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Intensive teaching method is liked by poor performing students

Wednesday 3 July: Conference day one, 11:00am – 11:30am parallel session



Room 1 – 302-G20, Case Room



Dr Puspha Sinnayah
Victoria University, Australia

Kate Kelly
Victoria University, Australia

Dr Rudi Klein
Victoria University, Australia

Dr Maxwell Winchester
Victoria University, Australia



With consistently declining student attendance and engagement in lectures and tutorials, Victoria University (Melbourne Australia), embarked on a transformational restructure in 2017, whereby first year students in 2018 would undertake their studies under a new teaching delivery method (the “block model”). Lectures were replaced by workshops incorporating high impact student engagement strategies in all levels of curriculum design. Pedagogical studies have shown this model is effective.  Evaluating students’ perceptions towards this intervention is equally critical. Data was collected on a sample of students who failed to complete a unit successfully in 2017 and were required to retake the unit in 2018 after it had been redesigned into the block model. This unique cohort of students would therefore experience tertiary learning under both the traditional university format (12 week semester with 4 units studied concurrently) followed by the block model of delivery (16 week semester with 4 units studied one at a time for a period of 4 weeks). A survey was developed to extract both quantitative and qualitative data. There were 56 participants, who were repeating units from the College of Health and Biomedicine. While familiarity with the course content can influence student outcomes, data from previous years suggests that repeating students remain at the same outcome level. Results indicated that students found working under the block model of delivery was more helpful to them than the traditional format. In general, they reported feeling lower levels of stress, more control over their studies, higher levels of success and higher levels of academic performance. Data also indicated that the staff- student relationship was imperative to student engagement and success. The block mode facilitated stronger bonds with staff and students and more one-on-one time, and made students feel comfortable and confident enough to engage with staff. Students reported a strong preference for the block mode of delivery and reported that high levels of staff engagement lead to better academic results.


Presentation topic

Students – Learning

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