A fundamental aim of Universities is to provide students with a meaningful learning experience. Universities have undergone significant changes over the past decade which has directly challenged the effectiveness of traditional teaching methods and approaches, such as lectures and tutorials, in the current environment (Biggs, 1999; 2003). These traditional teaching methods appeared to flourish in a time where University classes contained highly selected students who were enrolled in their faculty of choice and motivated to study. Past methods of teaching may have given the appearance of being effective due to the type of student (the academic student) who was attending university. The academic achievements of these students may have been unjustly attributed to the teaching environment rather than the ability of the student. Since the 1990's, however, Universities have witnessed significant changes, for example; expansions, restructuring, refinancing of the tertiary sector and increasing number of international and full fee paying domestic students. These changes have had a profound impact on the type of students attending University. The massification of education, in the face of globalisation, and increasing accountability of Universities, the classrooms are now more diverse in terms of student ability, motivation and cultural background. Hence, it important for academics to develop a curriculum in a way that it builds academic skills that can improve student learning outcomes. The primary aim of this action research was to explore whether teaching and learning strategies that build students' academic skills can improve student learning outcomes and whether student learning approaches influenced this relationship. The project was based on the principles of constructive alignment, which proposes that an optimal student learning environment involves developing a curriculum where the aims, teaching and learning activities, the assessment tasks and criteria are internally consistent and orchestrated in the achievement of desired learning outcomes.
|Publication status||Published - 2007|