“Renewing first year curricula for Social Sciences and Humanities in the context of discipline threshold standards” is a project funded by the Federal Government Office of Learning and Teaching (OLT).
The project team set out to answer three questions:
- What do our first year students need to know and do in order to be effective learners in the discipline?
- What are the barriers to our first year students learning in the discipline and how can we help students to overcome those barriers?
- What do we need to do in first year in order to prepare students to attain the specific Discipline Threshold Learning Outcomes by the time they graduated?
This project focussed on five disciplines taught in Social Sciences and Humanities – English, History, Geography, Politics and Sociology. We conducted surveys of first year students in these disciplines and those teaching them to identify misconceptions about the disciplines. We also conducted focus groups with third year students to tease out what they wished they learned in first year.
We then brought together discipline scholars and those teaching first year students in the discipline into workshops aimed at information sharing and renewing their first year curricula in their discipline. Details of how we ran the discipline workshops can be found here.
Resources and examples of best practice collected during the workshops are available here: English, History, Geography, Politics, Sociology.
The project team has also developed a framework for designing first year discipline-specific curriculum and pedagogy for the use of first year lecturers,tutors and curriculum designers.