Curriculum Materials Designing and Delivery Practices versus Quality in Higher Education Institutions of Ethiopia

Amera Seifu Belayneh


The main intent of this article was to explore the procedures of curriculum designing and delivery practices in higher education institutions (HEIs) and its implication to the provision of quality education. The study took Bahir Dar University as a case in order to explore the issue via qualitative research. Data were secured through interview, personal reflection and observation. Thirteen interviewees (10 teachers and 3 students), who have deep and relevant information about the problem under study, have identified purposively. The study found that establishing an institution (university), faculty and program/department is accomplished with more of social, political and economical based decisions. But there are intellectual endeavours that deal about the soft ware (curriculum designing and delivery practices) dimensions of HEIs. This implies that courses within the department and the detail curriculum materials (contents, learning experiences and assessment techniques) within the course are mainly designed and delivered by teachers and students of the HEIs. This practice is critically important to ensure the healthy life of the whole system of the HEIs. It is because contents and learning experiences are the corner stone for student’s behavioural change which can be taken as the major consequences to explain quality in education. The study further explained that due to the assumption that HE teachers are excellent academia, independent, responsible and researchers with plenty of resources and library facilities, content selections and implementations are left for them. This sort of academic freedom and autonomy, for some newly employed teachers, serve as a shelter, to manage the teaching learning practices depending only with their own minimal experiences and scope. Therefore, the selection and delivery practices of HEIs’ lesson might be remained below the standard. This could be taken as significant barrier for moving towards quality education provision in HEIs. Other teachers, on the other hand, have used this sort of freedom to maximize innovative and active engagement of their students and themselves in doing the lesson at the expected standard. This initiated good teaching and learning practices which in turn calls quality in education. In general, this article recommended that university teachers have to recognize the given freedom (to select and deliver the detail contents and learning experiences of courses) to manipulate the assigned courses need to be taken as an opportunity in offering HEIs’ learning experiences beyond the available knowledge which are indicated in the syllabi. The article advised HEIs are better to appreciate group lesson designing (and if possible team teaching/delivery of courses) and the applications of friendly supervision, which of course instruction based, particularly for novice teachers.

Keywords: Curriculum materials, Higher education, Teaching-learning, quality education

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