The ACU postgraduate strategy objectives focus on themes, such as 'global connectedness', 'real world capability', 'leading with integrity' and 'learning, teaching and service excellence'. Explore what strategies other ACU academics have been applying in their postgraduate units and courses.
As ACU's postgraduate strategy particularly focuses on postgraduate coursework students, this page aims to support those involved in designing and delivering courses and units for postgraduate coursework students.
Crane et al. (2016) investigated the postgraduate student experience as part of an Australian government office for learning and teaching project. Some of the following themes and needs surfaced within the research.
Student engagement is defined as students’ involvement in activities and conditions that are linked with high-quality learning. When higher education institutions understand the nature of student engagement and work towards influencing it for the better, the impact on outcomes for students and learning processes is significant.
Providing the right feedback at the right time can lead not only to increased student satisfaction, but also improved learning outcomes for students. Additional opportunities for feedback can boost overall engagement amongst postgraduate students.
The postgraduate population is diverse. They can have varying: academic and work experience, non-study commitments, locations, cultures and digital literacy, amongst other differences. As such, the approach taken to support the learning of a cohort needs to be appreciative of their unique requirements and characteristics.
Postgraduate students demographics
It is easy to assume that because a student has completed an undergraduate degree that they will have the necessary academic skills for postgraduate study. Since many of our students may not have been at university for 10-30 years, this makes it essential to scaffold students' academic skills and transition them back into the conventions and expectations of higher education.
Many postgraduate students need to fit their studies around full-time work and family commitments, this means that courses need to be designed with this in mind.
Many postgraduates bring with them a varied and rich work history, drawing on this can support peer-to-peer learning and engagement.
There is a common myth in higher education that postgraduates don’t need employment support; that they can take care of their own employment needs. This is not the case, with many postgraduate students choosing to return to study to change career or disciplines, there is the need to support these students with their employability.
Crane, L., Kinash, S., Bannatyne, A., Judd, M-M., Eckersley, B., Hamlin, G., Partridge, H., Richardson, S., Rolf, H., Udas, K., & Stark, A. (2016). Engaging postgraduate students and supporting higher education to enhance the 21st century student experience. Final report prepared for the Learning and Teaching Support Unit, Australian Department of Education and Training.