What students do in their studies has the biggest impact on what students learn. Our teaching methods are critical in influencing what students do, and their experience at UQ.

University courses are more effective with fidelity between the learning outcomes, assessment and activities you facilitate.

The specific methods you choose also need to suit you, fitting with your teaching philosophy and your skills and personality, so you can implement and enjoy the teaching strategies and tactics required.

1. Planning for learning

When planning for learning, we need to consider the environment, learning objectives and our students. Taking a learning-centred approach, so, starting with what the learners need to do to achieve the learning outcomes, is the most effective way to plan for learning.

The Higher Education Learning Framework

The Higher Education Learning Framework (PDF, 187KB) is an evidence-informed model for university learning. This was developed through a synthesis of existing frameworks, literature and research, along with a set of national and international expert interviews offering the latest thinking on university learning.

Lesson planning

Online and on-campus lessons are most effective when planned for students' learning. Throughout a lesson, it is important to consider the impact on and opportunity for students’ motivation, practice, feedback and reflection.

The following ITaLI fact sheets provide guidance on the different aspects of lesson planning:

Teaching spaces

UQ’s Teaching Space Management provides support to the University's teaching program by effective management of University teaching space.

Technology for learning

UQ provides and supports a range of eLearning systems to enhance learning outcomes, improve efficiency, and improve the student experience.

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2. Active learning

Active learning can essentially be defined as “students doing things and thinking about what they are doing” (Bonwell and Eison, 1991).

The aim of active learning is to provide opportunities for learners to think critically about ideas through a range of activities that deepen and challenge students’ understanding. Active learning activities can range from low-stakes (more simple) to high-stakes (more complex) activities.

Active learning approaches are supported by the Higher Education Learning Framework (PDF, 187KB) and a range of studies of practice including Freeman et al. (2014) (PDF, 784KB), and Hake (1998).

Low-stakes activities

High-stakes activities

The following strategies are more structured and require greater levels of planning and design:

  • Collaborative learning
  • Case studies
  • Peer learning
  • Enquiry based learning
  • Problem based learning
  • Project based learning

Online teaching

Online teaching provides more flexible ways to engage students in learning. There is a need for fluency in design and use of technology, clear signposts for students, and a sense of learning community. Learner interaction is considered the key to effective online environments, with ample opportunities to work with peers and receive timely feedback for purposeful tasks (Draves, 2000).

Teaching strategic topics

UQ education features world-class 'Signature Learning Experiences' that engage students in knowledge leadership that draws on UQ’s research excellence. We prepare students for their future in a changing world.

Key areas embedded into curriculum at UQ are:

Further reading

Bonwell, C.C., & Eison, J.A. (1991). Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. 1991 ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports. ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, The George Washington University, One Dupont Circle, Suite 630, Washington, DC 20036-1183.

Hake, R.R. (1998). Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66, 64.

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3. Teaching methods for lecturers, tutors and industry experts

Tutors

Visit the For tutors section for information on working as a UQ tutor, enhancing your practice and overcoming common classroom problems.

Running workshops

The Australian Learning and Teaching Council has written a Working with workshops (PDF, 820KB) workbook with guidelines and tips for running effective, engaging workshops.

Industry experts

ITaLI has prepared A concise guide for industry experts @UQ (PDF, 434KB) to assist visiting lecturers and supervisors of students in industry placements.

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