Teaching Matters

PS5 R4 Let’s create authentic workplace competency through student-centred online learning

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Teaching Matters 2020 | Presentation Details | 1 December 20201 Dec 2020


Let’s create authentic workplace competency through student-centred online learning


  • Jodie Lee, University College
  • Cecilia Lawler, University College



Presentation Type

Showcase Presentation


Room 4




The University College (UC) places students at the centre of its teaching through authentic, interesting, and active learning experiences (Kolb, 2014) in the new online environment. At UC, a strong focus is on learning linked to workplace practices. Key to this type of learning, is learning through doing and connecting with people (tutors, teachers, peers, industry professionals). With this focus, learning activities are designed for students to connect with each other, explore best practice, and engage with industry.

In this presentation we share examples of how to adapt online learning tools to meet the objective of strengthening connections (Carini et al., 2006) with students. We draw on observations of student participation in learning activities, insights gathered from eVALUate surveys and practical examples of how we have engaged students through synchronous and asynchronous approaches; to highlight how our online practices consolidated learning and created a sense of belonging and connectedness.

Digital tools are used not only for constructively aligned learning opportunities (Biggs & Tang, 2011) but also for mentoring, peer connectedness, student retention, and pastoral care purposes. Tools and approaches such as polls, breakout rooms, utilisation of team-teaching, study buddies, whiteboards, action-orientated activities, Padlet boards, Zoom bubbles, HILEs etc. are used to orchestrate and achieve learning outcomes. These tools and approaches consolidate and link to Intended Learning Outcomes through scaffolded assessment and content.

Observations and insights from eVALUate indicated online strategies advanced learning; with students most engaged during practical tasks transposable to the workplace. In addition, mentoring students in a friendly, approachable, supportive manner; and providing timely and constructive feedback, strengthened connectedness.


Biggs, J. B., & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university. McGraw-Hill.

Carini, R. M., Kuh, G. D., & Klein, S. P. (2006). Student engagement and student learning: Testing the linkages. Research in Higher Education47(1), 1-32.

Kolb, D. A. (2014). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. FT press.

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