No Lectures: A Radical University Academic Initiative

By Joy Penman and Jyothi Thalluri.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The need to continue evaluating courses offered both on- and off-campus to determine best practice approaches and keep improving the quality is imperative. With fierce competition from other universities, academics are urged constantly by senior management to continue developing strategies that elicit thoughtful and engaged student participation, boost learning, optimize the use of technology, and maintain academic standards at the same time. This paper discusses an initiative implemented for a group of on-campus students undertaking a nursing course in a regional campus of a South Australian university. The nursing course, Health of Adults, aims to provide students with the knowledge and framework that will inform professional nursing practices in promoting, detecting, assessing, implementing, and evaluating health care and applying these practices to address major health issues amongst adult men and women. In delivering the course in 2009, formal lectures were removed from the teaching arrangement and replaced by highly structured tutorials and maximal technology application. This is considered to be a radical change from traditional university formats. The impact of this pilot initiative was determined through a seven-item paper-based questionnaire completed by students (n=12) who were enrolled in the course. The questionnaire examined the experience with inquiry-based learning, experience with groups, most liked and least liked aspects of the course, and impact on learning. Findings of the evaluation suggests that this particular approach enhanced interactivity and effectively assisted learning, but that the majority of students still preferred having lectures for various reasons.

Keywords: Group Work, Inquiry-based Learning, Nursing Education, University Teaching Formats, Technology Use

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp.113-126. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 262.355KB).

Dr. Joy Penman

Lecturer, Centre for Regional Engagement, Nursing and Rural Health Whyalla Campus, University of South Australia, Whyalla, Australia

Joy Penman is a Lecturer at the University of South Australia, Centre for Regional Engagement. She teaches both science and nursing courses at the University of South Australia. She has over twenty years teaching experience locally and abroad and many years nursing experience in various health care facilities. Joy has been a consistent recipient of the university’s Supported Teacher Award for addressing the university teaching and learning priorities on improving student satisfaction, focusing on the development of graduate qualities, and developing teaching and learning resources and publications. She is well published in the area of teaching and learning. Joy has extensive experience in research and community service as well. She has received Supported Researcher and Community Service awards in recognition of her research endeavours and community engagements, respectively.

Dr. Jyothi Thalluri

Senior Lecturer, Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Jyothi Thalluri holds a doctorate degree in Neurosciences from John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra. She has over 23 years of teaching experience at the University of South Australia. She teaches Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Pathophysiology, Pathology and Neurosciences to various program across the division.


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