The VU Way: The Effect of Intensive Block Mode Teaching on Repeating Students

Rudi Klein, Kate Kelly, Puspha Sinnayah, Maxwell K. Winchester

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

15 Downloads (Pure)


This study examines the impact on academic success of two different models of teaching for repeating students. Students who failed in 2017 under the traditional model of teaching, involving a twelve-week semester with lectures and tutorials, were exposed the following year to the newly introduced intensive workshop model of teaching, known as "The VU Way", whereby students study one unit at a time over 4 weeks in small active learning based workshops. Repeating students who had previously failed the same unit were asked to complete a questionnaire online, which elicited their perceptions of the two different teaching models. In addition, data was extracted from the university's central database to compare the success rate of failing students on their second attempt under the different teaching approaches. Results show a significant improvement in grades and pass rates with the new intensive block model of teaching along with positive student perceptions toward this more immersive and interactive workshop-based teaching method.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation in Science and Mathematics Education
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)47-59
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Block model teaching
  • Active learning
  • Repeating students

Cite this