TH1xx Introduction to Christian Doctrines

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					                                                Draft Course Unit Outline
 Unit Code eg AL111                                        TH1xx
 Unit Name eg Hebrew 1                                     Introduction to Christian Doctrines
 Unit Weighting eg 9 cps
 Tier (see Table 1)                                        1 Foundational unit
 Type of Course Unit                                       Face to face weekly attendance
                                                           Distance education
                                                                Online
                                                                Other
                                                                Independent guided study
                                                                Research project
                                                                Research essay
                                                           Workplace Learning
 Course Unit Workload
     Weeks in Teaching Session          (typically 13
 Timetabled hours/week (time spent at lecturers,
       tutorials, engaged with online or other learning
     package, clinical or other placements) (typically 3
 Weekly hours devoted to assessable & non-
         assessable tasks (typically 8 hours)
  Total Workload/week (typically 11 hours)
    Total Workload for teaching session (143
                       hours per 9 cr pt unit)
 Prerequisites, corequisites or
 Academic Staff
                                    Lecturer Name
                                    Contact Details
 Curriculum Objectives                                     This course unit introduces students to the worldviews, beliefs,
                         (2 sentences maximum)             values and practices of the Christian traditions, enabling the
                                                           student to identify the essential nature of the Christian faith as
                                                           it is shared by these traditions. It provides a foundation for all
                                                           future theology course units.
 Outcomes (Use Tables 1 & 2 to guide the
 writing of outcomes)

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                          Knowledge outcome: 2 A.       Identify the major theological themes in theology
                                               B.       Demonstrate an understanding of the essential
                                               doctrines of the Christian faith
                             Skills outcome: 2 C. Develop a capacity to engage with several theological
                                                   thinkers and key theological texts, ancient and modern
                                               D.       Define what it means to be a Christian within their
                                               theological tradition and be aware of the
                                               similarities/differences with other theological traditions
            1 outcome that demonstrates the E. Appreciate the need for the practical application of
           application of knowledge and skills     theology and value its role in informing Christian life
                                                   and ministry
    Threshold concept to be acquired in this
unit (will not apply to all units). See Table 3

Content & Structure including practical                   1. Thinking Theologically Resources for Theological
components such as laboratory, studio and                 Reflection Theological Method
work-based placements                                     2. The Christian Tradition: A Brief Overview Jesus of
                                                          Nazareth: the Founder and the Sources The Teachings of
                                                          Christianity: Creeds, Confessions The History of Christianity:
                                                          Early, Medieval, Reformation, Modern The Christian Way:
                                                          Worship, Forms of Christianity
                                                          3. The Christian Tradition: Essential Doctrines The Triune
                                                          God Creation and Providence Humanity The Person and
                                                          Work of Christ The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit The
                                                          Church and Ministry Eschatology and the New Creation
                                                          4. A Theology of Discipleship
                                                          5. The Spiritual Journey Spiritual Formation
Teaching Methods (Practicum, Group Projects,
Seminars, Tutorials, Lectures, Field Work, Simulations,
Student Presentations, Online Tutorials, Other)

Required Specialist Facilities or
Equipment (e.g. special computer access /
physical education equipment)
Assessment Item 1
       Brief description of assessment task in
                              about five words
        Number of words, length of exam etc
                                   Date eg Week 5
 What outcomes does this assessment item
 Percentage of the total assessment for the
   unit that this assessment item addresses
Assessment Item 2
       Brief description of assessment task in
                              about five words
        Number of words, length of exam etc
                                            Date due
  What outcomes does this assessment item
  Percentage of the total assessment for the
    unit that this assessment item addresses
 Assessment Item 3
      Brief description of assessment task in
                             about five words
       Number of words, length of exam etc
                                   Date due
   What outcomes does this assessment item
   Percentage of the total assessment for the
     unit that this assessment item addresses
 Additional assessment items (please
 insert more lines and add here)

 Assessment Total
  Total hours of exams/tests/presentations =
 Total number of words for all assignments =
 Assessment Overview:
     Why were these particular types and/or
   combinations of assessment tasks chosen
                   to assess the outcomes?

