Quality facilitation practices

Focus on the learner

The most effective teaching is that which enables the most effective learning. Ramsden (2003) highlights six key principles for effective facilitation of learning on a day-to-day basis, regardless of delivery mode. The information below is a shortened dot point version. View the full version.

  • Interest and explanation. Make the subject matter interesting. Arouse student curiosity. Provide clear explanations. Clarify the reasons why a particular fact or skill is essential for understanding the whole.
  • Concern and respect for students and student learning. Take an interest in what students know and don’t know. Be generous and give students the benefit of the doubt. Challenge students, but simultaneously make it easy for them to master the ideas and facts. Strive to make the difficult parts easy.
  • Appropriate assessment and feedback. Set the right assessment and match them to the material to be learned. Question students in a way that demands evidence of understanding. Ensure feedback focusses on what they still need to study to get it right.
  • Clear goals and intellectual challenge. Consistent high academic expectations produce better student performance. Provide clear statements of course goals, student expectations and efforts, teacher expectations and efforts.
  • Independence, control and engagement. Ensure content is engaging and delivered in way to reach understanding. Allow students the space to learn at their own pace and their own sequence. Provide a balance between students feeling in control of their learning and well supported with teacher direction.
  • Learning from students.  Acknowledge the relationship between teaching, learning and content as problematic, uncertain and relative. Evaluation of teaching practices highlights successes, challenges and identifies modifications to create more effective teaching practices.

Communicating with students

Communication is essential in maintaining an open and positive relationship for learning. Students need to understand what is expected of them as learners, and what they can expect from you as a teacher. For strategies to maximise sustainable communication approaches with students, download the Tips and Tricks for Sustainable BOLD Practice.

Considering international students

International students have a diverse range of additional challenges when studying at university. From managing the language and cultural nuances, through to academic challenges, there are a number of small accommodations that teachers can undertake to support international students succeed in their studies.  The Internationalisation of Curriculum (IoC) website provides a range of information, strategies and practical advice to support engagement with your international students, respond to their various needs as learners, and assist them with acquiring skills for global citizenship. Check out the following resources to support your facilitation of learning:

Managing your time when teaching online

How can you make the most of your time when teaching online? Online classes are not bound by scheduled class times, and it can be very easy to spend too much time teaching and managing your students in this environment. This video highlights some important issues regarding managing your teaching time online. It examines some of the benefits and potential pitfalls of online teaching related to time, and offers some practical tips and suggestions on how teachers can make their online teaching more effective and productive.


Resources, strategies or assistance

Websites

Strategies

When the workload seems unmanageable, the key thing is to prioritise your workload by organising your tasks into the following:

  • 01 - What MUST I do? What urgently needs fixing right now to address immediate learning or teaching issues?
  • 02 - What SHOULD I do? What needs to be addressed within the next few days or weeks? It is still a priority for this cohort of students, but you have a little time up your sleeve.
  • 03 - What COULD I do? Whilst it is still on the ‘list of things to do’ and it is still your intention to address it or introduce it for this cohort of students, it wouldn’t be detrimental if you didn’t get a chance until next time.
  • 04 - What WOULD I do? There isn’t time to implement the idea or resource this time around, but it needs to be addressed for the next re-iteration of the course.

Assistance