When designing your course and or program, it is important to consider the modes of delivery that support students in gaining the knowledge, skills and competencies to achieve the intended learning outcomes. Universities still rely heavily on traditional modes of delivering education: lectures given to a large cohort of students, which are later followed by tutorials, workshops, and learners’ independent study time. While lectures and tutorials are still relevant in some settings, there are alternative modes worth exploring and implementing.

This page provides an overview of the various learning and teaching approaches that are prominent in DSC. 

Please get in touch with the ADG Digital Learning Team to explore alternative delivery approaches in your courses and programs.

Studio Based Learning

What Studio Based Learning?


How to start? 


Studio based learning is commonly used in DSC in the schools of Architecture, Design and Arts, and encompass a wide range of teaching styles to provide learners with hands-on experiences to enhance their learning outcomes and problem-solving skills. These authentic learning experiences engage students in the design or creative process of an object, artefact, display or performance. The pedagogical approaches underpinning studio-based learning includes critical pedagogy, constructivism, experiential learning, problem-based learning, peer to peer learning and master-apprentice model. 

The critical aspects for studio-based learning are:

  • The visual nature of the artefacts being created
  • The ability for the expert instructor, to interact with, and provide annotated feedback directly about a visual artefact
  • The focus on peer assessment where all students in a group are provided with shared feedback

At times, designing a studio-based approach is discipline dependent, and academics will have a unique way to run a studio. There are, however, a few elements that are common to studio-based learning, Carnegie Mellon University proposes the following model:

  • Situate the studio within the discipline context
  • Model expert practice
  • Scaffold to allow for contextualisation, exploration and planning
  • Coach and provide constant feedback
  • Fade your presence to give learners greater independence

Additional Resources


Case Studies


Coming soon

The Flipped Classroom

What is the Flipped Classroom?


How to start? 


The 'flipped classroom' is the term commonly defined as a pedagogical model in which learning and teaching works in contrast to the traditional, lecture-based instructional model as it is composed of the two main phases of instruction being “flipped” or “reversed”.

In essence, “flipping the classroom” means that students gain first exposure to new material outside of class, usually via reading or lecture videos, and then use class time to do the harder work of assimilating that knowledge, perhaps through problem-solving, discussion, or debates.
(Vanderbilt University)

Some of the benefit of the flipped classroom model include:
  • More flexibility and personalisation for students
  • Increases interactions through active learning experiences during class time
  • Improves learners’ confidence and success
  • Provides time for reflection
  • Encourages independent learning
  • Promotes peer learning
When applying this to the context of higher education, the flipped model essentially takes the lecture from in-class time and moves it online as pre-class preparation, so that in-class time is maximised for student-centred active learning activities (Al-Samarraie, Shamsuddin & Alzahrani 2019). Post-class work can then focus on strengthening and enriching student’s knowledge from the previous phases and applying this to assessment. The following is a basic overview of the flipped model. 
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When thinking about implementing a flipped classroom approach to your delivery, it is important to keep in mind the Four Pillars of F-L-I-P developed by the Flipped Learning Network, this will help you to ensure the effectiveness of the model. These pillars are about a flexible environment, learning culture, intentional content and professional educator.

Additional Resources


Case Studies


Coming soon

Project-Based Learning

What is the Project-Based Learning?


How to start? 


Project-based learning is a student-centred teaching pedagogy, characterised by a flexible, dynamic and active approach to its delivery. In PBL, learners work on investigating and responding to authentic, real world, engaging, relevant complex projects, problems or challenges. PBL is underpinned by other pedagogies such as active learning, experiential learning, transformative learning, social constructivism, and design thinking.
One of the most important characteristics of PBL is the shift from learning through the traditional, teacher-led classroom activities to student-centred led activities. Some of the benefits of PBL are:
  • Helps students develop and re-enforce 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, teamwork, problem solving, flexibility, adaptability, leadership and others
  • Increases learners’ engagement
  • Encourages a deeper understanding of concepts through relevant and authentic learning experiences
  • Encourages students to participate in Inquiry processes
  • Fosters leaners’ independence, and ownership of their work

Project-based learning is most effectively implemented through careful planning and adoption of a framework. The Buck Institute for Education – PBL Works has developed a set of principles, called the Gold Standard for high quality PBL for project design and teaching practices. These standards will help you design quality project-based learning as well as ensuring that learners meet the course learning outcomes.

