EDU5702 Exploring Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Contexts

Subject Cat-nbr Term Mode Description Units Campus
EDU 5702 1, 2010 WEB Exploring Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Contexts 1 Toowoomba

Academic group: FOEDU
Academic org: FOE002
Student contribution band: National Priority Teaching
ASCED code: 070303



Examiner: Peter McIlveen
Moderator: Kaye Cleary


State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional experience/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland are required to possess a current suitability card (Blue Card). (See "Other Requirements" for further information.) Also see:


Higher education teaching is a highly complex, problematic, and context-specific activity. The difference between the contexts is vitally important. It requires a personally meaningful professional knowledge base for teaching and cognitive skills for effective teaching. Effective educators at all levels question, criticise and reformulate their assumptions about learning and teaching. However, this is only possible if one takes time to understand and appreciate the nature of these complex activities. The challenge for teachers in higher education is to develop an inclination and capacity to engage in the sort of intellectual dialogue and action for effective teaching. This knowledge base is dynamic and incomplete and is constantly being constructed and reconstructed. It develops via integration of a range of learning including knowledge about self, the context, and subject matter knowledge. The components of the professional knowledge base of teaching include content knowledge, knowledge of learning and teaching, curriculum knowledge, knowledge of learners and their characteristics, knowledge of educational contexts, and knowledge of educational ends, purposes, and values, and their philosophical and historical grounds. Educators in higher education with an understanding and appreciation of the complexities of learning and teaching in these contexts, and who take responsibility for their own professional development, establish a solid foundation for enhancing their capacities in learning and teaching.


This course enables higher education educators to explore learning and teaching in their environments. In doing so, they will focus on their own context and anticipated teaching roles. Through the process of critical self-analysis with reference to the qualities of effective educators, participants will develop a 'teaching capacity enhancement plan' (TCEP). This plan should be developed in collaboration with professional colleagues who are prepared to work alongside participants as members of a focused professional learning community. A key outcome of this course will be the 'teaching capacity enhancement plan'. This plan will allow participants to incorporate relevant professional development and staff development activities, including work-based projects. NOTE: Learners undertaking this course are required to have access to learning and teaching environments in a higher education setting.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant learning and teaching theories; (Assignment 1 & Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature of learning and teaching in higher education settings; (Assignment 1)
demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of essential characteristics of highly successful educators and their impact on student learning; (Assignment 1)
demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of essential characteristics of highly effective learning environments and their impact on student learning; (Assignment 1 & Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
demonstrate how an understanding of learners impacts on design, delivery and assessment in higher education environments; (Assignment 1)
be responsive to context through adaptation of learning and teaching and approaches to maximise learning according to context; (Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
develop and justify a 'teaching capacity enhancement plan' appropriate to own needs. (Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
demonstrate competence in written language and scholarly writing including correct spelling, grammar, and bibliographic referencing. (Assignment 1 and Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)


Description Weighting (%)
1. Exploring the work of educators in higher education contexts
2. Understanding learners and contexts
3. Effective design, delivery and assessment of courses in higher education contexts
4. Critical self-evaluation
5. Developing a 'teaching capacity enhancement plan'

TEXT and MATERIALS required to be PURCHASED or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials are available for purchase from USQ BOOKSHOP (unless otherwise stated). Orders may be placed via secure internet, free fax 1800642453, phone 07 46312742 (within Australia), or mail. Overseas students should fax +61 7 46311743, or phone +61 7 46312742. For costs, further details, and internet ordering, use the 'Textbook Search' facility at click 'Semester', then enter your 'Course Code' (no spaces).


Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.


Directed Study 82.00
Independent Study 83.00


Description Marks out of Wtg(%) Due date


  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities including discussion fora and compulsory workshops scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.
  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.
  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.
  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.
  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.
  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.
  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.
  8. University Regulations:
    Students should read USQ Regulations 5.1 Definitions, 5.6. Assessment and 5.10 Academic Misconduct for further information and to avoid actions which might contravene University Regulations. These regulations can be found at the URL or in the current USQ Handbook.


1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.


  1. IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18, in the State of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc.) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT 'BLUE CARD'. For further information: *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.

This version produced 17 May 2011.