In a previous ECHO teaching tip we introduced the concept of 'learning trajectories' as an intermediate level in study programmes for tracking the gradual acquisition of competences. In this educational tip, we discuss the different steps required to outline a learning trajectory structure within a study programme and how to organise efficient learning trajectory consultations.
Outlining a learning trajectory structure
Developing a learning trajectory structure within an existing curriculum can be very time-consuming. After all, creating a sufficiently large support base within the study programme is crucial. We recommend the following steps in order to achieve successful and sustainable results:
- Define the learning trajectories (and eventual sub-trajectories) in mutual consultation.
- Appoint a coordinator for each learning trajectory and define his/her tasks.
- Make sure the trajectory's structure is communicated properly.
- When introducing a new programme component, always explicitly mention which learning trajectory it belongs to.
- Create a stable learning trajectory structure and avoid frequent changes.
Organising learning trajectory consultations
A learning trajectory consultation is a forum for sharing, discussing, analysing and coordinating the educational activities within a trajectory or sub-trajectory. Some hands-on tips for the organisation of efficient learning trajectory consultations:
- Set a meeting agenda. Standard agenda items might include 'content', 'learning objectives', 'review' and 'assignments'.
- Use predefined meeting documents.
- Enlist the help of a policy officer both for the preparation and the follow-up.
- Involve guest lecturers and part-time lecturers as well. All lecturers directly involved in the contents of the learning trajectory should be invited to the consultations.
- Have the learning trajectory coordinator lead the consultations.
- Ensure sufficient coordination between the different learning trajectories.
- List all actions to be taken.
- Pursue implementation of learning trajectory consultations throughout the educational entity (e.g. faculty).
- Use learning trajectory consultations as a sounding board for policies.
- Beware of meeting fatigue.