New ideas for updating the software architecture department

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Curriculum revision requires careful attention to legal requirements and relevant institutional policies.

Faculty adherence to the law can help keep legal liabilities for both the institution and the respective faculty member in check.

Targeting curriculum for different learning needs — including different developmental phases, different primary languages, and different learning contexts (cultural, geographical, social, political, technological, and domain field) — can enhance both individual and group learning experiences.

The use of the latest relevant technologies for lecture capture, synchronous interactivity, simulations, student interactivity and intercommunications, student group work, research, design, and other learning activities can all improve the learner experience.

The draft checklist for updating an online curriculum that accompanies this article expands on the four questions/areas.

Other readily available guidelines, such as the Quality Matters rubric, also provide valuable reality checks that can help inform a curricular redesign effort.

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Once online courses are developed and implemented, however, their curriculum might not be changed or updated for some time, if ever.Fair use exemptions and the TEACH Act (and its implications for distance education) allow very narrow uses of some small parts of copyrighted materials.Faculty members have other pathways to content: They can create their own content; use content released to the public domain; access open-source (and royalty-free) resources; or use content released through various Creative Commons licenses. Apart from those legitimate avenues, course developers are sometimes tempted to take decidedly riskier and ill-advised routes, swiping content off the World Wide Web without checking the content's provenance, ownership, or rights protection.Once the decision to revise a curriculum is made, faculty and subject matter experts need to ask themselves four central questions: Coupled with these primary considerations should be an assessment of whether the individual interested in revising the course has the time and skills to do so effectively, and whether there is adequate institutional support for making the right changes to the curriculum. A Four-Fold Approach for Updating an Online Curriculum Why are these four questions important?While different workplace contexts might emphasize these factors differently, and while many may include additional areas for update, answers to these questions are likely to have the greatest impacts on learning and the fundamental quality of the curriculum. An online learning experience that adheres to legal principles will uphold the reputation of the university and protect the rights of students.

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