Summary and reflection

Throughout this first week we introduced you to some basic principles of student learning by drawing on your own experiences and the literature.

In the discussions you shared your experiences of using reflective practice in your professional contexts and discussed how it can enable us to challenge our assumptions and reveal our biases.

In the comments on UNSW Beliefs about Learning some of you challenged the validity of one or more beliefs whereas others found it difficult to identify any one belief that was less relevant than the others. Clearly everyone has different experiences of learning, however, a common theme across the responses was that good experiences tended to reflect one or more of the beliefs about learning (or some variation of these). For example, being engaged in learning (one way or another) was common as well having clear motivational goals for engagement in the activity. Negative experiences of learning were clearly passive and often inactive, or as many people said, ‘boring’.

Many of you identified broader educational systems focussed around assessment, grading and benchmarking as the primary cause of surface approaches to learning. There were various responses to the survey for ‘typical’ students however most ‘ideal’ students were aligned with the characteristics of deep learners. Many of you discussed how to encourage deep learning in practice. In the second course on educational design you’ll get the opportunity to think about the relationship between deep learning and course design.

In Week 2 we’ll be focussing on teaching, in particular you’ll hear from teachers at UNSW discussing their approaches and strategies to teaching in their contexts.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney