Teaching the History Threshold Learning Outcomes to First-Year Students

  • Jennifer ClarkEmail author
  • Adrian Jones
  • Theda Thomas
  • Pamela Allen
  • Bronwyn Cole
  • Jill Lawrence
  • Lynette Sheridan Burns
  • Joy Wallace


Stakeholder ownership and implementation are crucial when applying the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to the development of curriculum. Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) are a case in point. While they might seem to be triumphs of managerialism over pedagogy, we argue that they can be used to build lecturers’ deep engagement with the teaching of their discipline and thus foster sustainable change. By extending the professional use of TLOs, beyond the stages of agreement, establishment and early dissemination, to the point of implementation, we offer a framework for how to elicit collegial conversations to improve teaching and learning practice in history. First, we combine ‘Decoding the Disciplines’ methods developed by historians at Indiana University. Second, we add key principles of first-year pedagogy, associated with Sally Kift. Third, we link to Threshold Learning Outcomes. The framework is supplemented by a good practice guide that translates our theoretical model into practical strategies in teaching and assessment.



The framework was originally published in Lawrence, J., Allen, P., Thomas, T., Wallace, J., Clark, J., Jones, A., Cole, B. & Sheridan Burns, L. (2016). Proceedings of the STARS Conference, 29 June–2 July, 2016, Perth, Australia. Retrieved from

Support for this project has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching. Graphic design by Trish Donald.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Clark
    • 1
    Email author
  • Adrian Jones
    • 2
  • Theda Thomas
    • 3
  • Pamela Allen
    • 4
  • Bronwyn Cole
    • 5
  • Jill Lawrence
    • 6
  • Lynette Sheridan Burns
    • 5
  • Joy Wallace
    • 7
  1. 1.University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.La Trobe UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Australian Catholic UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.University of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  5. 5.Western Sydney UniversitySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.University of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  7. 7.Charles Sturt UniversityBathurstAustralia

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