What Does Research Tell us About Good Teaching

Tuesday, 17 October, 2017 - 13:00 to 14:00

Often lecturers take a personal view of teaching, relying on their experiences to form a successful teaching approach. Whilst this may on occasion work, in general we should be applying an evidenced based approach to teaching by utilizing techniques that have been shown to be effective. This talk will present some of the more conclusive research about what leads to the best learning outcomes for students. Practical examples on how these approaches can be implemented will be given for a variety of different contexts, such as large and small lectures, tutorials, and labs. 

With the current pressure to “be digital” it is important that we consider whether this works for our students. With rigorous measurement of student learning outcomes we have been able to start to ask this question about the first year physics course offerings at UNSW. Results will be presented from this ongoing research effort into the effectiveness of online learning at UNSW.


Hake, R. R. (1998). Interactive-engagement versus traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American journal of Physics, 66(1), 64-74.

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58.

Docktor, J. L., & Mestre, J. P. (2014). Synthesis of discipline-based education research in physics. Physical Review Special Topics-Physics Education Research, 10(2), 020119.