Succeeding the VU way

Imogen Hair (Louisa Jones) 221002_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

In an Australian first, 650 students will next month graduate from Victoria University after completing their studies in block mode.

Block teaching, introduced at VU in 2018, enables students to study one subject at a time in a four-week “block”, and features smaller class sizes and prompt feedback on assessments.

Geelong’s Imogen Hair is among the class of 2020, earning a bachelor of business with a major in event management.

“It 100 per cent benefited me,” she said of the block model.

”I did have an experience overseas doing a regular model and the comparison was actually very interesting.

“I found that the block model really focuses in intensely on the subject and the primary content that you need to learn, so it really helps you to focus … and understand the content in a high-pressure environment, which I think is a very good, realistic workplace skill to have – learning intensively and completing tasks in a short period of time compared to a regular 12-week semester.”

Block teaching has been credited with helping students who struggle with their course and has led to an increase in pass rates and attendance at VU.

In the first year, 86 per cent of students passed compared with 74 per cent the previous year before its introduction.

Student attendance has been 90 per cent – more than double the estimated 40 per cent before block model was introduced.

“Personally, I never struggled but my little brother, Liam, has autism, so the block model for him would be really good and he is looking at attending VU,” Imogen said.

“It really does help those on the spectrum focus in and put all their energy into the one subject rather than trying to spread themselves across different subjects.”

VU vice-chancellor Peter Dawkins said the block model had reinvented tertiary education.

“This is a historic moment for VU’s revolutionary block model, known as ‘the VU way’,” he said.

“It is deeply gratifying that students have responded positively to our reimagined and transformative model of teaching and learning.

“In 2018, when first implemented, we were confident that the block model approach would reinvent the tertiary experience.

“Now, in 2020, we are about to celebrate the first cohort of students who have experienced the VU way.”