Connected Curriculum Design Sprint

Connected Curriculum Design Sprint

The Connected Curriculum has been a focus of the University for a few years now and helps name what already is happening in learning and teaching in UCC. For staff seeking to make the Connected Curriculum more explicit in their curriculum, the Design Sprint provides an intense professional development activity and runs from April 12-30 2021.

The April Design Sprint will focus on two elements of the Connected Curriculum, i.e. 'Civic Engagement' and 'Sustainability'. Participants should have a specific credit-bearing module in mind which they can adapt based on the Design Sprint. Participants are asked to engage 3-4 of their students in the initial Learning Design activities and should be in a position to implement the changes for the academic year 2022/23. 

A maximum of 20 staff /20 modules will be supported through this professional development initiative. As a follow on from the initial Design Sprint, further supports and opportunities for peer exchange will be offered.

Overview of Design Sprint (12-30 April 2021)

The Design Sprint will take place as follows and workshops will be repeated to facilitate participation:

PREPARE (Pre-12 April, ~40 minute):
Engagement of participating staff and 3-4 of their students with a self-paced, online resource in preparation for the Learning Design workshop. (Click here for an overview of CIRTL's Learning Design workshop approach) 

DESIGN (14-16 April, 1x 90 minute workshop):
Participation of staff and 3-4 of their students in an interactive, online Learning Design workshop. 

ALIGN (19-22 April, 1x 60 minute workshop):
Participation of staff in a subject-specific online workshop, i.e. on Civic Engagement or Sustainability.

REFINE (19-30 April, 3 x 30 minute online catch-ups):
Engagement of staff in 1:1 meetings with professional development mentors. 

Expression of Interest

The 'Expression of Interest' form can be accessed at This Google Form must be fully completed and submitted before 5pm on Monday, 22nd March 2021. This call is managed by the Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning and by the members of the Priority 1 Working Group.

For further information, please contact 

Design Sprint Follow On (June-December 2021)

Sharing of insights from Design Sprint and opportunity for peer feedback on participants' plans for module development.

PILOT (Semester 1 21/22)
Testing of modular interventions supported by professional development mentors.

FINALISE (End Semester 1 21/22)
Finalising of module outline and submission of module update.

Self Evaluation Tool

The Connected Curriculum self-evaluation tool has been developed to support staff to consider how they might integrate the various elements of the Connected Curriculum into their modules and programmes. It articulates what programme teams and module coordinators are already doing, but it also creates a common langauge to describe this and suggests a direction of travel to guide reflection, aid review and redesign.

The tool describes increasing levels of integration of the distinct elements in a module or programme as move from left to right of the table. The last column for each element describes how the element could be included as a design feature of a module or programme, and also intersects with research-based learning whereby students problematize and critique the specified element as it relates to their discipline.

Self Evaluation Tool Table (pdf)
Self Evaluation Mapping Tool (xlsx)

The six elements are separated to provide greater clarity, but many modules and programmes combine these elements in a range of different approaches and activities. While the structure of the table suggests a progression from left to right, it may not be appropriate for a discipline or a module to focus on the element other than as an introductory consideration. The intention is that this self-evaluation tool provides guidance to staff on how to integrate the various elements of the Connected Curriculum and additional resources will be provided on the Connected curriculum website to further support this work.

Intended use of tool
1: Review and development of modules and programmes
2: Supportive document in cyclical Quality reviews
3: Prompt in new programme development
4: Prompt in Learning Design workshops

Centre for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

West Lodge, Main Campus,