of Practice and Co-creation to develop a completely new BSc programme.


Author(s) Suzanne Darra


My presentation will refer to the current teaching and learning strategic aims of the university throughout. It will reflect these strategies within one story of curriculum and programme development. Aim: To set out the narrative of how a new BSc programme was conceptualised and put into practice. Objectives: • To describe the drivers and early scoping work for a new undergraduate honours degree programme. • To explain the concepts of co-creation and communities of practice, referring to key theories, theorists and the practical application of the concepts.. • To discuss with the attendees how these concepts are useful and potentially challenging in curriculum development. • To discuss how the future might look for a community of practice and continued co-production in the new programme.


I plan to use powerpoint as a ‘backdrop’ for what I wish to discuss with attendees. The powerpoint will have minimal words on each slide and will include pictures, quotes and diagrams as triggers to the discussion. I aim to engage participants by asking them to vote on some questions that I will pose – using voting buttons. Examples of questions are: 1) In my opinion students will study and learn best if they set their own personal and individual targets. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 2) In my opinion students enjoy learning together with others. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree 3) In my opinion teachers enjoy learning with students. Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree I plan to insert questions like this right through my presentation and I will then in the last few minutes of my presentation present the findings from the answers. This will help trigger discussion with the attendees and I will use this to reach the current end point of the narrative of where we are now in the evolution of a new programme and to imagine where we will be in 2 – 5 years’ time. At all times it will be clear that my presentation matches the aims of the conference – reaching for teaching excellence. I plan to share good practice and ideas, which will include all aspects of a new degree programme, right from the cultural context of the project, co-production, new teaching and assessment methods and some ‘blue skies thinking’ for further development. I think this could benefit other staff and students across the institution as it includes all aspects of working together to develop a whole new programme. Delegates may be able to use similar initiatives in their own practice if they are seeking to incorporate ideas of co-production and communities of practice. This could be useful in small and large ways; for example when setting out to develop new programmes, breathe new life into current programmes, overhaul assessment strategies or re-consider quality assurance or quality enhancement. My presentation will demonstrate several innovative approaches in many ways e.g. • Working together with students. • New assessments. • Embedding employability into the programme and its assessment load. • Focussing on placement and other experiential learning.

Key Words

Curriculum, co-production, community of practice, employability, innovation.

Key Messages

Attendees at this session will hear the story about some real-life opportunities and challenges brought about by people being asked to come together to devise a completely new programme. They will be able to offer their opinions and ask questions throughout and the session will include some points of interest for people faced with similar opportunities/challenges as well as those who are just thinking about how they can revise/refresh aspects of their current programmes.



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