Teaching for learning at university: theory and practice

Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Churchlands, Western Australia


Chalmers, D., & Fuller, R. (1995). Teaching for learning at university: theory and practice. Churchlands, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


Teaching for learning at university is a book that is long overdue. One of the major problems in higher education is the glaring disparity between what teachers preach about quality learning, and what they practise. The aims of higher education institutions, and of those who teach courses within them, are unexceptional, emphasising high cognitive skills, flexibility in problem solving, social skills and team-work, creativity, dealing with novelty, and the like. Yet the teaching methods most commonly used, and the means of assessing learning outcomes, simply do not line up with those high sounding aims.

The remedy is not simply to provide more recipes for teaching and assessment, but to integrate how we teach with how students learn. One of the things that higher educators have not addressed in their search for quality enhancement is to tackle head-on how students go about their learning. The teacher's main job is twofold: it is to ensure that the students are provided with teaching and learning activities that require the kinds of learning that are so confidently addressed in the course aims and objectives; and it is to be able to assert, by information gained from proper assessment tasks, that students have indeed learned as required or the extent to which they have fallen short of desired standards.

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