A Curious Mind: Connect More with…Nick McGuigan

What do accounting, permaculture and performance artist Marina Abramovic have in common? Nick McGuigan thrives on hunting for teaching inspiration from unexpected sources. Before you catch him at Learning and Teaching Week, find out a little more about what makes Nick tick…

What has helped you improve your teaching the most, and why?

“Connect More” by  ©2015 Macquarie University
Learning and Teaching Week, 14-17 September 2015

A naturally curious and constantly inquiring mind has provided me with an incredibly beneficial tool in improving my own teaching practice. I am constantly looking for new sources of inspiration and seeking ways to associate these with my own practice. This sometimes proves challenging in accounting – so working at the peripheral, hunting examples from outside my own zone of comfort can be incredibly rewarding. Just the other week I visited a Marina Abramovic performance art exhibition and discovered a whole new way to facilitate students’ exploration of and connection to economic frameworks and accountability!

What’s the biggest challenge facing university teachers today?

The biggest challenge we face as university educators today is to be able to offer a unique and personalised learning experience to learners, more aligned with non-formal learning, but still within a formalised setting. How can we explore and discover learning with our students? How can we encourage a personalised learning experience within a mass higher education environment? How can we effectively develop Co-Creators of learning?

Where are you going on your next trip?

My next trip will be departing our incredible Sydney summer to embrace the harsh northern winter of Germany, where I will be working with colleagues to deliver an innovative inquiry-based learning program that discusses Integrated Reporting and Social Accountability with German postgraduate students as part of a German Government initiative to internationalise business curricula.

Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

Perhaps my biggest passion has come quite recently after stumbling across permaculture and its system-design process. Permaculture is a human design system, a way in which people are able to cohabitate together, in a way that can alleviate many of the problems facing the world today – Climate Change, Resource Scarcity and Creating Prosperous Economies. I have found its application to business both engaging and rewarding as we create new models of practice. After qualifying as a permaculture designer and educator I have been running community-based workshops around social permaculture. We recently held a workshop for MQ Earth Care month with the incredibly talented Sustainability office – you can read more about it here.

Tell us a bit about what you’ll be presenting at Learning & Teaching Week.

I will be presenting a number of projects across L&T Week on reflective and visual methodology in learning. We will be sharing findings from a recently completed OLT project that looked at ePortfolio use in business curricula, along with a session that explores ‘unlearning’ as a means of professional development.

Nick McGuigan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance. Connect with Nick at one of the following Learning and Teaching Week sessions:

Academic leaders’ perspectives on adopting ePortfolios for developing and assessing professional capabilities in Australian business education
Register here

Developing Future-Oriented Education: Connecting Creativity and Innovation through a Process of ‘Unlearning’
Register here

A phenomenographic study of students’ perceptions of learning accounting
Connecting the Student Experience through Visual Imagery
Register here