 Representative References                      (1) The list of representative references should:
                                                (a) be representative, not comprehensives – 10 to 12;
                                                (b) contain a mix of both student and lecturer references;
                                                (c) be up-to-date though seminal works and primary source
                                                material may be included;
                                                (d) include major new works which represent accepted
                                                (e) reflect the content and level of the unit.
                                                (2) The list of books is to give the panel some idea as to
                                                whether the academic is aware of current material.

Table 1: Types of Units
The units in the curriculum fall into five categories.
Tier 1 Foundational units are coursework units that are required for further study in a
Discipline. They are appropriate to the outcomes of the award and essential for a major or
specialisation. There are only a limited number of foundational units common across the
Member Institutions in a Discipline. These units are coded as 100 series in AQF Level 7
Bachelor programs and 500 series in AQF Level 8 in postgraduate diploma programs. In some
disciplines, the set of foundational units will include a methodology unit. AQF Level 5 programs

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are coded as 000 series and there are no categories, although some units have prerequisites..
Tier 2 Intermediate units are more specialised units that cover a wider range. They build upon
the foundation studies and typically form a self-contained sub-major sequence that provides a
suitable foundation for progression to more specialised studies. In addition, they are designed in
ways that assist students to progress as independent learners, as a more rigorous and analytical
thinkers who have an increased ability to solve problems. These units are coded as 200 series in
AQF Level 7 Bachelor programs.
Tier 3 Specialised units are units that are narrower in scope and of greater depth than Level 2
units. They develop the study of the Discipline beyond the foundational level as appropriate to
the outcomes of the award. They further extend the problems solving and application skills of
students and further enhance their critical abilities, their research skills, and their independence.
These units are coded as 300 series in AQF Level 7 Bachelor programs and 600 series in AQF
Level 9 programs.
Generic units offer flexibility to the student program. They allow for the testing of new units
and provide for the teaching by visiting lecturers and specialists. Units that fall under this
category are the Issues units, Independent Guided Study, Advanced Seminars, and Research
Projects. Generic units are coded as 300 series, although provision is made for 200 series under
special circumstances as outlined in the approved unit outlines for these units, in AQF Level 7
programs. In AQF Level 8 and 9 programs they are coded as 600 series.
Workplace Learning Units use the workplace, including parishes, Christian agencies, and the
community, as a site for teaching and learning. These units are often called field education,
placements, or practicums. Related terms include internship, service learning, fieldwork, co-
operative education, internship, workplace project. Workplace Learning placement is guided by
written agreements between the participating parties: the Member Institution delivering the
course; the placement agency accepting the student; and student undertaking the placement.
Capstone units. Typically, a capstone is a wedge-shaped stone (sometimes called the keystone
or cornerstone), located at the top of the arch and holding the arch together. In the curriculum,
a capstone unit is critical unit at the top of a degree or diploma program that holds the structure
together. Offered as a final unit in a program, a capstone unit helps students synthesise their
learning across each semester of the program into a coherent whole. A capstone unit looks
forward as well as back – having synthesised their studies, the capstone unit assists students
consider the implications of their studies for the next stage in their vocational life and to
consider further learning experiences that will consolidate and extend their current knowledge,
skills, and values. Capstone units are coded as 300 series in AQF Level 7 programs and 600
series in AQF Level 8 and 9 programs.

Table 2: Matrix for determining tiers of units
                  Tier 1 Foundational Tier 2 Intermediate                  Tier 3 Specialised
                   Quality of learning experienced increases

                   Largely reliant on         At a transitional stage. Still   Students are largely
                   lecturers to tell them     reliant on occasional            independent/interdependent
 A. Learning       what, when and how         assistance from lecturers but    learners confident in their
 Dependency        to successfully            increasingly capable of          own abilities to achieve.
                   complete their             acting on their own              Lecturer fulfills a facilitator
                   studies.                   initiative.                      / mentor role.

