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EDU5702 Exploring Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Contexts

Semester 2, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Peter McIlveen
Moderator: Karen Noble


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:

  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant learning and teaching theories; (Assignment 1 & Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
  2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the nature of learning and teaching in higher education settings; (Assignment 1)
  3. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of essential characteristics of highly successful educators and their impact on student learning; (Assignment 1)
  4. demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of essential characteristics of highly effective learning environments and their impact on student learning; (Assignment 1 & Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
  5. demonstrate how an understanding of learners impacts on design, delivery and assessment in higher education environments; (Assignment 1)
  6. be responsive to context through adaptation of learning and teaching and approaches to maximise learning according to context; (Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
  7. develop and justify a 'teaching capacity enhancement plan' appropriate to own needs. (Teaching Capacity Enhancement Plan)
  8. 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 15.00
2. Understanding learners and contexts 15.00
3. Effective design, delivery and assessment of courses in higher education contexts 20.00
4. Critical self-evaluation 20.00
5. Developing a 'teaching capacity enhancement plan' 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There is no prescribed text for this course.

Reference materials

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.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 82.00
Independent Study 83.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the studentsí responsibility 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 Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  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.

Other requirements

  1. NB: Successful completion of this course requires participants to engage in some form of teaching experience in an approved higher educational setting (e.g. lecturing, tutoring, facilitating, marking).

  2. Students enrolling in WEB courses MUST have ongoing convenient and reliable access to the Internet in order to access course materials and participate in activities that will affect assessment. The levels of equipment required may change from time to time, with the most recent specification listed at You can check whether your computer system meets these requirements from USQAssist (