This fellowship focussed on the important role of the curriculum in first year transition, success and retention. A research-based 'transition pedagogy' was articulated – a guiding philosophy for intentional first year curriculum design and support that carefully scaffolds and mediates the first year learning experience for contemporary heterogeneous cohorts. This transition pedagogy is framed around the identification of six First Year Curriculum Principles that stand out as supportive of first year learning engagement, success, and retention and is described in Appendix 1. Several discipline case studies, an extensive engaged dissemination strategy and other resources are available from the fellowship website.
The Resource Library contains a collection of higher education learning and teaching materials flowing from projects funded by the Commonwealth of Australia including those from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council.
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The National Graduate Attributes Project Issues papers
This resource forms part of a larger collection. It is recommended that readers refer also to:
This is a collection of eight issues to consider in the renewal of learning and teaching experiences.
The National Graduate Attributes Project (GAP), a national scoping study of Australian Universities' recent activities in relation to the development of graduate attributes underpins the project.
The papers provide an introduction to each of the key elements identified as being important for universities to consider when engaging in curriculum renewal to achieve graduate attributes. Each paper is short and points to additional references. The eight elements of the institutional framework are not independent and recommended by the authors to be read in sequence. The papers are presented as starting points for reflection.
The eight papers focus on (1) Conceptualisation, (2) Stakeholders, (3) Implementation, (4) Curriculum, (5) Assessment, (6) Quality Assurance, (7) Staff Development, and (8) Student Centred. They are most helpful to those involved in considering whole of institution (or faculty) approaches to Graduate Attributes implementation. They make a good starting point and are easily downloadable separately or as one PDF document.
Articulating a transition pedagogy to scaffold and to enhance the first year student learning experience in Australian higher education: Final Report
Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Workshop facilitator slides
This document is one of the outcomes resulting from a project focused on developing high quality outcomes and quality evaluation processes in transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. The project resulted in several outcomes that can be used together or independently including: a summary report; identification of quality criteria; and a toolbox of ideas for good practice.
This resource provides PowerPoint presentation materials to be used with the workshop resource in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research supervision training. The PowerPoint materials provide the background and sequence materials for the Workshop activities in the accompanying resource. They provide a structured pathway through the project outcomes, workshop activities and times for reflection and evaluation of outcomes. They can be followed exactly as provided to run professional development within a university department or across university departments. Facilitation skills are then more necessary for the workshop leader than previous expertise in effective pedagogy for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research supervision.
The evaluation of the Workshop activities noted that considerable time is allocated to revisiting the overall issue of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research with 20 minutes for initial individual reflection on the quality criteria. If participants gain familiarity with the main project outcome documents and complete their initial individual reflections prior to the workshop, less time would be needed and more joint discussion could be the focus.
Some university staff may not feel comfortable using a PowerPoint presentation prepared by another person. An option would be to work more directly from the substantial resource documents of the project (quality criteria; ideas for practice) to prepare a tailored workshop activity. The provided workshop and PowerPoint materials could provide thought-starters. The origins of the materials would still need appropriate academic acknowledgement.
Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Workshop Resources
This document is one of the outcomes resulting from a project focused on developing high quality outcomes and quality evaluation processes in transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors.
The project resulted in several outcomes that can be used together or independently including: a summary report; identification of quality criteria; a toolbox of ideas for practice. This resource provides workshop materials that can be used by supervisors or supervisor trainers (at any level) to develop improved understanding and practices in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research supervision. A companion resource provides a PowerPoint presentation that can be used with the workshop material.
This resource includes a number of Word files containing worksheets that can be printed for use. The files include: a Presenter’s outline, including timing and a running sheet, and expected learning outcomes; Discussion Guides/Worksheets for participants; and a Feedback and Evaluation Form.
The workshop requires participants to have undertaken an hour of preparation with the two key outcome documents from the project, the quality criteria document and the ideas for good practice document. These documents therefore also need to be provided to participants prior to a workshop. The workshop template provides guidance on the questions and discussion points that engage participants with the outcomes documents as student supervision. It provides guidance for reflection, group discussions, and effective sharing of ideas.
These materials are very usable and draw on the substantial outcomes of the project. The workshop facilitator needs to be effective at managing the workshop but does not need greater expertise than the other participants. It could be run as a joint professional development session.
