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Building on the VU Block foundations: Results from the inaugural first year cohort

Mccluskey, Trish, Smallridge, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0001-6645-760X, Weldon, John ORCID: 0000-0002-8103-0636, Loton, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0003-4106-0555, Samarawickrema, Gayani ORCID: 0000-0003-4091-7027 and Cleary, Kaye ORCID: 0000-0002-9003-5084 (2020) Building on the VU Block foundations: Results from the inaugural first year cohort. In: Research and Development in Higher Education:Next Generation, Higher Education: Challenges, Changes and Opportunities. Heinrich, Eva and Bourke, Roseanna, eds. Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia, Inc, Hammondville, NSW, pp. 61-72.

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In 2018, Victoria University (VU) implemented the most radical change to first-year university education in Australian history. Transforming the traditional model of concurrently studying four lecture and tutorial-based units into sequential 4-week blocks conducted in small, active learning groups, led to improvements in retention and results. Comparing the inaugural first-year student cohort to matched counterparts from the preceding year, this paper presents the initial results of an innovative, cross-disciplinary first-year change initiative which recalibrated most aspects of higher education: mode of delivery, teaching practice and curriculum to ensure student retention and increase opportunities for success. The data demonstrates how the approach has impacted on diverse student cohorts including non-English-speaking background students (up 14%), first-infamily (up 13%), Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (up 21%), low socio-economic (up 15%) as well as all domestic (up 9.9%) and international (up 5.8%) students. The paper challenges traditional assumptions of how Australian higher education is delivered and provides evidence that purposefully applying focused strategies

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 9780648550730
Additional Information:

Paper Presented at the 42nd HERDSA Annual International Conference, 2-5 July 2019, The University of Auckland Science Centre, Auckland,New Zealand

Uncontrolled Keywords: retention; first-year; Block Model; higher education change
Subjects: Current > FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
Current > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Current > Division/Research > First Year College
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2020 01:09
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2020 01:09
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