No lectures: A radical university academic initiative

Joy Penman, Jyothi Thalluri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The need to continue evaluating courses offered both on- and off-campus to determine best practice approaches and keep improving the quality is imperative. With fierce competition from other universities, academics are urged constantly by senior management to continue developing strategies that elicit thoughtful and engaged student participation, boost learning, optimize the use of technology, and maintain academic standards at the same time. This paper discusses an initiative implemented for a group of on-campus students undertaking a nursing course in a regional campus of a South Australian university. The nursing course, Health of Adults, aims to provide students with the knowledge and framework that will inform professional nursing practices in promoting, detecting, assessing, implementing, and evaluating health care and applying these practices to address major health issues amongst adult men and women. In delivering the course in 2009, formal lectures were removed from the teaching arrangement and replaced by highly structured tutorials and maximal technology application. This is considered to be a radical change from traditional university formats. The impact of this pilot initiative was determined through a seven-item paper-based questionnaire completed by students (n=12) who were enrolled in the course. The questionnaire examined the experience with inquiry-based learning, experience with groups, most liked and least liked aspects of the course, and impact on learning. Findings of the evaluation suggests that this particular approach enhanced interactivity and effectively assisted learning, but that the majority of students still preferred having lectures for various reasons.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the World Universities Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • group work
  • inquiry-based learning
  • nursing education
  • university teaching formats
  • technology use

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