The workshop takes 3 hours. This is not an overlong time for supervision training. However, a considerable period at the start revisits the issues of transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research and participants spend 20 minutes working individually reflecting on the quality criteria developed in the project. If participants do make themselves familiar with the materials, they could complete the initial individual reflection (20 minutes) prior to the workshop, allowing more focus on shared discussion.
Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Ideas for good practice
This document is one of the outcomes resulting from a project focused on developing high quality outcomes and quality evaluation processes in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. Experienced supervisors and students participated in workshop discussions on transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. Research literature on effective supervision was also examined.
The project identified seven criteria to evaluate quality transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research outcomes. This resource presents practical ideas to support quality research supervision. The intended reader is the research supervisor aiming to guide student research development. Students could also work from the ideas directly.
Ideas for Practice presents 48 ideas or tools aligned into seven sections: Building Supervision Relationships; Positioning Yourself; Deepening Reflection; Engaging with Literature; Increasing External/Critical Engagement; Clarifying Research Question/ Research Focus; Distilling & Communicating Your Claims; and Structuring a Coherent Argument. The discussion relates each of the ideas to the quality criteria for transciplinary/interdisciplinary research study.
Every idea is presented on a single page with very simple statements addressing the same key points: What's the big idea; Why is this such a good idea; Which criteria does this address; When might this be useful; What would it take to make this work; What resources might help. The ideas range from very specific, eg, Elevator Pitches (p. 49) to more general, eg, Write as a Student-Supervisor Team (p. 5). However, general ideas provide specific guidance on implementation. As Cynthia Mitchell notes, the document can be read from cover to cover or dipped into for ideas on specific issues.
This resource can constitute a standalone professional development resource for supervisors to work through with their students. While suitable for experienced supervisors, it is likely to be of particular value to new supervisors looking for advice to assist their students.
A very useful summary of activities to enhance student completion of quality research work in a timely manner is provided. While some aspects are specifically tied to transciplinary/interdisciplinary research studies, the ideas have generic applicability. The author also asks for feedback on the usefulness of the ideas and additional suggestions for resources or modifications.
Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies: Quality Criteria
This document is one of a suite of resources from a project focused on developing appropriate evaluation quality criteria for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary doctoral research for use by students, supervisors and others. The goal was to provide a frame that is consistent across different discipline areas, as different disciplines judge quality in different ways, but specifically addressing implications for transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research.
This resource provides the identified quality criteria for evaluating transdisciplinary/ interdisciplinary research theses. It provides analyses of: the nature of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research; difficulties associated with judging its quality; pedagogy in the area; and a literature review on the topic. It culminates in a set of criteria developed through the project and literature-based analyses. The criteria also emerge from practice and workshop discussions involving experienced transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary supervisors.
This resource is therefore an informative document on these areas for the practice of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research study and supervision as well as for those conducting research in the area. Readers may want to read the whole document for the coverage of issues in the field. Alternatively, for practical purposes, they can turn to the seven identified generic criteria of research quality on pages 17 and 18 and summary of interpretations for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. However, the discussion of the generic quality criteria and application for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research provided on pages 7-16 is very readable and well-worth reading to gain understanding of the final summary.
The resource is valuable for supervisors and students engaging in transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research. It could also be used by Thesis Examination Offices in higher education institutions in Australia and internationally in order to reflect on the appropriateness of current thesis examination procedures and criteria for transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research examinations and identification of suitable examiners.
The title of this work shows a focus on doctoral research students and supervision. However, the materials could be modified to suit transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research outcomes for any level of higher education, undergraduate or postgraduate.
Supporting student peer assessment and review in large groupwork projects
The project’s purpose is to further the educational design and dissemination of an online tool to support and facilitate self-and-peer assessment of individual contributions in large group work projects. The online tool supports group work processes through facilitating self-and-peer assessment by providing quantitative and qualitative feedback, evaluation, reflection and review opportunities.
ePortfolio use by university students in Australia: developing a sustainable community of practice
This report documents Stage Two of the Australian ePortfolio Project (AeP2), which explored the current scope of national and international ePortfolio communities of practice in order to identify the factors that have contributed to their success and sustainability. A toolkit of six concept guides, targeted at the various stakeholders involved in ePortfolio use and providing information on managing privacy, is provided in Appendix 1. The project website provides additional resources.
