Curriculum design is a time machine

Associate Professor Rufus Black, Master of Ormond College and Principal Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at Melbourne University, and Victoria University Council member, praised VU's new Curriculum Framework, speaking at its launch this week.

He said, "Curriculum design is a time machine that will carry students into the distant future. We need a view of the future. A great many things about the future are unpredictable, but there are the things that we can know."

Associate Professor Black listed the things we know as being: intangibles, scarcity, diversity and adaptability and said, "This Curriculum Framework addresses those".

His views are that for students "the big things of the future will be management of scarcity and navigating their new centre of the world".

"The biggest problem will be scarcity of resources. Today's students will solve these problems with large scale collaborations, and the Curriculum Framework addresses problem solving."

He noted that the world was re-centring back to Asia and said that students will face "a world that will be more volatile", with "great challenges that will touch on every day life". He said, "As volatility increases so does the need for resilience and adaptability."

The Hon. Lindsay Tanner, Vice-Chancellor's Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Victoria University also spoke at the launch. He predicted that the new VU Curriculum will be one of the best professional experiences of future graduate lives.

He shared his views on blended learning, saying, "E-learning is a term that maybe has one five or even two years to live "e-learning will be simply learning in the near future".

He said that there has been "too much emphasis placed on "˜you beaut' technology and not enough on content", pointing out that things had changed from "handing out knowledge to an empty vessel in the 19th Century", to a need for "a different collaborative engaging approach".

He said that if universities wanted a future that they could not stand still. "University's are knowledge department stores and like department stores they are fundamentally challenged. If they can't change quickly they will not survive."

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