Strengthening the first-year gateways: a collaborative approach to facilitating curriculum transformation.

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Research and Development in Higher Education: Curriculum Transformation Vol. 40

June, 2017, 455 pages
Published by
Ruth Walker & Simon Bedford

A large teaching and learning (T&L) grant provided the resources to develop and implement a systematic and sustainable approach to facilitate transformation of curriculum and pedagogical approaches across eight diverse first-year ‘gateway’ courses within a faculty. The project sought to enhance the student experience and student learning by ensuring a constructively-aligned curriculum involving flipped classrooms, active learning approaches, and a focus on academic literacy skills. This was achieved via combinations of online and in-class activities and engagement with a Faculty-wide academic literacy community site. A comprehensive set of academic design guides was developed to assist teaching teams adopt a rigorous action learning plan approach for the design, implementation, evaluation and redesign of their gateway course. Guiding resources were provided within a community-based project website, in addition to a video and media production kit and hands-on workshops to assist the teaching teams to design and adopt their innovations. Each of the pilot courses produced a sustainable teaching and learning plan to consolidate their designs and findings and to assist further dissemination. This included an evaluation plan to investigate the success of their innovations. Project evaluations revealed positive feedback across a wide range of curriculum and pedagogic innovations that increased student engagement with learning. Further, the project enhanced cross-school discussion of T&L, and led to university-wide recognition as an exemplar case study, and to awards for academics involved within specific pilot courses. The sustainable teaching and learning plans are being used to assist extension of the program to further courses across the Faculty.

Keywords: flipped-classsrooms, active learning, action learning plan

Strengthening the first-year gateways: a collaborative approach to facilitating curriculum transformation.

pdf (1.95 MB)
Matt, I., Duck, J., Moni, K. & Frost, C.