Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Principles for Good Practice in University Education

Greetings from the Australasian National University in Canberra, where I am taking part in a reading group on improving education. This week we are looking at principles for university eduction. Three sets were looked at:

Seven Principles for Good Pragmatic in Undergraduate Education By Arthur W. Chickering and Zelda F. Gamson, The American Association for Higher Education Bulletin, March 1987:
Good practice in undergraduate education:
  1. encourages contact between students and faculty,
  2. develops reciprocity and cooperation among students,
  3. encourages active learning,
  4. gives prompt feedback,
  5. emphasizes time on task,
  6. communicates high expectations, and
  7. respects diverse talents and ways of learning. ...
Nine Principles Guiding Teaching and Learning, Richard James and Gabrielle Baldwin 2002, revised by Kelly Farrell, Marcia Devlin and Richard James 2007, University of Melbourne:
Principle ...
  1. An atmosphere of intellectual excitement 5
  2. An intensive research and knowledge transfer culture permeating all teaching and learning activities 6
  3. A vibrant and embracing social context 8
  4. An international and culturally diverse learning environment 9
  5. Explicit concern and support for individual development 10
  6. Clear academic expectations and standards 11
  7. Learning cycles of experimentation, feedback and assessment 12
  8. Premium quality learning spaces, resources and technologies 14
  9. An adaptive curriculum 15
ANU Code of Practice for Teaching and Learning, The Australasian National University, 2011:
All those involved in teaching and learning are expected to:
  1. Adhere to the ANU Code of Conduct as it pertains to teaching and learning practice
  2. Value and respect diversity (including, for example, diversity of culture, religious belief, age, race, gender and other personal and group-based attributes)
  3. Contribute to an academic environment free from harassment, discrimination and bullying, with access to complaint procedures which will facilitate speedy and just resolutions
  4. Adhere to the rules and principles governing academic integrity
  5. Contribute to the academic distinctiveness of the University which is characterised by
  6. Teaching based in research and scholarship
  7. National and international orientation of courses and course content
  8. A climate of intellectual rigour
  9. A program which blends fundamental, professional and contextual learning
  10. High levels of communication between the University, its staff and students
  11. Continuous improvement of the University's teaching quality.
  12. Recognise the importance of flexible access to lecture content for the purposes of the University's equity targets and teaching objectives.
The ANU principles are more general and at an higher level than the Melbourne ones and from James and Baldwin. There is then a "Best Practice Framework for successful coursework teaching".

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

Thanks Tom. The ANU ones read like proper principles. keep eyes out for my own set of principles that I'm distilling from authors I find compelling. Illich, Postman, Wenger, Bowers and others. Am writing them up in the second draft of that Ubiquitous Learning paper on Wikiversity.