                   Students are largely       Students begin to challenge      Students think critically
                   accepting of the           the knowledge, skills and        about all they encounter and
 B. Thinking       knowledge, skills and      attitudes they previously        demonstrate an ability to
 Skills            attitudes they             accepted without query.          seek creative responses
                   encounter.                                                  across disciplines.

                   Students focus on          Students are able to             Students are able to extract
 C. Marton &       what has to be done        construct more meaning.          the deeper meaning and
 Säljö’s           and concentrate only       They have moved past mere        purpose of a task and see
 Surface /         on parts of a problem      facts to see the                 the ‘big picture’ (holistic).
 Deep              rather than seeing the     meaning/interpretation
 Approaches        problem in its entirety    behind the facts.
 to Learning       (atomistic).

                   Students are able to       Students are able to handle Students are able to cope
 D.                handle problems they       unfamiliar problems in        with new problems in new
 Stephenson’s      are familiar with in       familiar contexts or familiar contexts.
 Capability        contexts they are          problems in unfamiliar
 Levels.           familiar with.             contexts.

                   Learning situations        Learning situations are less     Students demonstrate a level
 E. Jonassen       are well structured.       structured. A time of more       of expertise that enables
 et al’s           This is a time of          advanced knowledge               them to solve complex
 Constructivist    initial, introductory      acquisition.                     problems.
 Approach          knowledge

                   Students are mostly        Students are capable of          Students demonstrate an
                   required to                analysing a problem into its     ability to evaluate,
 F. Bloom et       comprehend new             component parts. They are        synthesise, and design
 al’s              knowledge and be           also able to apply theoretical   original ways to solve
 Taxonomy          able to describe and       models to a number of            problems.
                   explain it.                situations.

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                     count, demonstrate, define,        access, add, apply, attempt, calculate,      arrange, assume, calculate, categorize,
                     describe, discover, elucidate,     change, classify, code, collect,             collect, combine, compile, compose,
                     exemplify, explain, expound,       communicate, complete, compute,              conclude, connect, construct, create,
                     identify, indicate, label, list,   construct, control, deduce,                  derive, design, determine, develop,
                     match, memorise, name,             demonstrate, designate, determine,           devise, distinguish, draw, drive,
                     observe, outline, point,           display, divide, employ, examine,            devise, establish, explain, extend,
                     quote, read, recall, recite,       experiment, exploit, express, find,          extrapolate, forecast, formulate,
                     recognize, record, relate,         graph, group, illustrate, implement,         generalise, generate, group,
                     repeat, reproduce, selects,        integrate, interpolate, interpret,           hypothesise, infer, integrate,
                     show, state, transcribe,           manage, manipulate, model, modify,           interpolate, justify, manage, maximise,
                     uncover, account for,              operate, order, organise, plan,              minimise, modify, order, organise,
                     associate, call, clarifies,        practice, prepare, present, produce,         predict, prepare, prescribe, produce,
                     compute, convert, decodes,         reframe, relate, resolve, schedule,          propose, rearrange, reason,
                     defend, derive, describe,          show, sketch, solve, subtract,               recommend, reconstruct, regroup,
                     discuss, distinguish, estimate,    summarise, translate, use, analyse,          relate, reorganize, restate, revise,
 G. Useful           explain, express, extend,          appraise, arrange, ascertain, associate,     rewrite, substitute, suggest,
                     extrapolate, generalize, give      break down, calculate, classify,             summarize, symbolise, systematise,
 Verbs               examples, group, identify,         collect, combine, compare, contrast,         transform, translate, specify, vary,
                     illustrate, infer, interpret,      critique, criticise, debate, design,         visualise, appraise, assess, choose,
                     locate, paraphrase, predict,       detect, develop, diagnose, diagram,          comment , compare, conclude,
                     report, restate, review,           differentiate, discriminate, dissect,        contrast, criticise, critique, decide,
                     rewrite, sketch, summarize,        distinguish, divide, examine,                determine, discriminate, distinguish,
                     translate,                         experiment, explore, fill in, graph,         estimate, evaluate, grade, infer,
                                                        identify, illustrate, infer, inspect,        interpret, judge, justify, measure,
                                                        invent, investigate, isolate, label,         modify, prove, rank, rate, review,
                                                        observe, order, outline, part off,           revise, select, solve, substantiate,
                                                        pattern, peruse, point out, pursue,          support, test, validate, value, verify,
                                                        question, reduce, relate, research,
                                                        review, scrutinise, search, select,
                                                        separate, solicit, solve, sort, subdivide,
                                                        subtract, summarise, survey,
                                                        systemise, tabulate, take apart, test,

