UNSW Beliefs About Learning

The UNSW beliefs about learning are based on the UNSW Guidelines on Learning that Inform Teaching

Learning should:

1) Be Engaging.

Students are motivated to learn when they are engaged with exciting and stimulating ideas and experiences.

2) Be Active.

Learning is an active process involving a conscious intention on a student’s part to make sense of new ideas or experiences. Learning involves action (the trying out of new ideas) and reflection (based on feedback). Learning should develop a student’s capacity for independent thought and action. Whether working individually or in groups, a student should become increasingly autonomous in their scholarly endeavours.

3) Be Situated and Authentic.

Learning is situated and authentic when students develop their knowledge and capabilities in meaningful disciplinary, professional, and personal contexts.

4) Build Connections.

Learning experiences should connect new ideas with students' existing knowledge, skills and values, while extending and challenging their current ways of thinking and acting. Learning should build connections between teachers and students and between students themselves.

5) Be Guided by Clear Expectations and Academic Standards.

Learning is effective when it is purposeful, when the reasons for study are explicit and attractive, and when students understand what is expected of them.

6) Be Challenging and Supported.

Effective learning is supported by a climate of enquiry where students feel challenged, while being supported to take sensible risks in their learning.

7) Be Inclusive of Diversity.

Learning is enhanced when students feel valued and respected, and engage with, and are challenged by, a diversity of ideas and perspectives within an environment that is respectful of this diversity. Students learn in different ways and their learning is best supported by the use of multiple teaching methods and modes.

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