According to the Gold Standard PBL, every project must have the following seven essential design elements: (1) Challenging problem or question, (2) Sustained Inquiry, (3) Authenticity, (4) Student voice & Choice, (5) Reflection, (6) Critique & Revision and (7) Public Product.

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Alongside these standards there are also seven essential teaching practices: (1) Design & Plan, (2) Align to Standards, (3) Build the Culture, (4) Manage Activities, (5) Scaffold Student Learning, (6) Assess Student Learning, and (7) Engage & Coach.

Additional Resources


Practical/Workshop Learning

What is Practical/Workshop Learning?


How to start? 


Practical and workshop learning is a broad-based modality that encompass a wide range of learning activities involving interaction with tools and material while being taught and introduced to practical skills, techniques and ideas. Similar to studio-based learning, workshop/practical learning is underpinned by pedagogies that requires the learners to be involved in processes that allows them to formulate and construct knowledge through hands-on, small groups or individual tasks. Although, this mode of delivery is common in the college of SEH, it is also used in the disciplines of architecture and construction management at DSC.
Some of the benefits of practical/workshop learning are:
  • Encourages learners to investigate and practice new methods
  • Allows for learning through making mistakes in an environment where feedback is given on the spot, and subsequently nurtures reflection
  • Provides a space for intensive collaboration and sharing
  • Reinforces competencies in specialised areas
  • Builds capacity and skills
  • Give learners the opportunity to gain diverse views and expertise
  • Provides access to specialised equipment

Implementing this mode of delivery isn’t complex, however, proper and thorough planning is required. Workshop or practical’s objectives or goals are at the heart of the planning process and are fundamental to designing a workshop/practical.

To ensure that every workshop you deliver provides a valuable experience for your learners, ensure that you: 

  • Define the goals/objectives - aligned to your course learning objectives-outcomes?
  • Decide who will be present, apart from learners and yourself, is there a need to have a specialised technician present, for example
  • Select the right physical space
  • Plan your delivery, this is about developing a lesson plan for the duration of the practical, what will take place, when and how long for. We refer to this as the active stage
  • Develop an evaluation plan that will allow you assess the effectiveness of the workshop

Additional Resources


Case Studies


Coming soon

Work Integrated Learning

RMIT has developed a robust plan to support programs across the three colleges to integrate WIL activities in their delivery. This information provides an overview of teaching resources available.

What is Work Integrated Learning?


How to start? 


Work-integrated learning is a pedagogical practice whereby students learn through the integration of experiences in educational and workplace settings.

WIL is defined as “an umbrella term that describes a range of models and approaches to learning and assessment that integrates discipline theory, knowledge and skills with the practice of work as an integral part of program design”
(RMIT University, 2020)

Janice Orrell (2018) from Flinders University summarised the benefits of WIL for students as follows:
  • develop their professional identity
  • advance their theoretical knowledge and transferable skills
  • communicate effectively to people in diverse roles
  • engage in teamwork, problem posing and solving, and self-management
  • enhance their digital literacy skills, and
  • understand at a practice level what ethical practice means
When thinking about embedding WIL in your delivery, please read the information under Embedding WIL in programs to find information on:
Begin by reading and completing the RMIT Industry Engaged WIL Standards Checklist and contact the WIL champions, admins and practitioners in your school for further advice.

Additional Resources


Lectures and Tutorials

Lectures have been the most common instructional mode of delivery for centuries, and while they continue to be a preferred choice by teachers, there has been increasing debates about their value and relevancy. However, let’s not forget that when discussing the effectiveness of lectures, most people are referring to the traditional format of lectures. What this means is that benefits can still be identified if lectures are redesigned and structured differently.

What are Lectures?


What are Tutorials?


A lecture is defined as "a teacher-led presentation of direct instruction to a large groups of students held-on campus".
Some of the benefits of lectures are:
  • Allows for the introduction of new topics to large groups
  • Allows for the presentation of large amount of content
  • Enhances learners’ understanding of the content if part of a blended approach
  • Recycled and shareable if pre-recorded

How to start? 


