Course cohesion: an elusive goal for tertiary education

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Lloyd, M & Bahr, N 2011, 'Course cohesion: an elusive goal for tertiary education', Journal of Learning Design, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 21-30.

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A program’s development and implementation in a higher education institution is usually launched with great fanfare, goodwill and a huge effort on the part of the whole development team to ensure a worthwhile cohesive set of learning experiences aligned to the desired course learning outcomes. It is often not long before the glue starts to come unstuck arising from staffing changes, subtle migration of course resources, opportunistic inclusions of “off the shelf” or unit based innovative teaching and learning approaches, and perhaps general poor attention to detail with regard to the impact of new introductions and electives. This paper presents an initial investigation into the elusive goal of achieving course cohesion. The authors consider building cohesion into a course as it is being designed through identified cohesion factors and in sustaining course cohesion through active leadership.

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