All posts by Olga Kozar

After completing her PhD in the Department of Linguistics, Olga joined Learning and Teaching team. She is passionate about educational innovations and good teaching. Give her a shout if you'd like to talk all things learning and teaching.

The dangers of a potluck dinner, and other metaphors for understanding program-based design

With program-based design squarely on Macquarie University’s agenda, it’s more important than ever to have a shared understanding of what program-based design is. How is it different from the more common approach of focusing on individual units?

Continue reading The dangers of a potluck dinner, and other metaphors for understanding program-based design

Giving individual marks for groupwork: 4 practical ideas

One of the changes introduced by Macquarie’s new Assessment Policy is assigning at least 50% of groupwork for individual contributions. In other words, students who do groupwork need to get different marks.

This change is motivated by research that shows that giving students the same mark for groupwork considerably increases freeloading.

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University assignments: why students rarely go ‘outside of the box’

Macquarie undergraduate student Aprill Miles took to the podium to deliver a keynote at the German Undergraduate Research Conference last month. For Aprill, the experience of working on her own research project has been truly transformational. It also opened her eyes on why many students rarely go ‘outside of the box’ in their university assignments.  Continue reading University assignments: why students rarely go ‘outside of the box’

5 facts about groupwork that everyone needs to know

Groupwork is tricky.

On the one hand, literature suggests that groupwork can be very valuable for students. It provides opportunities for deep learning, social support and practicing collaboration. On the other hand, you probably know someone for whom groupwork was potentially ‘the worst’ learning experience at university.

This contradiction made me wonder: why is it that the wonderful promise of ‘enriching collaboration’ just does not happen for many students?

So I decided to look at the current literature, and here are some key points that I thought you may find interesting.  Continue reading 5 facts about groupwork that everyone needs to know

5 ways to boost student presentations: lessons learnt from a Startup Pitch competition

A couple of days ago I reflected on what it takes to win a student Startup Pitch competition. I decided to follow-up with 5 practical ideas on what we as educators can learn from such an event: how can we make in-class student presentations more ‘pitch-like’ (i.e. passionate and engaged)?

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How to win a student pitch contest: lessons from Macquarie’s Startup Pitch competition

10K up for grabs and 7 teams of aspiring entrepreneurs competing for judges’ attention. Not a scene from Shark Tank, but the Macquarie Startup Pitch Competition. What were the factors that gave the winning team the edge?

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5 differences between traditional and active learning [infographic]

Have you heard the calls for educators to stop being the ‘sage on the stage’ and become ‘facilitators’ instead? Or the famous quote by Einstein that ‘knowledge is experience – everything else is just information’? There are very good reasons why it’s time to embrace active learning, and our handy Infographic might help!

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Program-level design: 10 practical strategies for ‘keeping it real’

Program-level design helps to provide students with a coherent learning pathway, and ensures what they experience is more than a ‘collection of individual units’.

One Macquarie program that has successfully implemented program-level design is the Doctor of Physiotherapy. We talked to Associate Professor Mark Hancock about his Department’s experience of maintaining a program-based design over the last 5 years.

Continue reading Program-level design: 10 practical strategies for ‘keeping it real’