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This project evolved out of the work of the Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) network for Associate Deans Learning and Teaching (ADLT). As ADLTs, we wanted to better support and advise our colleagues on how to design first year curriculum in their own discipline. Our contexts were determined by Threshold Learning Outcomes (TLOs) that were developed for the Humanities and Social Science disciplines initially through an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) project (Hay, 2012). We wanted to identify, understand, refine and be able to advocate for teaching and assessment strategies that would set first year students on their way to achieving TLOs in their chosen discipline by the time they graduate.

The original aims of the project were to:

i. determine the discipline-specific skills and standards that are required to be developed at the first year in order for students to achieve the TLOs and AQF standards prescribed for graduates in the selected disciplines in the Social Sciences and Humanities;

ii. engage first year staff with first year pedagogy and curriculum renewal in the light of threshold standards; and

iii. provide a toolkit with examples of discipline-specific assessments and activities that develop those skills in first year students.

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