This phase involves considering the intent of the topic in more detail: it helps to specify the characteristics that we wish the curriculum to have.

The outcome is a more detailed definition of the purposes and essential educational characteristics of the topic which are described in the topic description. This phase is particularly important as the topic description (included on the University's website and course information book) is usually the first information about a topic that prospective students encounter. It creates the first impression that can strongly influence enrolment decisions.

The key question is:

what (say 3 to 5) elements of the topic are critical to the achievement of the topic aim?

This phase results in a precise, detailed statement of specific characteristics of the topic (see examples below). This statement provides reference points and places topic boundaries around detailed design of content, delivery, learning experiences and assessment.

Topic EDES9512 Assessment and Evaluation in higher education

The purpose of this topic is for participants to increase their understanding of both evaluation and assessment practices in higher education. The primary focus is the use of assessment to support and enhance student learning and identify valid learning outcomes. Participants will explore the assessment implications of key ideas gathered from studies of learning and teaching, learning theories and student approaches to learning. Participants will be able to focus on particular aspects of assessment that meet their needs, teaching context and strategic directions of their organisations.
Sample topic descriptions developed to expand aim statements