learning.futures drives staff to redesign the learning experiences on campus, and online. Some examples of what just some of our academic staff are doing across campus can be seen below.
Week One Activities
In 2016, UTS introduced a new learning calendar to include three teaching periods. The new learning calendar was designed to create a platform for the future where:
- Students have the option of a more flexible study pattern across three teaching periods;
- The objectives of learning.futures are optimised;
- Academic staff members have greater flexibility in balancing teaching and research objectives; and
- Organisational sustainability is supported by expanding our capacity, maximising our available space year-round to enable a major expansion of our academic workforce.
As part of the new learning calendar, Week One activities were designed to enable students to begin their new subjects with interesting online and face-to-face activities to ready them for the face-to-face experience. Below are some case studies outlining innovative approaches to Week One activities.
- Accounting for Business Decisions A: addressing misconceptions
- Economy, Society, Globalism: making the global local
The focus of Authentic Assessments is on testing 'what students can do with what they know', not simply testing 'what they know'. For many academics at UTS, it's not a new thing, with students already being graded based on authentic work such as developing student design portfolios, creating marketing plans, or submitting real journalism stories.
In defining whether an assessment is 'authentic, you could ask:
- Is the task testing more than students’ ability to recall and reproduce a narrow body of factual knowledge?
- Does the task mirror or connect with what students will be doing as graduates in the world beyond university?
- Does it ask students to apply what they have learned and higher level thinking skills to solve complex problems, in a similar way to something they would do in professional practice?
- Is it measuring the development of the broader capabilities students should have acquired by the time they graduate? (ie, the graduate attributes of the course).
If the answer to any of these is no, then that’s an indication the assessment task isn’t authentic. Below are some case studies of authentic assessment across UTS.
- Peer Assessment of student class presentations
- GradeMark for online marking of assignments
- Professional Practice points in chemistry labs
- Student-generated multiple choice questions
- Automated marking in an online role play simulation
Breakthrough the jargon with the UTS Futures blog's write-up on Authentic Assessments in a nutshell [opens UTS Futures blog]
Read more on Authentic Assessment principles and read a detailed guide to authentic assessment produced by IML [PDF]
Large Collaborative Classes
Collaborative, active learning is core to learning.futures. Designing learning experiences like this for large class, however, can sometimes be challenging. The Large Collaborative Classes case studies provide real-life examples and tips from UTS academics across a range of discipline areas who have had success in engaging larger cohorts.
- Social and active learning in Citizenship and Communication
- Collaborating to learn Foundational Principles in first-year Chemistry
- Developing professional skills through authentic learning and assessment: Engineering Communication
- Using tablet technology to help students gain feedback: Accounting for Business Decisions A
- Group work for critical thinking: Engineering Mechanics
- Understanding difficult concepts through role play in Civil Practice
- Experiential learning and problem solving: Medical-Surgical Nursing
- Embracing technology to increase participation in lectures: Cell Biology and Genetics
- Practical learning and classroom participation: Medical Devices and Diagnostics
- Active learning in a foundational service subject: Physical Modelling
- An embedded, flipped and interactive approach to scientific writing
- The Simulation Project: workshops with first-year Bachelor of Midwifery students
- Prerequisites to efficient traditional and flipped classroom approaches to learning in two core finance subject
Flipped Learning: combining online and face-to-face
- Video vignettes: injecting authenticity into simulations
- Testing 'flipped learning' by marrying online and face-to-face interactions
- Using screencasting to help students improve their grades
- Taking advantage of the new collaborative spaces
- Digital Microscopy improving Histology students' access to ideas
- Understanding complex legal concepts through peer-generated resources
- Using online videos to enhance students' interview skills
- Gauging how useful MCQs are as a learning technique
- How a Business subject is being redesigned to use UTS's new spaces
- Communicating Law to first year students through podcasts and vodcasts
- How 'flipped' and 'blended' learning projects are aiming to strengthen UTS
- Using multimedia resources to improve real-life scenarios
- Going mobile: Students taking numeracy skills with them
- Using digital resources to enhance future teaching and learning
Student Experience and Engagement
- Preventing students from falling through the cracks
- What can be learned from teaching in a workshop space
Inquiry-based Learning Approaches
- Stimulating science: Introducing simulation scenarios to undergraduate Science students
- How Associate Professor Peter Meier is discovering the capabilities of
the new superlab
Learning and Teaching Grant projects
Professional development for UTS academics
Looking for inspiration or support to improve your students' learning experience?
Visit the Futures Blog, an online blog community for UTS teaching staff; drop-in to the LX.Lab, for academic workshops and events, meet-ups and one-on-one learner design support; or enroll in for The Teaching for Learning Futures (TLF) program.