The York Pedagogy aims to create and maintain programmes that deliver maximum educational gain for our students. As one of the main predictors of educational engagement and significant learning gain is the degree to which students have clear objectives, the York Pedagogy requires a programme’s purpose be delineated in a limited set of 6-8 programme learning outcomes (PLOs). Students who understand the coherence of their programme, who know where they are going intellectually and why they are taking particular steps to get there, achieve more and are more satisfied.
This concise and manageable set of outcomes will enable improved shared understanding of the purpose and focus of each programme. It will allow staff to communicate clearly how each programme is designed to support the progressive achievement of its intended outcomes. This design will be encapsulated in a programme map. Mapping the programme will be a useful exercise to define how assessment, student work and contact time with staff will be organised within and between modules to achieve development towards the PLOs.
The distinctive characteristics of each programme need to be expressed in a set of 6-8 programme learning outcomes. A brief applicant-facing statement of the purpose of the programme is also required.
It is up to programme teams to determine these outcomes through discussion and consultation and to include them in the Programme Specification document.
The York Pedagogy: What and why, how and why (PDF , 1,029kb) - John Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Teaching, Learning, and Students.
Three 'windows' are available in the Spring Term for departments to gain a 'light touch' intitial endorsement of their draft PLOs from the UTC Working Group. Details will be advised by the department's contact in the central project team. This step will give increased confidence that the new PLOs will form an appropriate basis for the subsequent stages of implementing the York pedagogy, and will give UTC an overview of progress across the University. Departments may choose to submit PLOS for all of their programmes at once, or in phases (for example, to allow more time for dialogue with partner departments regarding combined degrees).
Please use this proforma when submitting PLOs to UTC Working Group for the initial 'sense check':
These articles address a wide range of issues in designing and mapping programmes of learning in higher education. Additional articles will be added to this list as more programmes engage with the York Pedagogy. If you would like to contribute a useful piece of research to this list, please email a pdf link and a short description to email@example.com.
1. An initial meeting with your ProPEL contact is required in order to decide which undergraduate programmes will be addressed; set targets for the development of PLOs; decide on a suitable timetable for progression; and establish regular meeting schedules with the ProPEL team. It is recommended that this happens before the end of October or in early November of Autumn term 2015/16.
2. Programme leaders, in consultation with their ProPEL contact, should formulate an initial draft of PLOs to prompt discussion.
3. The programme leader and the ProPEL contact organise a discussion session for the programme team (ie staff involved in teaching significant modules of the programme) in order to discuss the draft PLOs and work towards an agreed set of PLOs. It is recommended that this happens before the end of Autumn term 2015, or, at the latest, in January 2016.
ProPEL team members will also be able to facilitate the organisation of discussion sessions for programme teams (or Faculty-based teams) on various other aspects of pedagogy implementation. These may include:
These may include:
These resources are designed to support programme teams in developing the limited set of programme learning outcomes required by the York Pedagogy. As more York Pedagogy programmes are approved, more examples will be added to this page. If you would like to contribute a useful exercise or piece of research to this list, please email a link and a short description to firstname.lastname@example.org
It is recognised that some expceptions may need to be made to accomodate the requirements of professional bodies. The project team will discuss this with the relevant departments.
Departments are required to map their approved 6-8 PLOs to their modules, thus creating a programme map. The Programme Informationan Proforma (see below) includes a series of prompts which lead to the creation of a programme map on page 4. These prompts should be used to structure departments' work in the pedagogy roll-out up to August 2016. The document also summarises the proformas agreed by UTC which will build up into the new programme specification. The document asks you to consider:
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor provided an example of programme mapping in his Forum article (Autumn 2015):
This provides an example of a rough first draft of the map of student work for a fictitious combined degree. The degree in question is combined honours in Economics and Archaeology.
Other higher education institutions have engaged in similar processes of programme review and development. Whilst undertaking these reviews, they have developed tools to assist staff in mapping their programmes. These tools are included here as possible resources that could assist University of York staff.
Manchester Metropolitan University – teaching, learning and employability planning session