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The Nightmare is Over: A Simple Guide to Design Effective Subject Outlines

, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Washington, DC ISBN 978-1-939797-29-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC


Higher education institutions worldwide are continuously implementing evidence-based educational approaches and quality control of subjects, courses, and programs. In this regard, a subject outline is a learning design document and an agreement between academics and students. It needs to address the subject structure, what are the requirements, assessment tasks, expectations and so on. A useful subject outline requires sound pedagogical and instructional approaches and to be clearly written, succinct, and conversational when possible. If information is missing or is not easily accessible, it will cause student confusion, unnecessary email traffic and potentially, loss of interest in the subject. Anecdotal reports indicate that students do not engage in reading subject outlines and their attitude towards the usefulness of this document are not well-known in the literature. This paper covers five sections commonly used in subject outlines in Australian universities.


Reyna, J. (2017). The Nightmare is Over: A Simple Guide to Design Effective Subject Outlines. In J. Johnston (Ed.), Proceedings of EdMedia 2017 (pp. 528-536). Washington, DC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 24, 2019 from .

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