CUSP (Course and Unit of Study Portal) system for curriculum information management

Ref: 14280
The CUSP system is a web application that enables integrated academic management of curriculum design and student course information in university teaching programs operating under diverse and evolving curriculum standards and reporting frameworks. The software is designed to engage not just individual students and academic staff but also teaching managers and administrators in a whole-of-program approach to curriculum design and delivery. The system addresses the outcomes reporting requirements of professional accreditation bodies and is equipped to respond to the additional requirements expected from the new Australian higher education regulator (TEQSA).

Key advantages
  • Integrated triple-layer management of curriculum details at the three critical levels of individual subject/unit of study design, course/program structure and curriculum reporting standards.
  • Enables systematic whole-of-program quality assurance in academic environments subject to open-ended variability in subjects/units, programs/courses and reporting standards and the ways in which these may or may not relate to each other.
  • Enables recognition of equivalence among elements within different standards frameworks to facilitate cross-reporting against multiple frameworks without additional burden on teaching and management staff.


As self-accrediting institutions, universities have traditionally been able to determine their own quality assurance arrangements and have not faced significant external reporting requirements. Pressures for improved transparency and accountability are growing, however, both internationally and locally. Here in Australia, a new and more assertive industry regulator, TEQSA, is due to begin operation in 2012. One of its first tasks will be the introduction of more rigorous reporting standards for university curricula.

Effective management of curriculum quality requires an ability to integrate the key information layers involved: (1) the micro layer of subject/unit of study outcomes, assessment and learning activities, (2) the macro layer of curriculum standards/reporting frameworks and (3) the intermediate layer of program/course structures connecting the two. Also required are means of coordinating the authoring and publication processes within each of these layers to ensure consistent input quality.


CUSP provides a software framework for visually capturing and correlating different curriculum standards and frameworks, different degree program structures and different outlines of subject/unit of study content and the different organizational roles involved in their design and dissemination. Having explicit mappings of the relationships between curriculum frameworks, programs and subject content, enables CUSP to generate big-picture reports on program performance that allow for wide variation in both program structure and framework standards. Integrated mapping of authoring and administrative roles at the different curriculum information layers enables a coordinated and transparent embedding of essential review and quality assurance processes across the organisation.


Curriculum management in tertiary instituations, curriculum reporting and quality assurance from proffesional/national accrediting bodies, career development based on learner models of outcome frameworks.


  • Tim Lever
  • Richard Gluga
  • Doug Auld
  • Judy Kay


  • R. Gluga, J. Kay, and T. Lever. Modeling long term learning of generic skills. In V. Aleven, J. Kay, and J. Mostow, editors, ITS2010, Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Intelligent Tutoring Systems, pages 85-94. Springer, 2010.
  • R. Gluga, J. Kay, and T. Lever. Is five enough? modeling learning progression in ill-defined domains at tertiary level. In IllDef2010: ITS2010 Workshop on Intelligent Tutoring Technologies for Ill-Defined Problems and Ill-Defined Domains, page to appear, 2010.
  • R. Gluga and J. Kay. Largescale, long-term learner models supporting flexible curriculum definition. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Scalability Issues in AIED, held in conjunction with AIED2009, pages 10-19, 2009.



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