Stanford University suggests the tips below before planning your face-to-face lecture:

  • Plan, prepare and develop the content, resources and examples
  • Think about the arrangement of the content, and the strategies to be used to communicate the content
  • Avoid over preparing, large amount of content isn’t always the best idea, think about the enduring knowledge
  • Know your audience, when preparing your lectures always think of the content and how you will deliver it from your learners’ point of view
  • Create a ‘complete’ lecture, this is about ensuring that your lecture has an introduction, body, and a conclusion. For more information on this read the University of Newcastle’s guide on creating more engaging lectures
  • Develop lecture notes Allow for learners’ engagement and interactivity
  • Design, develop and use visual backups and supports
  • Show enthusiasm
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Reflect on every lecture given
A tutorial tends to follow a lecture and is usually defined as "a teacher-led collaborative session of learner-centered learning activities with a smaller group of students”. Tutorials can be beneficial because they:
  • Supplement and reinforce the content delivered in the lecture
  • Allow learners to ask questions
  • Provide learners with the opportunity to discuss content in more detail
  • Allows learners to seek and receive more personalised assistance
  • Fosters collaboration amongst learners
  • Allows the teacher to get to know leaners better

How to start? 


When it comes to tutorials, like any other mode of content delivery, planning is paramount, and most of the tips mentioned under lectures can be applied when designing a tutorial. However, remember that in a tutorial you will work very closely with your students, allowing you to assess where in the learning journey they find themselves. For this reason you must ensure that the time you have with your students is productive. In preparation for a tutorial:
  • If you are not delivering the lecture, do ensure that you are aware of what has been covered in the lecture
  • Decide on the type of format that you will adopt for your tutorial. The University of Waterloo suggest the following types:
    - Discussion-based tutorials
    - Problem-solving tutorials
    - Review and Q&A tutorials
  • Plan your tutorial using the following points, as developed by the Tasmanian Institute of Learning and Teaching:
    - Determine prior learning and skills
    - Decide on learning outcomes
    - Select and organise resources
    - Determine a sequence for the development of knowledge and skills
    - Select delivery strategies Reflect and evaluate

Additional Resources


Blended Learning

With the exponential uptake of technology in education, Blended Learning has been widely adopted across the University sector in the last decade. Blended learning is context and situational dependent, and consequently Universities have developed strategies, frameworks and policies that are tailored to their contexts . RMIT, like other Universities has a its own unique approach to defining and implementing blended learning.

What is Blended Learning?


How to start? 


Generally, Blended Learning is defined as “an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place based classroom methods” (Wikipedia,2020). At RMIT, the LeD framework defines Blended Learning as “applying holistic design to create a blend of digital and physical learning that enables meaningful, flexible, and inclusive learner experiences

This definition consists of three core concepts which are:
  • Holistic Design:

    This concept incorporates the need for teaching staff to focus on a contemporary application of skills and knowledge within their curriculum to ensure their course is authentic. This involvesutilising CLOs/PLOs to guide the choices made in the following two concepts as part of program design.

  • Environments and Practices:

    This concept incorporates decisions relating to the student and teacher, such as the choice or availability of digital or physical environments, the necessary tools and technologies, and disciplinary influences on practice (which might be across digital/physical or use of certain tools/technologies). that are required to create a blend that has thoughtful intent for discipline specifics.

  • Flexible, Inclusive and Meaningful:

    This concept incorporates decisions regarding the intended student experience including the desire for the scope and totality of opportunities across environments and practices and the application of universal design to create a blend that achieves a meaningful student experience.

Irrespective of the multiple definitions given to blended learning, it provides the following benefits:
  • Facilitates flexibility in the delivery of the cours
  • Increases learner’s engagement
  • Allows learners to self-pace their learning
  • Encourages peer-to-peer support and collaboration
  • Easy access to content, activities and other learning resources
  • The incorporation of technology nurtures a deeper level of communication between learners and teachers
  • It may be cost effective in the long term
  • Opens up space to track and assess learners’ progress and performance
There isn’t a step by step guide to implement blended learning, in fact using the flipped classroom approach is all you might need to do. Below are seven models developed by BLU_ (Blended Learning Universe) worth considering in your planning.

1. Station Rotation: leaners rotate from face-to-face learning to online learning.

2. Lab Rotation: like station rotation, the only difference being that the online component takes place in a computer lab.

3. Individual Rotation: learners have the choice to rotate through different learning stations, at least one must be online.

4. Flipped Classroom: students learn the content at home, while face-to-face time is used for teacher guided practice.

5. Flex: the curriculum is delivered online and teachers communicate with learners through asynchronous or synchronous platforms.

6. A la Carte: combines face-to-face delivery while students take on an online elective.

7. Enriched Virtual: all coursework is delivered online, and learner only attend campus when required.

Additional Resources


Case Studies


A link to the case studies mentioned in the pedagogies document