Teaching and supporting student learning
Learning and teaching approaches
Variety in teaching approach and learning activities is important in engaging students. As you develop your teaching expertise, you expand the range of teaching activities you know and use.
- Quick group activities for large lectures - Collaborative and cooperative learning activities can be part of large group lectures, as well as tutes and workshops.
- More complex group activities for large lectures - These strategies may require more time to complete than the quick group activities listed above, or they may require the use of technology.
- Teaching small groups - Strategies for tutorials and workshops
- Teaching large classes - Report on a 2001 nationally-funded project
Teaching staff have a responsibility for developing discipline-specific language skills (see the English language policy), and the Academic Skills Unit is your partner in this.
Students have access to Academic Skills' LEO unit to support them with academic literacy and numeracy, via the central tile of the LEO home page. Academic Skills on LEO includes guidance on writing and referencing and a download of the ACU Study Guide: Skills for Success.
Students benefit most from instruction in academic literacies that is embedded within their course. A practical guide on Embedding academic literacies in first-year units can help with this.
Other resources for supporting academic literacies:
- Write reports in Science and Engineering - this site helps students identify the different sections and requirements of scientific reports. See also the related project site
- Degrees of Proficiency - strategies for institutions to assess and help develop students' English language skills
- Developing digital literacies - a JISC (UK) project on developing students' digital capabilities
- Good practice principles for English language proficiency for international students in Australian universities
- English language skills registration standards from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA, 2015)
Engaging students and encouraging participation
Ways for students to engage in their own learning include:
- Self-reflection about their own learning
- Participation in extra-curricular activities
- Learning with and from their peers
- Getting advice on course selection and unit specialisations
- Becoming involved in the design and delivery of their own learning
- Providing mid-unit evaluation, with rapid feedback and response
- Being part of curriculum design and review teams
- Participating in research projects
- Generating materials for others to use
- Teaching (post graduate students)
- Employability work
(adapted from the UK Higher Education Academy discussion on Dimensions of student engagement)
Coordinating student enrolment and progression
Just in time: support for academics who coordinate a Unit of Study - a national project resource for lecturers in charge ("Unit of Study coordinators")
Staff referral guide to student services (PDF, 2.7 MB) - Your contact with students, and their timely referral to services, as required, is critical to student success and retention. This brochure describes and links to the variety of services available to students at ACU.
Peer observation and review of teaching
Working with a colleague on your design of learning activities and on your teaching and support of student learning can yield useful insights and help you improve the effectiveness of your work.
ACU Learning for Life projects include guidelines for setting up PORT - peer observation and review of teaching.
Other resources for peer review of teaching include:
- Peer review of teaching in Australian higher education: A handbook to support institutions in developing and embedding effective policies and practices
- Peer review of teaching in blended learning environments
- Peer review of online learning and teaching