Teaching Matters

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Teaching Matters 2018 | Presentation Details | 2018


Making meaningful connections: A digital bookcase informed by student need


Melissa Finnen, University College


Excellent teaching happens by design

Presentation Type

Lightning Presentation


Tamar Room




The University College (UC) Practice and Portfolio (P&P) Team has designed a key learning and teaching tool in a series of discipline-specific and transferable skills modules hosted in a digital Bookcase. Central to all curriculum development, the UC’s foundation of experiential learning is demonstrated through practice and underpinned by theory. The Bookcase is therefore driven by the philosophy that experience engenders learning (Dewey, 1938).

Pedagogically-sound modules (70 to date), are designed to be purposeful, intellectually challenging and authentic to the workplace. As students draw from their existing knowledge and reflect on their new insights, they engage in purposeful deep learning. The scholastically-sound, referenced and peer-reviewed modules, researched through recent and seminal authorities, assist students with the development of their practitioner skills and attributes, as well as critical and creative literacies. Topics include critical thinking, digital literacy, teamwork, research ethics and observation skills.

The Bookcase is housed in a non-award MyLO unit. Unlike typical MyLO units, it does not close at the end of each term but is accessible all year. As a result, the Bookcase modules are available to students throughout their entire Associate Degree. This progresses the UC’s second strategic goal that ‘We reach more people’ (UTAS, 2016).

As student Emily McNally-Smith (2018) comments:

‘The Bookcase continues to provide me with relevant information on a range of topics that are not only integrated with the content of the Associate Degree units but are also skills that I will use throughout my study into the future.’

The interest and engagement in, as well as continual growth of the Bookcase have led to the design and further development of a pedagogy of transferable skills and professional attributes that informs the curriculum.


Dewey, J. (1938), Experience & education, Touchstone, New York.

McNally-Smith, E. (2018). email, 27 August, <Emily.McNallySmith@utas.edu.au>.

University of Tasmania. (2016). Student experience strategy 2016-2020, viewed 7 August 2018,.

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