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PC3 - what we did and what we learned






The first months

The Personalised Curriculum Creation through Coaching (PC3) originally aimed to develop a process, together with supporting technology structure and necessary regulatory change, to allow students to design their own curriculum, based on their learning needs, supported by coaching. The original vision was to do this through a centralised “shell” course structure, into which students could “drop” the curriculum elements that they needed to meet their particular learning needs. You can read the outline from the original proposal here: PC3 bid outline.  The project launched in September 2008:


As part of this process we started consulting with stakeholders, began reviewing our current processes (to produce our baseline document) and considered technological platforms including ePortfolio systems. The project's progress is documented in part on our blog.


Changing direction

The project was in flux almost from the start as complete leadership change in the institution started in January 2009 and continued through to January 2011. We were unable to get support to introduce a cross-institutional course of the kind initially envisaged, so we tested the concept of coaching to support curriculum choice, by developing a module within the Carnegie Faculty, with a small cohort of school leaders. Although the coaching element was very helpful to these students, the personalisation of their curriculum proved difficult for them. Further institutional changes meant that we were unable to recruit a second cohort to this, and instead we started to work with staff to embed coaching within their programmes. We have worked with staff in five different areas but the most substantive has been a 3-year intervention with Sports Management students, where coaching has been introduced incrementally into all three levels of their employability strand. Evidence from both students and staff is that this has been very beneficial in terms of student performance, self development and confidence (see Video interviews and digital stories). 


We also shifted our emphasis from top-down innovation to bottom-up, recruiting student coaching ambassadors to contribute ways of promoting the use of coaching among their peers. They have proposed both a modular approach to coaching, focusing on introducing coaching early in the curriculum, as well as using the university’s volunteering programme to support a coaching “office” run by students for students.


Outputs and outcomes

A key output of the project is this Coaching Toolkit to support students, staff, course teams and institutions interested in applying coaching to their curriculum, which includes models of coaching for learning, reusable learning resources, sample contracts and templates for coaching conversations, staff guides, ePortfolio resources, student and staff workshops (structures and resources), a business case for coaching, three large and one mini case studies and a collection of digital narratives on the impact of coaching.


We have demonstrated that coaching is a highly effective support process for students, particularly in the areas of self-assessment of competencies and personal development planning. We have tested and developed models to introduce it into the curriculum and resources to underpin training for both staff and students.


Other deliverables

Institutional Story (Final report)

Evaluation Report


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