What are the Griffith Course Design Standards?

Course Standards provide student-centred benchmarks (the experience we want to provide for our students) for each learning and teaching principle. These are elaborated through descriptions of Exemplar Practices (activities that support each standard). A range of indicative ideas are provided for how one might address a standard within a course. However educators have the design discretion as to how standards will be appropriately achieved given the level of their course (i.e., year one, year two) and their disciplinary context. Clearly, other practices may be used in addition to those listed.

The Course Standards are also reflected at a broader level through Program Design Standards. Course and Program Standards are based on common learning and teaching principles to help align our student’s learning experience across the program. Program Standards are outlined in a companion document. 

What are the key elements of the Course Design Standards?


Each of the six learning and teaching principles has been operationalised at two escalating levels of design affordance:

Foundational Standards are the minimum requirements for all Griffith courses and ensure that our students experience a level of consistency and quality across the University. All Griffith courses will demonstrate each of these foundational standards in ways that are appropriate to the goals of the course, the disciplinary context and the backgrounds and needs of learners.

Enhanced Standards provide guidance for designing courses at the next level of each learning and teaching principle. Enhanced Standards indicate ways by which courses can strengthen or deepen student engagement and learning. Courses which require higher levels of engagement, support and learning to enable student success (e.g., first year, large size, fully online) should consider both systematically and authentically incorporating aspects of the Enhanced Standards that are particularly relevant to the success of students in their context.

Mindsets and Principles

The Course Design Standards comprise five mindsets and six principles, which are operationalised across Foundational and Enhanced levels through a series of descriptors and practices.

Mindsets: Program Mindset, Design for Learning, Interdisciplinarity, Collaborative Leadership, Evidence Informed Practice

Principles: Partnership-Based Learning, Engaging and Empowering Pedagogies, Scholarly Inspired Curriculum, Locally and Globally Connected, Learner-Enabling Design and Digitally-Enabled Learning.

Each of the Principles is considered in detail in an individual Fact Sheet and Getting Started Module.

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Note: There are an additional 2 principles that appear in the diagram. Along with the six principles already mentioned – these comprise the principles for the Program Design Standards.

Why do we have the Course Design Standards?

  1. To support educators: The Course Design Standards support staff in the process of reviewing and refreshing existing courses and developing and designing new courses. 
  2. To improve the student experience: Course Design Standards will ensure that our students experience a level of consistency and quality, benchmarked with national standards, across the University. 

Where could I learn more?