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Learning Philosophy

As a leader in online education, we know that professional learning is much more than just reading and writing content. When you consider how theoretical concepts apply in your workplace, you will find new ways of problem-solving. This leads to professional growth, an increase in productivity, and innovative contributions to your field.

Our minicourses are designed for professionals with existing qualifications, significant work experience or both. The objectives, concepts, activities and assessments are aimed at more than simple application of knowledge; this stage of professional learning is about transformation, the application of your professional identity and consideration of how to apply specialist and technical knowledge to contexts and contingencies. In other words, USQ UpSkill is about levelling up your professional knowledge and practice.

We know that you are busy, and want to progress your career – while travelling, having time for family and friends, and all the other facets that make life enjoyable. That’s why our minicourses distil content into rigorous and useful key concepts – and then invite you to apply them to your workplace.

Here are some key frameworks that have informed the development of this learning platform.

Work-Integrated Learning

This is one of the key ideas embedded in the design of USQ UpSkill.

Eichinger and Lombardo (1996) developed the 70:20:10 model of learning in the mid-1990s, proposing that in effective professional learning, only 10% of learning comes about through formal learning and reading, 20% is from mentoring, coaching or colleagues and 70% is from application of tasks and participating in the workplace.

This is why USQ UpSkill’s minicourses support modern learners to develop flexible and relevant skills that are transferable between contexts and settings. Our learning experience embeds activities and assessments that are relevant to the workplace, and provide multiple opportunities to transform and evaluate concepts in your practice.


David Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (2012) suggests that learning is an active process where we do something with new knowledge and understanding – thinking, doing, and feeling. Our learning community is all about discussing modern challenges, workplace dilemmas, disruptions and best practice. You will walk alongside your colleagues and academic experts who will add value with their depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge, and build upon the knowledge and skills you have already developed in your career.

Critical Literacies Framework

We have framed our educational design on the Framework for Student Transition and Retention, which re-conceptualises the application of Critical Discourse Theory and constructivism in the deficit-discourse shift (Lawrence, 2005).
transition diagram
Our learning design has adapted the framework into six phases for each topic, which we describe as:

1. You
2. Discover
3. Activate
4. Dive deep
5. Practise
6. Perform

We continuously develop this platform as we integrate the feedback from our students and modern research as it is released, ensuring a learning environment that is current and agile.
Kolb, A. Y., & Kolb, D. A. (2012). Experiential learning theory. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning (pp. 1215-1219). Boston, MA: Springer US.

Eichinger, R., & Lombardo, M. (1996). The career architect development planner. Minneapolis, MN: Lominger Limited.

Lawrence, J. (2005). Re-conceptualising attrition and retention: Integrating theoretical, research and student perspectives. Studies in Learning, Evaluation, Innovation and Development, 2(3). pp. 16-33.
USQ acknowledges the Giabal and Jarowair peoples of the Toowoomba area, the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul peoples of Ipswich and Springfield, the Kambuwal peoples of Stanthorpe and the Gadigal peoples of the Eora nation, Sydney as the keepers of ancient knowledge where USQ campuses and hubs have been built and also pays respect to Elders – past, present and future.
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