Working in Silos: A Report on the Coordination of Course Collaboration at a Japanese University


Universities can be workplaces where staff work in silos. Teachers are often left to their own devices when designing and implementing curricula. Whilst the freedom of independence may be welcomed by teachers, it can lead to missed opportunities such as the chance to encourage a spiral curriculum. This presentation will report on the coordination of staff teaching on a variety of English courses across four years at a small women’s university in Japan. Tasks asked of teachers were chiefly related to the creation of a shared google document containing separate tabs for each course. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) was employed as a tool for teachers to choose language goals in the form of "can do" statements. Teachers were required to add course assessments, rubrics and test specifications where applicable. Additionally, columns were created for any comments or suggestions related to the course. Finally, a chart showing all courses was created to display progression of course levels throughout the curriculum as a whole. While in its infancy, initial feedback from teachers involved in this project has highlighted the importance of course collaboration to increase knowledge and improve transparency for both teachers and students alike. Further benefits, along with shortcomings, will be discussed and recommendations given for the coordination of language courses at similar institutions.

Author Information
Gary Cook, Hiroshima Bunkyo University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2019
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon