A ‘Watershed’ for Educational Transformation
Deployment of Carpe Diem Learning Design Methods in a South African Context
This action research project describes the application of a large-scale collaborative learning design method to a major educational transformation programme at a South African university. Our findings determined that Carpe Diem learning design was an appropriate methodology for contributing to and creating key moments and movements (“watersheds”) in educational transformation in the South African context and beyond. We demonstrated that the impact of an original one-week collaborative intervention, covering all faculties and 10 major degree programmes, was sustained over the following three years. It created acceptance and strong interest across the campus in transforming learning and proved a fitting catalyst for programme renewal initiatives. It placed the university and the service to its students in a much stronger position in unexpected circumstances. We offer suggestions for those who would like to try a collaborative design approach for transformation.
Keywords: programme renewal, Carpe Diem methodology, learning design, creative collaborative groups, threshold concepts, authentic assessment, catalysts, watershed moments, sustainability, “future-proofing”, South Africa.
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