Describe the key pedagogical issues in tertiary level education.
The key pedagogical issues in tertiary level education can be described as a matter of maximizing: (1) alignment between activities, objectives, and assessment; (2) the amount of timely and qualified feedback that students receive in relation to the tasks they perform; and (3) the degree to which students can participate in shared disciplinary discourse.
Alignment is key to the efficiency of tertiary level teaching. Attempts to support student learning should always take assessment into account (Biggs, 1996), and assessment initiatives should be designed with careful consideration of their backwashing effect on student learning (Pellegrino, 2014). Feedback is known to be the single most important factor for quality in education. It serves different purposes relating to directions for learning, progress, and suggested next steps. Feedback is typically provided by teachers or peers; however, any trustworthy source could provide value to students' learning by supplying relevant information on these three parameters (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).
One way to characterize disciplinary proficiency is the ability to participate in the discourse of the specific discipline (Osborne, 2010). Such participation has proven essential for learning both in relation to informal (Wenger, 1998) and more formal education (Krogh, 2018; Osborne, 2010). Furthermore, dialogical approaches to disciplinary learning have been developed as teaching strategies that focus on dialogue and collaboration (Phillipson & Wegerif, 2016).