Foundations of University Teaching & Learning

The ten Foundations of University Teaching and Learning modules introduce the context and approaches underpinning undergraduate and postgraduate education at ANU.

Each module involves either a fully online experience, or a blended online and face to face experience. You can enrol in just one module, a few at a time, or in the whole sequence of 10 (a decamod). The latter approach provides an excellent opportunity to follow through with a cohort of ANU peers and to benefit from the consequent synergies and networking.

Staff new to the university and/or new to teaching responsibilities—whether academic or professional staff, full-time or sessional—are especially welcome as participants, and will be given priority for places.

From 2017, Foundations will directly support participants to apply for professional recognition as Associate Fellows of the Higher Education Academy through the internationally-accredited  ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme.


Since 2009, Foundations has positively influenced more than 1000 ANU academic and professional staff and research students preparing for academic careers. It consistently receives participation satisfaction ratings of 98%.

In 2011, Foundations was awarded a Vice-Chancellor's Award for a Program that Enhances Learning.

Foundations' designer and facilitator Associate Professor Beth Beckmann, Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, is nationally recognised as an outstanding educator. She has received an Australian National Teaching Fellowship (2014), an Australian Award for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for her academic development work at ANU (2013), and an Australian Award for University Teaching Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for her design contribution to research-led plant science teaching at ANU (2011).

Who should participate

Foundations modules are suited to:

  • All academics (Levels A to E) new to the ANU and/or new to teaching;
  • Experienced lecturers wanting a motivational boost;
  • Research-focused academics adding a teaching role to their activities;
  • Professional staff with learner support roles
  • Tutors or demonstrators who have completed the Principles of Tutoring and Demonstrating modules and want additional professional development;
  • Recent or soon-to-be PhD graduates preparing for an academic career (supervisor's approval required)
  • Anyone wanting to explore current ideas in university teaching.

Learning Outcomes

The Foundations learning outcomes are framed in the context of the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), which underpins the professional recognition available through the ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme (accredited by the Higher Education Academy).

On satisfying the requirements of the whole Foundations decamod, participants will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • Appreciate the broader context of the Australian higher education sector in which ANU operates (V4), and the nature of educational evidence-based practice (PSF K2, K3, V3).
  • Design an effective curriculum (A2) that demonstrates discipline competence (K1), effective elements such as authentic learning and constructive alignment (K2, K3) and takes into account student diversity and learning needs (V1, V2).
  • Design learning environments (A2, A4) that encourage student engagement and active learning (K2, K3), and includes elements of flexible and technology-enhanced learning and delivery (K4).
  • Devise strategies for formative and summative assessment that promote effective, authentic learning and provide student feedback to facilitate learning (A3).
  • Identify opportunities for research-led education, and understand the balance that most academics need to develop between their teaching and research responsibilities (A5, K1, V3, V4).
  • Use a range of methods to evaluate and report the effectiveness of their teaching (K5).
  • Engage in reflective practice and identify continuing professional development opportunities in the context of individual and institutional quality assurance of approaches to teaching and learning (A5, K6).

More details about individual Foundations modules, mapped against the Professional Standards Framework, is available here

» Further information (Staff only content)



Participation in all Foundations modules is free of charge for Australian National University staff.

However, a no show/cancellation fee of $50.00 per person per module is charged where notification of non-attendance is not received within 48 hours of the start of face to face modules.


Register for the Foundations modules via the black "Register now" button at the top right of this page.

Certificate of Completion

If you have fully participated in all ten modules, including posting ten reflective contributions online, you can apply for a Certificate of Completion. You should allow up to 30 hours of face to face and online time to participate sufficiently to gain a Certificate. There is no time limit on participating in all ten modules or in posting reflections: you simply apply for your Certificate of Completion when you have completed the requisite modules and reflections.

If you also meet certain minimum experience requirements, you will be supported to use your Foundations participation to prepare an application for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). More details on registration.