2.3 Links between learning outcomes and learning and teaching methods

  • Each cohort is different and people are individuals. Still knowing the basic parameters of the cohort while planning activities can be very helpful.
  • Cohort characteristics may be important considerations in unit of study design. Characteristics to consider include the proportion of non-native speakers, years of work experience, enrolment numbers, majors, and nationality.
  • Colleagues who have previously taught in the unit of study may be a good source of information of what type of students have chose the unit in the past.

The methods of teaching (e.g. lectures, tutorials, labs, seminars, online activities, workshops, etc.) are used to enable your students to achieve the  stated learning outcomes. What is the purpose of specific learning and teaching  activities? How is each designed to provide opportunities for students to develop skills and construct new knowledge (i.e. the unit of study learning  outcomes)?

Different groups function differently and it is appropriate to modify how a unit of study is delivered based on experiences and existing skills of the students. When students are able to relate to the material, they will also find learning easier and more enjoyable. Students are often unaware of how their personal characteristics influence how they learn as individuals or in groups.

Face-to-face examples

  • Lectures are used to provide a framework which forms a  basis for you to explore the topic further, provides models of an academic  approach to study and finally provides opportunities for actively learn with  peers.  At the beginning of each lecture any administrative announcements  are made (and these are duplicated online as well).  Up to 5 minutes will  be allocated for Q&A on any aspect of the unit at the beginning/end of the  lecture.  You are strongly advised to actively participate.  Quick  quizzes may be conducted at the beginning/end of each lecture to check  understanding of concepts.
  • Occasional guest lecturers will be invited  to provide insights into industry practices. These have been popular with  students in the past so make sure you are there. Incomplete lecture notes will  be placed on Blackboard 3 days prior to the lecture; treat these as an outline  to read before the lecture and fill in the gaps during or afterwards.
  • Tutorials are intended as active collaborative learning  experiences where your informed input will be both expected and supported. It  will be an opportunity for you to develop skills and understand the relevance  to these outcomes to the topic for the week. Assigned work will be randomly  collected four times over the semester by your tutor to gauge your level of  understanding.  Feedback on the collected work will be returned the  following week.  Assessed case studies will be returned in tutorials and  common errors discussed.  Speak to your tutor/coordinator if you have  concerns about your personal performance during consultation hours or by making  a special appointment.
  • Staff consultation hours may be utilised  for all other queries (or post them online).

Print examples

  • Chapters from the textbook (or reader or  specified library articles) should be read prior to attending the scheduled  lecture on that topic.  This background reading is essential to setting  the scene in each topic. If you choose not to buy your own, a copy of the  text/reader is available in the library reserve.
  • Assigned tutorial questions relate to the  textbook and should be completed prior to arriving at the tutorial.
  • Hard copies of important handouts are provided at  lectures but can also be obtained from the Accounting Administrative Assistant  (or downloaded from the unit's Blackboard site and printed yourself).
  • A hard copy of assessments should be kept

Online examples

  • Blackboard (http://blackboard.econ.usyd.edu.au) provides  the main online learning support. It is essential that you log in at least  twice per week to keep abreast of unit-wide announcements and use the resources  to supplement your learning.
  • Outline/presentation/notes for each  lecture are available 3 days before each lecture for you to download from  Blackboard (http://blackboard.econ.usyd.edu.au).  Copies of extra handouts  from the lecture are also made available online one day after the lecture.
  • There are 12 optional self-paced quizzes online on the Blackboard  site (http://blackboard.econ.usyd.edu.au) to help you gauge your own understanding of key concepts. It is recommended that you attempt these after attending lectures and doing assigned work but prior to attending tutorials. They can be used multiple times for revision as well since the  quizzes draw from a large database of questions.
  • Three online discussion forums will be available over the semester to all students on the Blackboard site  (http://blackboard.econ.usyd.edu.au).  These can be used to clarify  questions relating to the case study and essay assessments and another will be  used for other queries.  Please check the FAQ list prior to posting a new  question as duplicate questions will simply be ignored or removed. Appropriate online behaviour in such discussions is expected at all times.
  • Results on each assessment (except the final exam) are posted in Grade Centre online when all marks have been finalised. The  average for each assessment and a brief summary of common errors and suggested improvement  options will be posted online at the same time.  A copy of the past exam  with annotated answers is available online for revision.
  • CD-ROM that is available with the textbook is  a useful revision resource.