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Theme: Strategies and innovations in teaching and learning

Learning Teams and Learning Diaries In First Year Business Studies: Balancing Student Independence and Support in Course Design and Curriculum Development.

Bill Johnston,
[email protected]
Centre for Academic Practice,
University of Strathclyde,

This paper interprets a new team-based course for first year business as a strategy to: balance social support and independence in adjustment; and to relate first year initiatives to degree programmes. The course integrates five key skill areas: computing; communication; team working; numeracy; problem solving; and entails: student teams as the fundamental educational unit; assessed team projects and structured reflection on learning through assessed learning diaries. Data from student evaluations and learning diaries, and teaching team experience, is deployed; main findings reported are: (i) Academic and social adjustment are mutually supported by team projects. (ii) Self-awareness is supported by team participation and learning diaries; (iii) First Year initiatives can potentially be located in curriculum development if linked to concepts of: breadth; balance; relevance; continuity; progression; differentiation; variety; and interdisciplinarity. (iv) Meta constructs of curricular outcome can be proposed: viewpoint; realism; enquiry; interaction; production; aspiration; transition; identity.

Full Paper in MS Word

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