Flipped/Inverted Approach to Curriculum Design


Flipped/Inverted Approach to Curriculum Design

Conesol take an innovative approach to curriculum design that not only flips or inverts the classroom presentation as its own outcome, but flips or inverts the whole learning design process.  Most education course design starts with people thinking about the content that the students need to study.  Then they design the course, then they think about the assessment and how they will test whether students have learned what they wanted, and then they consult with industry to see if what they have designed is on the right tracks for what industry needs.  Conesol's first inversion is to bring the employers and current practitioners into the start of the process, not at the end of the process. We involve industry and academia together when we start design so that our program architecture points to outcomes that both require.

Conesol's second inversion addresses the adage that students only engage in activities that are going to be assessed:  ‘If it isn’t assessed, they won’t do it’.  We start by considering the assessments and what students will need to demonstrate in order to show that they’ve ‘got it’.  Then we program the demonstration of learning within the process of the learning itself.

Conesol's third inversion ensures that assessment replicates some form of professional outcome rather than replicates an academic skill.  This generally means that unless there is a professional body requirement, there are no exams, and there are certainly no essays.  Apart from developing the academic skill of being able to write a paper, we are yet to come across a workplace that requires people to write essays.  Reports, briefing notes, position papers, advocacy papers, campaigns, responses to enquiries, etc., are all available to be included in our program designs and all require the same literacy skills and writing discipline that essays require, but they also require care and attention to specific format and purpose, tone and message that are authentic to workplace practices.

Conesol's fourth inversion, given (2) and (3) above, is to start with designing the assessments and then work back to what the students need to undertake as their learning journey to get from their start point to successful completion of their assessments.  This effectively means we design the end point first, as there needs to be some assessment at the end of the learning process (preferably in addition to some assessment during the learning process) so that summative standards inform learner evaluations.

Conesol's fifth inversion follows on from our fourth: we look at content and theory last.  If we use assessment as the start point, and then look at the journey the learner has to go on to meet the assessment requirements, we design their learning experience in terms of appropriate pedagogy, and only at the end do we think about what theory and content is required to support and underpin learning engagement.


Collaborative Design Framework

Conesol's design process brings employers, practitioners, academics, potential future students and the Conesol team of curriculum developers into a room to co-create the program on an ‘everyone is equal’ basis.  The following questions/activities are then undertaken and whiteboarded/discussed until everyone in the room has made every contribution they can.  Most importantly, nothing is ever removed or withdrawn from the notes.   If there is disagreement then discussion continues until the idea is represented in a manner that the group can agree on.  No one group's ideas are privileged over those of another group.   This ensures that industry relevance and application of skills is held in as much esteem in the design process as leading edge academic research that will be informing the future direction of the subject matter.


The Conesol ‘Product Design and Development’ Value Proposition


The Conesol ‘Product Design and Development’ Value Proposition

To provide a total education design, development and delivery solution to education institutions wishing to offer an online learning experience.  Conesol services can be customized, and are available as a complete package or can be available in their separate parts.

The service offering includes:

  • Academic consultation and approval
  • Accreditation preparation (if required in HE) or accreditation alignment
  • Curriculum design to meet AQF requirements and accreditation requirements of professional bodies or other regulatory frameworks
  • Industry integration of academic research
  • Assessment design including marking rubrics
  • Copyright and licensing of materials
  • Video filming and post-production
  • Development of online learning resources
  • Build of online learning experience in LMS of choice ready for delivery
  • Training of tutors to deliver online flipped/experiential learning
  • Evaluation process
  • Assessment Reviews
  • Benchmarking

Units are produced for a 12 week cycle allowing for a full degree to be developed and delivered within a year.

Our services can be designed to meet your timescale and staff availability, and a program can be designed within as little as one month. Accreditation documentation can be prepared within two months. Units can be produced within three months.  Time to build into the online LMS platform will vary with the LMS and the unit complexities.


Concerns about IP

All intellectual property relating to your bespoke program belongs to you.  We don’t, won’t and can’t re-use it as Conesol's philosophy and modus operandi is to start at the beginning and design to meet the needs identified through the flipped curriculum design process.  Who you nominate to attend the curriculum design sessions greatly influences the outcome of the program and the design of its units, and so these unique products cannot be replicated, duplicated or reproduced again.  The framework that is created in the design process is the blueprint that everything else adheres to and so this blueprint is unique to the outcome of that initial meeting, and it belongs to you.