Table 3: Defining and Differentiating Characteristics of SCD Courses
AQF 5: Diploma                  AQF 7:Bachelor                        AQF 8: Graduate                       AQF 9: Masters
(Coded 000)                     (Coded 100-200-300)                                                         (Coded 600)
                                                                      (Coded 500)

Capable of advanced skilled     Capable of professional work          Capable of professional               Capable of professional
or paraprofessional work                                              work                                  practice or scholarship

Understand technical and        Understand broad and                  Understand advanced                   Understand knowledge of
theoretical knowledge and       coherent body of knowledge            knowledge within a                    recent developments in area
concepts                                                              systematic and coherent
                                                                      body of knowledge

Transfer and apply              Adapt and apply                       Apply knowledge and skills            Apply knowledge and skills
knowledge and skills in a       knowledge and skills in               to varied specialised technical       with creativity and initiative
range of situations •           diverse contexts ;                    and/or creative contexts              in new situations
Perform complex technical       Take initiative and
operations with                 judgement in planning,
responsibility and              problem solving and
autonomy                        decision making

                                Collaborate with others         Exercise leadership and          Exercise advanced skills in
                                                                collaboration                    leadership and

Work within generally well-     Work within broad               Initiate, plan, implement and
defined parameters              parameters                      evaluate broad functions
                                                                within varied specialised
                                                                technical and/or creative

                                Take responsibility and         Exercise responsibility and      Demonstrate a high level
                                accountability for own          accountability for personal      personal autonomy and
                                learning and professional       outputs and all aspects of       accountability
                                practice                        the work or function of others
                                                                within broad parameters

                                                                                                 Plan and execute a
                                                                                                 substantial research-based
                                                                                                 project, capstone experience
                                                                                                 or a piece of scholarship

Identify, analyse, synthesise   Critically review, analyse,     Review, analyse,                 Demonstrate mastery of
and act on information          consolidate and synthesise      consolidate and synthesise       theoretical knowledge and
from a range of sources         knowledge                       knowledge and identify and       to reflect critically on theory and
                                                                provide solutions to complex     professional practice

Analyse, plan, design and       Demonstrate a broad             Apply cognitive skills to        Investigate, analyse and
evaluate approaches to          understanding of                think critically and to          synthesise complex
unpredictable problems          knowledge with depth in         generate and evaluate            information, problems,
and/or management               some areas                      complex ideas                    concepts and theories and
requirements                                                                                     to apply established theories to
                                                                                                 different bodies of knowledge or

Apply specialist technical      Exercise critical thinking      Apply specialised technical      Generate and evaluate
and creative skills to          and judgement in                and creative skills in a field   complex ideas and
express ideas and               identifying and solving         of highly skilled and/or         concepts at an abstract
perspectives                    problems with intellectual      professional practice            level

Use communication skills        Use communication skills        Use communication skills         Use communication and
to transfer knowledge and       to present a clear, coherent    to demonstrate an                technical research skills to
specialised skills to others    and independent exposition of   understanding of theoretical     justify and interpret

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and demonstrate           knowledge and ideas        concepts                   theoretical propositions,
understanding of                                                                methodologies, conclusions
knowledge                                                                       and professional decisions
                                                                                to specialist and non-specialist

