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Block Model of teaching may become more competitive in the international student market

Source: Getty Images

Some professionals expect the international student education market to become more competitive after the epidemic.

Education is an important area of Australia's export trade. This sector has also been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In Australia, Victoria University has pioneered the Block Model of teaching and learning, which is likely to be more attractive to international students.

Dr Mengbi Li, a lecturer from First Year College at Victoria University and research fellow at Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities, said the university's award-winning VU Block Model allows students to study one unit at a time with more flexibility in their course choices and study schedules while improving student outcomes and quality.

Dr Li said: "Students also learn in small, collaborative working groups with their classmates and teacher where they will feel more confident to speak up than in the standard lecture environment."

"At Victoria University, students can focus on one subject at a time. This allows them to reinforce concepts and gain frequent feedback to build confidence and make sure they stay on track."

It also means that if students are fascinated by a subject, they can delve deeply and immerse themselves in it. And if they don’t enjoy it, they will be pleased to have it finished in only four weeks.

"The smaller class sizes mean the classes are interactive sessions where students are empowered to share ideas, debate concepts and explore learning opportunities."

Dr Mengbi Li said while an Australian first exclusive to VU, the Block Model of teaching has already been a proven success for decades in progressive educational institutions in Sweden, Canada and the United States.

She said: "Victoria University consulted with Quest University in Canada during design and implementation of the Block Model to draw on their years of expertise and success."

"Victoria University has implemented the Block Model to help improve our students’ success, educational experience and prepare them for the workforce in a variety of fields."

Dr Li said, since its introduction in 2018, VU’s Block Model has seen our pass rate increase. In 2019, first-year pass rates were at 87% (up 13% on the standard model) while for second-year students, pass rates were at 90%.

She said: "Not only are students more likely to pass, but they are also more likely to get better grades. Much more students received distinctions and high distinctions, without a change to the assessments given."

"Beyond academic results, the immersive Block class environment develops students’ confidence and independence as learners and problem-solvers, preparing them for success in their future career."

Block classes are available in multiple combinations of days and times which allow students to choose the combination that best suits them.

Dr Li said: "This consistent and focused timetabling of three, three-hour Block classes per week mean that students have more time for work, social life, caring responsibilities, sport, and everything else that’s important to them."

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