Know your cohort
It is useful to scan the student enrolment list to identify the course code in which each of your students is enrolled. Do not assume that all students are enrolled in just the one course. Be aware that many courses may include your unit, and that some students from other courses have taken your unit as an elective.
Planning for your unit should take into account the range of students who have enrolled, and all courses that align to your unit. This means providing resources, case studies, examples, etc. applicable to a range of disciplines.
You may wish to also look at other cohort groups in your class such as:
- International/domestic students
- Rural and regional students
- Socio-economic status
- Degrees your students are studying, and so on.
Each of the cohorts may have slightly different learning needs and motivations. It is important to provide resources in a number of different ways that allow students to engage with the unit content in a way that suits their learning needs.
The University is piloting the Learning Analytics for Teachers (LA4T) dashboard. LA4T is a web application for unit chairs that will provide timely insights about their students in a way that supports their teaching and helps build personalised connections with their students. Speak to your DoT or ADTL is you wish to participate in the pilot.
The Course Portfolio team has also developed dashboards for each unit, to help Unit Chairs get a sense of who their students are. To find your unit:
- Select the year you want (avoid selecting multiple years)
- Select the trimester(s)
- Select the unit code
The system will filter by the requirements you set and you can navigate across the tabs to examine the characteristics of the enrolment profile including:
- Attendance type (full or part time)
- Birth country (of international students only)
- HEPP factors (of domestic students only)
This information syncs with Callista every 48 hours so will reflect changes as students enrol or withdraw from the unit.
Consider what students bring to the unit (prerequisites, assumed knowledge)
When designing a unit and developing learning resources for it, it is important to consider the relationship between your content and content you assume students have or will bring to this unit.
For units that have prerequisites it is important that you talk to the unit chairs of the pre-requisite units to confirm that your assumptions about what knowledge the learners who have done those units bring to your unit are valid.
You may need to provide your students with access to revision or summary information so they can self-assess their readiness to commence your unit.
It’s also important to remember that not all students will have perfect recall of this assumed knowledge. Your introductory activities should provide opportunities for students (and you) to review and evaluate their command of this knowledge.