New data shows student success has lifted again under VU’s revolutionary Block Model

Pass rates are now 13% higher for first-year students, and 5% higher for second-year students, compared to under the traditional model.
Wednesday 26 February 2020

The extraordinary success of Victoria University’s Block Model of teaching and learning continues to grow with new 2019 data showing pass rates are now 13% higher for first year students, and 5% higher for second year students, compared to under the traditional model.

Introduced in 2018, VU’s Block Model is a completely New Way To Do Uni that focuses on students successfully completing one unit at a time before moving to the next, instead of juggling multiple units simultaneously.

VU Block Model results climb in 2019

Victoria University is the first and only university in Australia to introduce the Block Model, originally starting with first-year students. The introduction heralded one of the largest, student-centred, staff-led and community-integrated transformation programs ever undertaken in Australian higher education.

Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins said 2019 saw the Block Model introduced for second-year students, resulting in another lift in pass rates.

Professor Dawkins said:

“Compared to second-year results under the old model – our 2019 second-year results show that students are continuing to build on the success and strengths established in their critically important first year.

“The results confirm that students who have experienced Block Model in the first year – delivered under VU’s First Year College with smaller class sizes, timely feedback, more one-on-one time with teachers, and a carefully co-designed curriculum – are taking the skills acquired and applying them to the rest of their tertiary experience.

"Further, an attendance rate of around 40% is common for many universities teaching traditionally. Our data over the last two years shows attendance in the Block Model to be in the high 80% range. This extraordinary level of attendance speaks to the value students are getting out of the Block Model – they are voting with their feet.

“These are exciting times for VU; the hard work of our committed academics and professional staff is reflected in these great results as we continue to redefine tertiary education in the 21st century.

“This year will also mark the first time students who have been taught under the Block Model will graduate, so the great news is only set to continue.”

Highlights from 2019

  • First Year:
    • 2017 (traditional model): 74%
    • 2018 (Block Model): 86% (up 12% on traditional model)
    • 2019 (Block Model): 87% (up 13% on traditional model)
  • Second Year:
    • 2018 (traditional model) 85%
    • 2019 (Block Model) 90% (up 5% on traditional model)

Percentages rounded to nearest whole number.

Source data available on request.

Read more about the Block Model available here.

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Frances Atkinson

Media Adviser

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