Intersecting the Threshold Learning Outcomes and the First Year Pedagogy Principles: Challenges and Opportunities in a Globalised World

University of Southern Queensland, Australia

University of Tasmania, Australia

Australian Catholic University, Australia

Charles Sturt University, Australia

Adrian JONES
Latrobe University, Australia

Jennifer CLARK
University of New England, Australia

Bronwyn COLE
University of Western Sydney, Australia

University of Western Sydney, Australia


The intersections between the discipline Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) and the first year pedagogy principles remain largely unexplored. The TLOs stem from the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF, 2011), which provides learning outcomes for different levels of courses and constructs these in terms of minimum discipline knowledge, discipline specific skills and professional capabilities expected of a graduate in a specified discipline area. Sally Kift's First Year Pedagogy is based on six organising principles of an intentional first year curriculum design: transition, diversity, design, engagement, assessment, and evaluation and monitoring. The nexus between these two remains largely unexplored. First, they have developed relatively recently and in divergent streams. Second, they each focus on different aspects of the student experience. The TLOs are about the measurement of students' learning outcomes at the end of the program while the first year principles are about how teachers might design curricula and assessment to maximize learning outcomes at the beginning of students' programs. Third, while both are concerned with quality of curriculum design and assessment, only one, the TLOs, are officially the subject of quality assurance processes. This showcase attempts to link the two through discussion of a project, In the Beginning: Revitalising First Year Curriculum. This project investigates what students need to learn in their disciplines in first year in order to help them meet their TLOs in their final year. This showcase investigates discipline engagement with the TLOs whilst addressing the practicalities of designing curricula that are cognisant with the pedagogy principles. How the proposal fits with the conference theme This showcase proposal fits the conference theme: preparing graduates for a globalized world. It deepens understanding about the attributes and capabilities that higher education graduates require if they are to excel in a globalized world by investigating how the emerging discipline Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) can be incorporated into first year courses. The showcase discusses the intersections between the TLOs and Sally Kift's First Year Pedagogy principles in an attempt to build academics' capacities to engage a diversity of learners with more complex learning needs (in this case beginning their mastery of their disciplines' TLOs). The first year pedagogy principles enrich the discussion by providing strategies that enable the academics to work with students to build an inclusive and culturally diverse learning environment to maximize their development – one that can be contextualized to the disciplines.

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