                                                     Use communication skills   Use technical and
                                                     to transfer complex        communication skills to
                                                     knowledge and ideas to a   design, evaluate,
                                                     variety of audiences       implement, analyse and
                                                                                theorise about developments that
                                                                                contribute to professional
                                                                                practice or scholarship

Table 4: Threshold Concepts
Threshold Concepts

Threshold concepts are concepts that are fundamental to a proper understanding of a unit or a
course. They are essential for further progress in the discipline but are often troublesome for
students. Their often abstract or counter-intuitive nature may create blockages for students, but
grasping them enhances student progress and opens the discipline in ways that allow the student
to achieve a fluent, fluid, intuitive, and harmonious mastery of the discipline, rather than merely
managing to pass the course while remaining rule-bound, with knowledge that is
compartmentalised and a performance in the discipline that is more mimicry than mastery. They
will not occur in every unit.
Example1: Cookery
Imagine that you have just poured two identical hot cups of tea (i.e. they are at the same
temperature) and you have milk to add. You want to cool down one cup of tea as quickly as
possible because you are in a hurry to drink it.
You add the milk to the first cup immediately, wait a few minutes and then add an equal quantity
of milk to the second cup. At this point which cup of tea will be cooler, and why?
Answer: the second cup because in the initial stages of cooling it is hotter than the first cup with
the milk in it and it therefore loses more heat because of the steeper temperature gradient.
This concept of heat transfer and temperature gradient is a threshold concept in cookery– it is
conter intuitive – and it alters the way in which you think about cooking. And, in the special case
where barbecuing is the method of cooking (where heat transfer is via radiation) you also have to
take into account the inverse square law, which explains why so many people find barbecuing a
‘troublesome’ notion -- another feature of threshold concepts.
Example 2: Pure Mathematics
Complex number — a number that is formally defined as consisting of a ‘real’ and an ‘imaginary’
component and which is simply expressed in symbolic (abstract) terms as x + iy, where x and y
are real numbers (simply put, the numbers we all deal with in the ‘real’ world; numbers we can for
example count on our fingers), and i is the square root of minus 1 (√–1). In other words i is a
number which when squared (multiplied by itself) equals minus one (-1). So a complex number
consists of a real part (x), and a purely imaginary part (iy). The idea of the imaginary part in this
case is, in fact, absurd to many people and beyond their intellectual grasp as an abstract entity. But
although complex numbers are apparently absurd intellectual artifacts they are the gateway to the
conceptualization and solution of problems in the pure and applied sciences that could not
otherwise be considered.
Example 3: Economics
The concept of opportunity cost.: Opportunity cost captures the idea that choices can be
compared, and that every choice (including not choosing) means rejecting alternatives. A student
who has a good grasp of this concept has moved a long way toward breaking out of a framework
of thinking that sees choices as predetermined, or unchangeable. They have also moved toward
seeing ‘two sides’ of every choice, and in looking beyond immediate consequences, and even just
monetary ‘costs’ towards a more abstract way of thinking.
Opportunity cost in any particular choice is influenced by prior choices that have been made, but
with respect to this choice itself, opportunity cost is choice-influencing rather than choice-
influenced. Thus, if ‘accepted’ by the individual student as a valid way of interpreting the world, it
fundamentally changes their way of thinking about their own choices, as well as serving as a tool
to interpret the choices made by others.
Example 4: Biblical Studies
In Biblical Studies the idea that that this discipline goes beyond received knowledge might be an
example of a threshold concept. Beginning Biblical Studies students may have a strong
attachment to received knowledge: they see Biblical knowledge as stemming from divine or
external authority but not as something that they or others might create on their own. Until
students cross this threshold in understanding, they struggle to critically engage with Biblical texts
and Biblical theorists.
Examples 1-3 taken from Meyer, J.H.F. & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (1): linkages to thinking and practising
within the disciplines. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving Student Learning: ten years on, OCSLD, Oxford, 412-424

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