Author – Associate Professor Alf Lizzio, Griffith University, Australia
Alf is an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at Griffith University. Alf has taught large undergraduate classes in psychology for several years and has held a number of academic leadership positions concerned with the design and change management of programs for first-year student retention and engagement, including the position of First Year Experience Coordinator at Griffith University with a university-wide focus. His educational innovations include the incorporation of action learning and self-managed learning methodologies in higher education. Published evaluations indicate the value of these learning designs in developing graduate capabilities. Alf has developed a number of interactive web-tools that enable students to self-assess their capability profiles (Skillsworks) and team/group work skills (Team Learning System). He has published extensively on many aspects of higher education teaching and learning, including self-managed learning, students’ perceptions of learning environments and FY students’ perceptions of capability.
Further information is available from the Griffith University School of Psychology.
First Year Curriculum Perspective
This commentary examines first year curriculum design and the case study exemplars from the perspective of enabling student efficacy (pdf 1.67MB). The commentary traverses a range of related perspectives in this regard, including –
- theories of learning (and unlearning) to facilitate transition;
- the challenge of motivating and engaging commencing students;
- the need to ‘work across’ or ‘break down’ traditional knowledge structures;
- the conceptual idea of the student lifecycle;
- the importance of language and framing as influencers of meaning;
- how to support and promote effective teamwork practices in the first year;
- the necessity to develop more sophisticated understanding of notions of academic challenge, support and independence and how they interact;
- how to improve and harness the role of feedback in facilitating learning;
- whole-of-program approaches and the “de-privatisation of the classroom and the (re)assertion of team”;
- leadership and responsibility for design and delivery.
The author, Associate Professor Alf Lizzio, Griffith University, also offers to share a range of resources he mentions with colleagues, some of which are also available for download under this commentary, others are available by contacting the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Module 1: Preparing to work in groups (pdf 56KB)
Module 2: Developing team work (pdf 82KB)