Introducing ACU Thrive

ACU Thrive aims to support the long-term success of first-year students by building their confidence to ensure they experience a smooth transition into university life.

Initially, the model underwent a minor identity crisis, as different names were considered, including ACU Connect and the Distinctive First-Year Teaching Model, just to name a few. Finally, following a valuable collaboration between Data Insights and the Centre for Education and Innovation (CEI), a name has been chosen for ACU’s first-year success model, ACU Thrive

What is ACU Thrive?

ACU Thrive is a first-year success model that focuses on delivering a high-quality and consistent learning experience for students at a course level to help build their confidence and support long-term success in their studies at ACU and beyond. A pilot is underway, with university-wide implementation planned for 2024.

Why was ACU Thrive developed?

Previously, ACU did not have a well-defined first-year experience to assist prospective students in envisioning what to expect when starting their higher education journey at ACU. ACU Thrive provides us with an opportunity to communicate the unique experience ACU offers to commencing students. It also expands the visibility of our mission and Education Strategy as students can see them in action from their very first day.

Learning with ACU Thrive

The model is based on a flipped classroom design where the traditional learning environment is reversed, and students are given the opportunity to access their learning content online to prepare for class in advance. This allows students to learn new content at their own pace, in their own time and ensures students can use class time to participate in interactive activities and collaborative discussions with their peers.

Key features

Other key features of the model include:

  • production of high-quality, chunked videos for learning using ACU Studios
  • addition of a more standardised LMS template that is consistent for each unit
  • a targeted communication strategy with intentional messaging to provide students with tailored information and resources dependent on their progress in the unit
  • asynchronous learning activities for completion prior to class
  • course-wide, on campus check-in sessions throughout semester.
What has happened so far?

The first iteration of ACU Thrive was rolled out with several courses across the Faculty of Health Science and Faculty of Education and Arts in Semester 1 this year. In total, thirteen units were uplifted with another twelve planned for Semester 2. A group of more than 60 academic staff were supported by Learning Designers, Learning Technologists, Academic Skills Advisors and Media Developers.

Initial findings show that commencing students enrolled in ACU Thrive courses are having more positive experiences and are more likely to remain enrolled past census date compared to students in non-ACU Thrive courses. The initiative has also allowed units and courses to track student participation and link participation more accurately with learning outcomes.

For more detailed information regarding the development of the model visit ACU Thrive and email if you have any questions.

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