This project aimed to embed active learning strategies in the lecture space in a first year history course.

  • Course: HIST1201 The Australian Experience, 1st year undergraduate history course (120 students)
  • School/Faculty: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Delivery: weekly, two-hour face-to-face lecture
  • Active learning approach: primary source analysis in lectures, small group work, large group discussion, use of Padlet 
  • Assessment tasks: new active learning innovations were not tied explicitly to assessment

Key issues and anticipated outcomes

  • The main problem we have in History with integrating active learning into our classes is a simple one: students like lectures.
  • We get this feedback from them regularly, in class and in SECaTs. Further, when we have introduced seminar style teaching, teaching scores have declined, sometimes quite markedly, even when staff have been committed, well-loved teachers.
  • So this case study is an exploration of how we might introduce active learning principles into the lecture program.

Project innovation team