The Conesol 'Generic Content' Value Proposition


The Conesol ‘Generic Content’ Value Proposition

Conesol has academic expertise in Business, Design, Entrepreneurship, Adult Education & Training, and areas of Health and Well Being, as well as academic skills support and development. 

Generic content is developed according to market demand, with Conesol retaining the IP and offering the content on a per use licence basis.

Generic content is created separately to the bespoke curriculum and its content and assessments can be configured for different providers and different countries of delivery according to the licensor's needs.

All generic content is mobile app compatible to three clicks of online depth and is developed in HTML5.

Our generic curriculum consists of a variety of options that can be broken up, mixed and matched, and put together in a variety of ways.  We have traditional content-based curriculum which is the more ‘traditional’ tutor-led, ‘sage on the stage’ approach to delivery; we have a flipped classroom, task based curriculum which is the ‘guide on the side’ facilitated learning experience; and we have the experiential, competence focus, practice based curriculum which is student centered and particularly suited to the postgraduate student.  Each generic curriculum type has its own forms of assessment and can be adapted and tailored to meet user needs.


Licensing fees for this generic curriculum is dependent on volume and the amount of tweaking adjustment needed to make the curriculum work for your institution, and so fees are individually negotiated.  The curriculum is available to corporate bodies as well as to educational institutions.


The Conesol 'Online Tutor Development' Value Proposition


The Conesol ‘Online Tutor Development’ Value Proposition

There are three elements to tutor development that are unique to facilitating online learning and are above and beyond those skills required for classroom teaching and lecturing.  This skill set is essential if academics and tutors are to thrive in the online environment, and to enable students to learn there.  None of the skills is related to content knowledge – this is already assumed as a given to the tutor stepping into the online teaching space.

  1. Learning to navigate the technology – understanding how an LMS thinks, works and replicates a physical teaching space

  2. Learning to navigate the teaching materials – understanding how to navigate the content to create engaging online teaching and facilitate outstanding learning
  3. Learning how to communicate online – developing your online identity, voice and communication style so that learners engage with you rather than simply follow your instructions, simulating the conversations you might have in a tutorial

For many, learning to navigate the technology is simple, intuitive, and something they can work through themselves using online tutorials and tools.  For others, it is a brick wall they are struggling to see around.  Conesol caters for both ends of the spectrum and for everyone in between, offering a variety of online materials, personal coaching sessions, group sessions and ‘training days’, as well as literally supporting new coaches as they carry out their initial online sessions.

The approach to the navigation of teaching materials varies considerably depending on the nature of the teaching materials, but all materials written and produced by Conesol come with a tutor guide for this purpose, and other materials you might be using can be catered for in this manner.  Again, we can also offer individual coaching sessions, group sessions, training sessions, and facilitation support according to an individual’s needs.

Finally, we focus on the skills associated with building your tutor/academic identity online, finding a ‘voice’ you are comfortable with and utilizing the medium you find most suitable to your style.  Building your online identity can be achieved in many ways, through group work, coaching, team teaching, and peer working, in addition to reflective practice, and working with ‘champions’.


The Conesol 'Global Contextualisation' Value Proposition


The Conesol ‘Global Contextualisation’ Value Proposition

At Conesol, we don’t believe that the dominant voice is necessarily the ‘best voice’ and hence we are happy to rework curriculum for overseas markets, having it translated out of English (our primary writing language) and reworking case studies and examples away from the Anglo-American dominant model to represent practices that are leading the way in other countries and cultures.  In addition, we can source texts and articles written within local contexts and achieve the same learning outcomes by redeveloping a learning experience online that remains fit for purpose and achieves equivalent outcomes, without being the same learning experience.

Global contextualisation is negotiated individually according to the organisation's needs, the volume requiring translation and rework, and the amount of case study rewrite and publishing explorations required.


The Conesol ‘Future Market’ Predictor Value Proposition


The Conesol ‘Future Market’ Predictor Value Proposition

At Conesol we look to future proof our curriculum to ensure that graduates will be relevant and employable when they graduate in 4-10 years time, rather than relevant today and out of date in 4 years time.  We do this by engaging in foresight methodologies that explore big data for trending issues, environmental scanning for the issues on the horizon which could have substantial impacts, and consumer trend analysis in publishing and education consumption.

Specific studies can be carried out for individual client organizations to look at the issues impacting a specific curriculum area that they are interested in, to guide them in their future course development.

Alternatively, generic data can be used to underpin some of the discussions that occur in the curriculum framework development process.