Back to top

D4 Curriculum Design Workshops

Why D4 Approach?

The D4 Curriculum Design workshops are an effective way of addressing issues that work across a whole curriculum (such as retention, employability, active learning, attainment, inclusions and student satisfaction). Course Teams work together through a 4 stage facilitated process using resources that stimulate them to thinking holistically. These resources provide practical suggestions for ways to take forward ideas. During the final stage of the workshop they develop an action plan to take forward outcomes.

Why do they work?

They work because they:

  • provide space for critique
  • are owned by teams
  • unfreeze stuck behaviours
  • are embedded in the discipline.

How are they structured?

The workshops use a cycle based on appreciative inquiry approach which is positively framed, experiential and action orientated. Teams work through 4 stages (see below) and develop their own action plan based on their discussions.

Appreciative Enquiry Model

What resources are available?

The workshop resources (PowerPoint slides, cards, handouts etc) are available for each of the workshops.


  • D4I: inclusion (in development):

            Link to the inclusivity cards used at the University's Teaching and Learning Conference - Sep 18

What’s the evidence of success?

We have run around 30 workshops with over 250 participants. Evaluation of them by participants indicates that they find them to be an extremely useful way to focus on developing their curriculum in a constructive solution focussed way. See typical quotes from participants below:

How to I attend a workshop?

Contact Staff Development web pages to find out what workshops are currently being offered (link to SD website)

We also offer bespoke sessions for Department Away Days or for Conferences. Contact Liz Bennett or Sue Folley to discuss.

Who developed these ideas?

Dr Sue Folley and Dr Liz Bennett developed the approach as part of a Strategic Project for the University of Huddersfield. Sue is Academic Developer with responsibility for supporting the development of academic staff in relation to the use of learning technologies. Liz is Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Education and Professional Development.

How to find out more about them?

We have written about the workshops in book and magazine format.

Bennett, E. and Folley, S. (2018) D4 Curriculum Design Workshops: a model for developing digital literacy in practice, book chapter in Reedy, K. & Parker J. (2018) Digital literacy unpacked.

Bennett, E. & Folley, S. (2017) Team-Based Approaches to Address TEF Issues
Educational Developments, Magazine of SEDA, Issue 18.4, Dec 17.

Bennett, L., & Folley, S. (2017). Employability Curriculum Development Workshops University of Huddersfield. In QAA  Quality Code Enhancement Project Case Studies.