Zen and the art of transdisciplinary postgraduate studies
This is the Summary Report for a project focused on developing an evaluative frame for the formative and summative outputs of transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research for use by students and supervisors. While the project title focuses on postgraduate studies, the project focus is applicable to any such research activity, including undergraduate papers. It provides helpful information in a learning and teaching area that is a current and growing practice, but with little practical guidance for either supervisors or students. Transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research is growing in Australia as researchers appreciate the value of working across disciplines to be relevant to the complexity of real life applications of research knowledge. The core question of this project is the development of ways to evaluate the outcomes of such research, whether a thesis or research paper, along with formative processes to guide supervisors and students to quality outcomes. Reading the Summary Report can be of value for two purposes. Firstly, it gives information on the conduct of a major learning and teaching development activity that others planning such an activity could find useful, including the process of a large action research project. The second purpose is that it explains the theoretical underpinnings of the project, including a review of research literature informing the overall project. The practical outcomes from the project are provided in separate resource documents: Quality Criteria; Ideas for Good Practice; Workshop Resources; Workshop Facilitator Slides. These resources can be used separately to guide supervision practice, or together to run an actual workshop on the topic.The Summary Report has a clear writing style. As the report is necessarily brief and addresses the whole conduct and outcomes of the project, some readers may find the theoretical explanations underpinning the project, provided in one and a half pages, dense. However, this brief explanation provides a number of research references that could guide further reading by a person interested in this area of teaching and learning.
The B factor project: understanding academic staff beliefs about graduate attributes
Engaging with learning: understanding the impact of practice based learning exchange
The National Graduate Attributes Project: integration and assessment of graduate attributes in curriculum
Good practice guide for handling complaints and appeals in Australian universities
Student grievances and discipline matters
Leadership and the impact of academic staff development and leadership development on student learning outcomes in higher education: a review of the literature
This report explores the existing evidence of the effect on student learning outcomes in undergraduate higher education study of:
1. Staff/professional development
3. Leadership development.
As the main focus of this report is not on leadership per se but on the impact of leadership on the student learning outcomes of retention, persistence and achievement, we primarily looked at evidence for that impact rather than on leadership generally.
Articulating a transition pedagogy to scaffold and to enhance the first year student learning experience in Australian higher education
This fellowship focussed on the important role of the curriculum in first year transition, success and retention. A research-based 'transition pedagogy' was articulated framed around the identification of six First Year Curriculum Principles that stand out as supportive of first year learning engagement, success. These principles are Transition, Diversity, Design, Engagement, Assessment and Evaluation and monitoring. Several discipline case studies, an extensive engaged dissemination strategy and other resources are available from the fellowship website.
This online resource provides practical ideas and strategies for academic and professional practitioners responsible for designing curricula to support first year university students. It advocates for intentional first year curriculum design using six first year curriculum principles: Transition, Diversity, Design, Engagement, Assessment, Evaluation and Monitoring. The website features resources including a briefing paper on first year assessment and checklists with useful tips for first year teachers, program coordinators and institutional leaders of learning and teaching. It would be particularly useful for academic staff responsible for designing first year curricula across disciplines. Professional staff who support first year curriculum design and delivery in such areas as blended learning will also find this a very useful site. This resource raises awareness of the multidimensional nature of the first year curriculum, drawing attention to the importance of supporting student diversity through the purposeful design of fit-for-purpose learning activities and assessment tasks. As such it would be useful for academic development staff who provide institution-level support to enhance the quality of first year curricula. The focus on evaluation and monitoring is particularly important for its emphasis on the value of continuous review and improvement of first year curricula. Discipline-based case studies are another feature of the resource. Exemplars are drawn from such fields as Law and the Creative Arts, IT and Biology. Kift has sought the input of Australian and international expert commentators who review the case studies and provide input on key issues. This dimension is particularly useful as it provides an indication of the international relevance and appeal of the resource, as well as the rigour of its approach. In terms of accessibility, the website does not readily emerge from a quick Google search of the internet, so users may want to bookmark the site. Nevertheless, once you arrive, you will find the site relatively easy to navigate and resources readily downloadable using PDF-reading software. One of the challenges you may encounter is that this resource site is embedded within a larger site. If you navigate away from the ‘Transition Pedagogy’ area and follow some of the hyperlinks, it can be a little difficult to find your way back. It is important to be aware of this if you decide to pursue some of the interesting and informative links on the site.
Project EnROLE Blue Report: encouraging role based online learning environments
Research graduate skills project
The role of honours in contemporary Australian higher education
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