Good practice guides for the science threshold learning outcomes

Susan M Jones, Brian Yates, Robyn Yucel, Kay Colthorpe, Susan Rowland, Joan Leach, Elizabeth Johnson, Les Kirkup, Wendy Loughlin

Abstract


In 2011, Susan Jones and Brian Yates led the Learning and Teaching Academic Standards (LTAS) project for Science. This project laid the groundwork for educational change by catalysing a national discussion of learning outcomes for Australian science graduates. The Science Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) for graduates of bachelor-level degrees in science are endorsed by the Australian Council of Deans of Science and are publicaly available in the Science Standards Statement (Jones, Yates & Kelder, 2011).

The next step is implementation of the Science TLOs through building a common understanding of how student achievement of the TLOs can be evidenced through learning activities and associated assessment tasks. This is timely as the sector positions itself to respond to the Learning Standards developed by the Higher Education Standards Panel (HESP).

The Science Good Practice Guides (GPGs) are designed to provide practical advice and exemplars to assist with embedding the Science TLOs within programs. Each GPG includes: a short review of national and international research and practice, an annotated bibliography of resources, and a brief selection of good practice examples of teaching and assessment. They are authored by disciplinary experts recruited via a national call for expressions of interest.

The Good Practice Guide for TLO 1 ('demonstrate a coherent understanding of science') has already been published (Yucel, 2012). In this presentation, we launch four more Guides to complete the set of Good Practice Guides (GPGs) for the Science TLOs. These GPGs will form the foundation of a shared suite of resources to be hosted on the ACDS Teaching and Learning Centre (http://www.acds.edu.au/tlcentre/).

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