Whitburn: student and staff experiences

Title: Student and staff experiences, and student outcomes, of team teaching in a second year anatomy subject

We aim to evaluate the effect of different teaching formats in practical classes, on students' and staff’s experiences, and student outcomes in a second year anatomy subject. ‘Team teaching’ has been introduced in Bundoora and involves a team of 3 demonstrators (a lead demonstrator, demonstrator and student demonstrator) teaching a group of up to 40 students. In Bendigo teaching is following a ‘traditional’ format of one demonstrator teaching one group of up to 20 students.

This study is of high significance in understanding whether, and how, specific teaching formats influence students' and teaching staff's experiences, as well as student engagement and outcomes. We hypothesise that a 'team teaching' format will enhance the student experience and engagement when compared to a traditional teaching format thereby improving students' outcomes in the subject (marks). We also hypothesise that teaching staff will have positive experiences of team teaching as compared to the traditional teaching format by providing a supportive learning environment to enhance their teaching skills. Whilst the concept of ‘team teaching’ is common in primary and secondary teaching, very little literature exists in tertiary education, and none that we are aware of in the anatomy discipline. Thus, this project has great significance in evaluating this new learning environment. A better understanding of the influence of team teaching on students' experiences and learning outcomes, as well as teaching staff's experiences, may have significant benefits to all tertiary educators.

Key investigators

  • Dr Laura Whitburn (CI)
  • Meg Colasante
  • Dr Rod Green
  • Di Hughes
  • Dr Aaron McDonald
  • Heath McGowan
  • Anita Zacharias