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?
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.
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’
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
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)?
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?
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!
The grades vs. marks battle is a hot topic. Some unit convenors only release grades (e.g. Credit), as they find it challenging to assign a numeric mark (why 67, and not 68 for example?). Others opt for releasing marks. But what does the new Assessment policy require? Continue reading What should I release to students: grades or marks?
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.
Earlier this month, Academic Senate passed a new Assessment Policy. We asked Dr. Mitch Parsell, the Chair of Senate Learning and Teaching Committee about the reasons for the new Policy and the key changes academics should know about.