Good Practice Resources
Read more about how these resources have been identified.
Physclips - multi-level, multi-media resources for teaching first year university physics
Despite its key position as an enabling discipline, physics content in school and university curricula is decreasing at an alarming rate. There is a real need for essential physics principles to be made widely available to an increasingly diverse group of students and academics. The Physclips package provides an excellent resource that specifically fills this critical gap. This is a very visual, engaging and easy to use introductory series into major physics principles. It takes an unashamedly rigorous approach. One of the outstanding features is the links to explain in an integrated manner, the mathematical principles supporting the physics. Other key features are the use of tutorials and animations. There is a very strong pedagogical foundation. For example, the authors have taken into account cognitive load theory, the use of narration to reinforce the animation and current web design approaches to produce this very sophisticated tool. The modules go into a good level of depth and detail and are designed such that they can be done at an individual’s own pace. This resource will be of use to anyone who wants and alternative platform to learn about the basics of physics and can be used either to support physics classes or to provide refresher or learning activities. Potential users include university and later year school students as well as teacher and academics who would like to refresh their knowledge. From a pedagogical perspective, these clips also act as excellent examples of how physics can be taught in an approachable and engaging manner. This is a user friendly interface that loads quickly and is readily navigable. It is also released through Creative Commons so there are no fees associated with its use. The videos require a Flash player. The clips currently cover Mechanics, Waves and Sound, Electricity and Magnetism. It is not clear whether further modules are planned. There are many physics videos and online resources available on the internet, but these Physclips packages are of the highest standard and will retain their relevance for many years to come.
Quality assessment: linking assessment tasks and teaching outcomes in the social sciences
The framework is diagrammatically portrayed as a circle with the elements of the previously developed Assessment characteristics as the inner circle and a range of factors identified as Student Support and Significance as the outer circle. The purpose of the framework is to enable academics to have increased support in assessment task design. It is located in a philosophy of social constructivism, which needs to be recognised by those using the framework and while generalisable, it is likely to be of particular interest to those teaching in the social sciences. The instructions on the use of the guide are clear, which allows for easy navigation. Explanations and definitions are given of each of the elements of the model and suggestions for the improvement of tasks provide assistance for those coming to assessment de novo. There may be some scepticism about the characteristic of meta-language but it is a useful debate to have, given that it is more particular to education than some other social sciences. The material on significance also is embedded in the philosophical approach and it provides important material on understanding what students bring to learning and how this intersects with assessment. This, together with the Student Support material, brings strengths to the model which are often not considered by academics but which are vital to ensure authentic learning. Explicit quality criteria, high expectations and student direction articulate those areas of assessment which frequently are not considered by academics, to the frustration of students. The elaborations and suggestions for academics are a real strength of this model. The report provides pro forma and samples which add to the value of the resource.
Quality assessment: linking assessment tasks and teaching outcomes in the social sciences: Final Report
Role of Graduate Attributes in Emerging Institutional Quality Assurance Processes video
This resource forms part of a larger collection. It is recommended that readers refer also to:
This 13-minute video is titled "Role of Graduate Attributes in Emerging Institutional Quality Assurance Processes" by Dr Jeanette Baird, Australian Universities Quality Agency, and produced as part of the National Graduate Attributes Project (2007-08) which explores curriculum renewal strategies to achieve graduate attributes in Australian universities.
The video provides a quality assurance perspective on how universities (and higher education institutions, HEIs) implement Graduate Attributes. Dr Baird suggests there are two overall questions that HEIs should ask: "How do you know that graduates achieve the Graduate Attributes?" and "What improvements to students' learning outcomes have resulted from these Graduate Attributes?". Evidence is required to support HEIs' claims about Graduate Attributes.
Dr Baird then goes on to three specific areas: (1) alignment between Graduate Attributes and HEI's institutional objectives; (2) curriculum review and implementation through mapping and contextualisation; and (3) internationalisation. Other topics include (briefly): employer feedback; CEQ Generic Skills results as a proxy for Graduate Attribute achievement; curriculum mapping and the reflection required in relation to assessment; the challenges of internationalisation and Australian HEIs; consistency of the student experience across campus. Underlying this approach is the OADRI framework (Objectives, Approach, Deploy, Review and Improve).
This resource is particularly useful and relevant to those considering a whole of institution approach and deployment of Graduate Attributes implementation in the curriculum, as well as internal and external quality assurance. It is clearly presented and to the point. The video is easily accessible to most users, and plays within the web page and on most browsers.
Studio Teaching Project: Four Reports
Studio Teaching Toolkit
An excellent informative and helpful description of, and guide to studio practice with particular reference to art architecture and design and broader application to studio practice in dance, music and drama. The resource will be of interest to design and problem solving disciplines such as engineering and computer science.
Volume One: STP Final Report of the Studio Teaching Toolkit are particularly useful for teachers and learners, Heads of School, Deans of Faculties, Facilities Management personnel and tertiary providers considering the review or introduction of new art and/or design courses. The value of these materials lies in the descriptions of the nature and defining characteristics of studio practice, the elucidation of the conditions and modes that lead to effective learning outcomes and effective methods of assessment and feedback for studio practice.
The Studio Teaching Toolkit applies the findings contained in the three reports (Volumes1 to 3) and case studies (Volume 4) into concise and practical information arranged into six sections: Using the toolkit; What is Studio; Effective Strategies; Assessment and Feedback; Student Experience; Case Studies.
Part six of Volume One (pp 93--100) provides a succinct description of the project and the four fundamental questions the project explored. Along with the Executive Summary (pp v-ix) and Recommendations (pp x-xii) users, and in particular teachers of art and design, should refer to the Studio Teaching Toolkit http://studioteaching.org/ for practical and concise resource materials.
Contained in the Effective Strategies section of the Studio Teaching Toolkit are 10 benchmark statements for effective studio practice relating to issues of culture, mode, program and space. These ten statements are particularly useful for courses and unit/subject level review and quality assurance processes.
The academic’s and policy-maker’s guides to the teaching-research nexus
This excellent resource provides a summary of current thinking on the Teaching-Research Nexus (TRN) for academics, university staff, policy makers and students. The benefits of the TRN for students is presented and is supported with a large number of links to examples of TRN practice by discipline and year levels which should prove to be particularly useful for academics designing or revising existing courses or units. Links to strategy and policy making are also included. The site provides a framework for developing curricula that links teaching and research and is a useful collection of curriculum design ideas for academics. Nineteen concrete examples are presented. The resource may be used to aid the development or review of policies that promote (or hinder) the teaching-research nexus. There are materials supporting all levels of policy makers including government policy makers, those developing university wide policies at Deputy Vice-Chancellor level, and other policy leaders such as heads of departments or schools. In a short commentary the authors give advice to those academics early in their career or wanting to build their career. The main focus is on the advantages of being conscious of the RTN in their work as an academic. This is very much a personal view from the authors and contains only one reference.
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.
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.
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.
Go to pages
You are on page 3