Launched in 2018, VU’s First Year Model (block learning) mirrors teaching that has been operating at select universities across the US, Canada and Europe for several decades. Students complete one subject (or unit) at a time before moving on to the next – all in smaller, workshop-style class settings. And with VU's focus on hands-on learning and gaining skills for the workforce, students become more confident and attractive to employers.

Following overwhelming support and results from students, VU has announced it is continuing to reinvent tertiary education in Australia by extending its Block Model across all undergraduate and postgraduate courses by 2020.

We chatted to students who have studied block learning in Canada and Sweden for insights into their success.

You focus on what’s important

“The block mode of study I experienced in Sweden gave me the best opportunity for success. It allowed me to focus more effectively on my subjects, as it eliminated the stresses that come with juggling multiple units. I felt it gave me a greater opportunity to really master each unit, and remember more of its content.”

VU’s Bachelor of Business student Sophie Webb undertook a year on exchange with VU’s international partner Jönköping International Business School in Sweden.

Sophie Webb, Bachelor of Business

You think like an expert

“By the end of a block, I have really immersed in a particular subject, and am ready to dive into the next. I can focus on one subject and really learn how to think like somebody in that particular field. The block also promotes collaboration – exploring a particular subject naturally promotes working together.”

Johannes Bodendorfer, student, Quest University, Canada, which uses a similar block learning approach.

Johannes Bodendorfer, Quest University, Canada

You get more one-on-one time

“I am always surprised at how much it is possible to learn in such a brief period, but this is only possible because of the immersive learning environment. The professors are only teaching one class at a time, so they are focused on providing a quality course. This means they have a lot of one-on-one time with students.”

Matilda Taylor, student, Quest University, Canada, where teaching for all courses is in the ‘block’ format.

Matilda Taylor, Quest University, Canada

You are fully engaged

“Due to the smaller classes students are simply more engaged and are able to ask questions face-to-face, which increases understanding of the material being covered. This simply cannot be achieved within other universities with a traditional learning style.”

Farid Rajkotia Zaheer, student, Quest University, Canada, where teaching for all courses is in the ‘block’ format.

 

Writer: Jessica Jury

Farid Rajkotia Zaheer, Quest University, Canada

Learn more

Find out more about how VU’s First Year Model works for you.